Your First Memory

I wonder, what is the first memory that anybody can remember?  Its funny how that works isn’t it. But, that’s my question for tonight.  What’s your first memory?  That will eventually lead me to my other question.

See, the reason it interests me is that I often wonder if everyone else’s brain functions about the same as mine.  Most of my childhood memories are rather fuzzy around the edges.  Do you know what I mean?  They are sort of like trying to look at something right after you have just woke up, and still have a ton of “sleep” in your eyes.  Or maybe it’s like trying to remember a dream that you had the night before, which you woke up during.  The dream is really clear when you first wake up, if you EVER want to remember it well you should take the advice of dream specialists and write it down right then.  If not, it’s going to be fuzzy in the morning.  Fuzzy around the edges, just like those earliest memories.  Sometimes I wonder if some of my memories are not really dreams.  Is that possible?  I think it might be.  As we go through life, and we live through so many different things, it may just be that some of our more vivid dreams get mixed up in our brain with reality.  That would be a hoot wouldn’t it?  I really think this is a good exercise though, because the more I have consciously thought about it, the more that seems to come back to mind.

Well for starters, the very first thing I remember is having to go potty really, really bad.  We lived in a house back in 1953, when I was three years old that was originally a duplex that had been turned into a regular house.  I remember that it confused me, because both sides of the house seemed to be the same, except the living room furniture was in one side and the bedroom furniture in the other.  I remember thinking that the rooms were the same and that when I blinked my eyes, or went to sleep (especially if I got carried from one side to the other during that time) that the furniture was rearranging itself!  Strange, no?  But, back to pottying.  I had to go really, really bad, and nobody was around to “direct” me to the correct place, so down went the pants and…..well..you can guess the rest.  The part I remember the most, was getting my rear end tanned by my Pop!   I never, ever did that again!

I also remember having a pair of Easter bunnies that same year.  Dad brought them home in a box, and we took them out back to eat grass and they got away from us and ran up under the car.  It took Daddy forever to catch them, and I didn’t know what some of the words he was using meant, but I used one of them later on when I rode my tricycle down the front steps, as those of you who have read chapter one of my book will recall.  I can’t remember what happened to those rabbits though.  I think Dad probably got tired of them making a mess and got rid of them one night while the furniture was changing itself around.

Another vivid thing during that same year I believe was during the summer we would catch “lightning bugs” (fireflies to a lot of you)  We would put them in a jar and I would take them to a dark place and try to use them like a flashlight!  Usually, we would let them go before going in for the night, but once we forgot and I came out the next morning, and couldn’t figure out why the bugs wouldn’t light up.  I didn’t realize that after being in a closed jar with no hole all night long, they were NEVER going to light up again!

I know that I lived the first two years of my life at my Grandparent’s house.  My Dad didn’t get out of the Navy until 1952, so my Mom and I stayed with them.  I have seen pictures of myself at that age, but try as I might, try so very hard, I cannot bring up any memories of any of those times before 1953 when we moved back to Trion, where I still live today.  I wish I could remember those times.  What would really be neat would be to be able to remember anything and everything that ever happened to you.  To just be able to sit down and say, “Now I am going to remember December of 1956 when I was six years old, and what happened at Christmas that year!”  That would be a miracle wouldn’t it?  Scientists say that everything is stored right up there in that little 3 pounds of gray jelly we call our brain.  That wonderful, misunderstood and not fully understood organ that runs us.  I have tried everything from meditation to “commanding” my brain to remember, to closing my eyes and straining and squinting, like the Japanese guy on “Hero’s” does when he stops time.  I still can’t make it happen!  Are all of you folks like that, or is it just me!!!  I would like to know, so I can claim a deficiency if I am the only one.

Memory and the brain.  They really are a strange thing.  I remember one time when my Grandfather was in his last year of life.  He didn’t know anybody, or anything much.  When we went to visit him, he would just sit around and kind of “babble” like a tape recorder  randomly playing back snippets of conversation recorded over years and years of time.  Nothing made much sense.  He always seemed like he was glad to see us, and sad to see us go…but…things were just not perking right.  My Grandma was sitting there one day and talking about one of their relatives, and Grandpa spoke up all of the sudden and said: “Cleve’s dead”  My Grandma answered him back telling him how crazy he was, because she had just talked to Uncle Cleve that morning.  That afternoon when we took Grandma back home, she found out that Cleve had died right around the time we were all at the Nursing home.  So, the brain’s funny isn’t it.  I would have bet you a million dollars that Grandpa couldn’t count to ten anymore, but somehow, someway he knew his old hunting buddy had died.

Maybe not being able to recall everything that has ever happened to us is a blessing.  We might NOT be able to be selective and just remember the good things.  We might also HAVE to remember the bad things too.  There are a LOT of those things that I would rather keep shoved back into the tiny recesses and crevasses of my mind.  Yes, my mind.  When all is said and done, it is what we are isn’t it?  Even when Grandpa’s was taken mostly away, he was given a gift of sorts to replace what had been taken from him.  I guess our spirit sort of resides there.  It’s about the only part of us they can’t replace still!  Shoot, you can have a ticker transplant and go right on being yourself, but a diving accident can turn you into something you would rather not think about!  It makes you wonder about all those people who do have that kind of damage.  Have their souls, what made them who they were, already fled the premises and just left the empty shell behind?

Well, there’s the challenge for those of you who care to take it up.  Can your remember everything?  What was your first memory?  Would you like to be able to have total recall?  When our old brain is gone, like Grandpa’s was, are we still us?  I think so.

Oh by the way.  Does anybody remember a Science Fiction thriller from the 50’s named “Donovan’s Brain?”  It was about this guy whose brain was taken out of him while he was still alive, and put into this thing that looked all the world like a ten gallon fish aquarium!  They had all kind of wires hooked up to it, and had it connected to a computer looking thing.  Ol’ Donovan’s Brain could still “communicate” and eventually took over some folks, if I remember right, making ‘em do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do.  It was a hoot!  I hope to heck they NEVER learn to do that.  I hope they never learn to “store” our minds on computers either.  Never able to “download” the electrical impulses from our brains onto some kind of infernal storage unit, to be put into a program so we can still communicate with the living.  I don’t wanna’ be a machine.  When it’s time for me to go, I want to go.   I wonder, what will my LAST thought be?  Whatever it is, I won’t be able to share it with any of you guys that are left behind, so I guess I better concentrate on sharing what I want to now, while I still can!!

Old Bullet

Just got back in from taking the dogs out for the last time tonight. I like the little old weenie dogs, but sometimes my mind wanders back over the years to the first dog I ever owned…or who owned me…old Bullet:

One Saturday when I was about four years old, Daddy brought home a cardboard box with something in it, stirring around and scratching, and making whining noises. Ol’ Bullet had arrived!

Ol’ Bullet was my first dog, a half-German Shepherd, half Collie mixed breed which my Dad had gotten from the Kellets. The Kellets were farm owners who supplied us with “whole” milk and fresh eggs. “Whole” milk being defined as that milk coming directly from the cow’s teat into a shiny metal bucket, and from the bucket into a thoroughly washed and cleaned glass milk jug, without being pasteurized. Fresh eggs were those which had only that morning been up the hen’s rear end. At that time some people, including my folks, still thought these kinds of farm fresh goods were better for young growing bones. You could also work out a trade with the Kellets. (Try going to Walmart and asking to trade something for a jug of milk. I don’t think they would even know what to say.) Although I think there may have been some kind of law against selling it that way, the government didn’t have a big enough bureaucracy back then to check everything like that out. Back then, I don’t think the IRS even had a dozen people working for them. At least it didn’t seem like it.

I think all those fresh things are making a comeback nowadays, although there is some controversy about the milk….I have a cute little girl who brings me a dozen pretty brown eggs a week!

Me and Bullet took to each other like green to grass. Every time I hit the door, Bullet was faithfully waiting. He quickly learned the parameters of our yard, and it became his territory. He instinctively knew from our attitudes toward people who belonged at our house, and who didn’t. If you didn’t belong there, Bullet would give you one warning in the form of a low growl, and bared teeth. If you didn’t heed this warning, you had better be faster than a speeding bullet! Needless to say, we didn’t have to worry about anything being stolen from our yard or our house with Bullet around.

We had only had Bullet for a little over a year. I think it was one of the best years of my life. One day when I went outside to play with him, Bullet was acting strange. He could barely move, and he crawled over to where I sat on the back steps, and put his head on my leg. “C’mon Bullet, let’s go boy,” I encouraged.

But Bullet could barely raise his head. He wouldn’t eat or drink anything. Finally he got so sick he couldn’t move at all, and Daddy rushed him to the only veterinarian in the county. The Vet told Daddy somebody had fed Bullet rat poison in with some food he had eaten. He would have to be put to sleep to keep him from suffering. I can still remember how I felt when I got the news. I couldn’t breathe, nor could I utter a word. It was as if some giant, choking hand was stuck deep in my chest squeezing my heart like a vise. Finally when that little heart couldn’t take it anymore, it broke in half, and the tears started spilling out of my eyes, like water over Niagara Falls. Why did Ol’ Bullet have to die? Who would do such a thing?

We never found out who poisoned Ol’ Bullet. I am certain of one thing, however, and it is this: neither God nor Providence like people who would poison a little boy’s pet! He might forgive them, but somewhere down the road, somehow, they will have to pay for what they did. I still believe that.

Crow Dance

I have an affinity for finding things in nature which have been left behind. Many are times that I walked the trails behind my Grandparent’s home in Blue Ridge and found arrowheads and other implements. I still have on particular arrowhead which I still keep in my little keepsake chest which is a white quartz point with blue and red veins running through it. I find sticks of different shapes that look like things to me. I am always on the lookout for different plants and animals. I have always felt a special affinity for the birds. Anybody who has followed me on Facebook for any amount of time at all has seen bird photos.

Hawks seem to always be sitting on trees and power lines watching as I drive down the road, or walk by the rivers.

Lately I have been attracting Crows. Lots of them. They follow me around like they have something to tell me. Cawing and talking to me. I think they are telling me that I am doing the right thing. “Stay in shape” “Keep on keeping on” “Live long and prosper” Oh wait…that’s Spock, never mind.

A lot of people don’t consider crows good luck. They actually represent death in some cultures, I guess probably because of their dietary habits. (They eat dead stuff…for Gosh sakes) The Hindus believe crows are go betweens of the worlds of the living and the dead, carrying messages.

The Scottish have a saying about “going away up the Crow road” denoting death.

But…the Native American blood in me tells me differently:

contrary to popular belief, crows do not symbolize death in Native American culture. Instead, they are seen as omens of good luck, with their intelligence being their defining characteristic. This is why they are often portrayed as tricksters in Native American folklore. Omens of good luck.

I choose to believe in the good luck. I choose to believe in being a trickster.

I’ll keep the crows as walking companions as long as they want to come along…..

Good life Bad life.

Good life, bad life. I thought about it all weekend. I finally decided that it all comes down to attitude. Your attitude is what makes the difference in whether you are having a good life, or a bad life. Attitude is either your best friend, or your worst enemy. It’s your greatest asset or your worst liability.

 

It’s easy to say that you are going to change. I have said it many times before, and then I find myself becoming negative. That old pessimism that has been prevalent in my life starts to creep up on me like a swamp gator sneaking in for the kill. And when it gets close enough…BOOM…it springs. It’s not easy changing your attitude. Of course, nobody can stay positive all the time. At least I don’t think that’s possible. I have known some pretty positive people, and even THEY get down every now and then. I think the magic trick is picking yourself up quickly after you DO get down. It’s not an easy trick to learn.

 

The older you get, the more you have to reflect back on and I think now looking back down the pipeline of my life that even the bad days were good. I have had some pretty dang bad days, I will tell you. But, I learned something from all of them. I know that I don’t SHOW it at times, but I did.

 

One thing I really appreciate is having good kids, and I am grateful for the people they have chosen to live their lives with. That’s one of the things I really didn’t think about back when I was trying to raise my children. I didn’t realize that instead of 3 kids I was going to end up with 6 one of these days. (and some great grandchildren to boot!)

But, anyway I am getting off the track. Back to good life, bad life. Attitude. Is there anyway that anyone knows of to stay more on the track of being on the positive side? I think sometimes I go up and down more than a roller coaster. It would be better to stay up at the top of the hill but I am sure that there are no easy solutions for doing it.

 

One way that helps though, is to put your thoughts down on paper…even if it is virtual paper.

Reach out to the Universe

In all the Universe there are probably no other beings like we humans. I know that science has found there are many Earth like planets out there, but Earth like is not Earth.

When you think about the fact that we alone may be the only intelligent life in the cosmos it is a daunting thought. I realize that many people don’t believe we are “alone” in the Universe, but so far there is no proof to the contrary…Star Wars and Star Trek notwithstanding.

It leads me to think that humanity has a huge responsibility. We have an obligation to find a way forward to peace. We have almost a sacred trust to preserve our species.

There is either meaning to life, or not. We can believe that this tiny sand grain sanctuary of living things in the huge beach which is the Universe, is just an accident comprised of some chemicals and some warm water and sunshine, or we can believe there is meaning.

I believe there is meaning, perhaps the ultimate meaning in our existence.

Until I see some alien spaceship come flying in, or see a spiritual manifestation telling me differently, I am going to assume our meaning and our purpose is to settle our earthly differences and then “go boldly where no man (or woman) has gone before”.

Go boldly and discover the truth.

Life

LIFE

I got to thinking. What is happiness, what is satisfaction as it applies to out life here on Earth? What does it mean? How do we get it?

God it seems so very impossible sometimes, especially in this day and age of division and subtraction.

And then, I thought some more……and I dreamed, and had an epiphany of sorts…along with some very strange and sinister nightmares. But I thought first of the epiphany…..

If I have ever done or said a kind word to someone when they needed it, then I am satisfied.

If I have ever given good advice to my children, whether by pure accident, as would be the case most of the time or by chance of experience then I am satisfied.

If I have ever kissed my wife, and she was persuaded that she had married the right man, then I am satisfied.

If I have ever sung a song that brought out an honest emotion, or written a word that sparked a thought in someone’s mind, then I am happy.

If I have ever fed a hungry animal, whether is was a bird, cat, dog, squirrel, or any other living thing that God has created, then I am satisfied.

If I have ever thought a thought that was pure enough for God to appreciate, then I am very happy.

If I have ever cooked food for loved ones, or strangers that they enjoyed or that made them happy, then I am satisfied.

If I ever told a joke that got an HONEST laugh, then I am happy.

I have seen the Ocean on both sides of this wonderful country and walked in the sands and didn’t do it for the first time until I was 16 years old. It was so wonderful, I was so happy. And I have that same thrill and feeling now, everytime I look out over the ocean….

I have stood besides ruins of a culture in Greece which was over 2500 years old, and I was happy.

I have touched the skin and felt the warmth of every person who I have loved the most on this Earth, and I am so satisfied.

I have eaten my Grandmother’s suppers, and have been filled and fulfilled.

I have listened to my Grandfather play the banjo and sing, and it made me happy and it made me part of who I am today.

I have found many an arrowhead in the fields of my youth, and thought about the people who once populated this land, and was genuinely sorry for what they had to go through, and I was saddened.

I have seen a Golden Eagle in flight. It was a dream come true.

I have listened to the Beatles, Elvis, Mahalia Jackson, Percy Faith, Perry Como, Rod Stewart, Johnny Mathis, The Blues Brothers, The Righteous Brothers, Ray Boltz, Bing Crosby, Sinatra, Dean Martin, Laura Fabian, Eva Cassidy, Judy Garland, Jerry Lee Lewis, Clint Black, The Everly Brothers, and on and on.

I listened to Leonard Cohen sing “Hallelujah” last night on youtube, and watched Prince play the most awesome guitar solo ever on George Harrison’s “While my Guitar Gently Weeps” and I was happy. God…I love music so much. I will miss it one of these days, or it will miss me….

I have watched Meteors pour from the sky at such a rate that no one could have counted them. It was a once in a lifetime thrill.

I have seen an eclipse of the Sun and the Moon, and have seen a Comet in the Eastern sky during the early morning.

I have caught the tears of my children and tasted them. I have touched them when their skin was so soft and delicate that my whiskers made little red spots. Now I do it with my Grandchildren….and it has made me so happy.

I have played my guitar in my younger days until my hands cramped and my fingers bled, and oh what a catharsis it has been for me. Bless the person who invented it.

I have eaten wild onions and smoked rabbit tobacco. I hated them both but it was a matter of pride.

I have given money to many a homeless person, and have never told a soul (until now)

I have been in the middle of Storms of Nature and Storms of life that I did not think I would ever survive, but I did. And I am satisfied I passed the fire of that forge.

And the list could go on and on forever.

I have loved this life, and the souls of the people that our creator has chose to populate the bodies of the ones I love. I love it still every day. I want it still every day. I am afraid of it still every day. I never want it to end, but I know it well. I lay in bed at night and imagine it and dread it, but at the same time I know that it will bring peace and not torment.

I have witnessed things every day that I could not have imagined when I was a child. I witness them now every day, and I am in awe and wonder at what has come to pass.

I have seen the wonderful side of mankind first hand, but have seen his terrible wrath firsthand also, not as much as many…but enough for me to know I don’t want to see more, and I don’t want others to have to experience the awful red anvil of war and famine and death.

But strangely, I understand these things are also is a part of life we must know in order to appreciate the blooming of the delicate flowers of spring, and the birth of a child.

I have cried many tears, and I have asked for forgiveness for the sins I have committed. But there are those that won’t or can’t.

I don’t know what will happen on the day I leave this earth. There are not many who will know or care.

But if it is today, or in 25 years…I am happy, I am satisfied, and I am content.

What are the Crows in reality?

In the bad dream I had last night, I had just awoken from being knocked down, or knocked out. I had a rag or some kind of headband around my head, and blood was dripping down into my eyes. I was walking….through I neighborhood I knew, but not one that I know.

My left leg was stiff, and I was limping badly. I had a walking stick and was leaning heavily upon it. The air was smokey and dank. Heavy with moisture of some type. Not rain though…something chemical and harmful.

I could see the buildings in the area, and they looked terrible. They didn’t looked like they had been blown up. They looked extremely old. They looked like they had just been standing there “disintegrating” over a long period of time. The sun was trying to break through the smoke, and it looked huge and orange in color.

As I limped very slowly down the hill, towards a valley with a lot of old, tall and dead trees, I saw a huge covey of birds rise up out of the center of that black forest. At first I thought they were blackbirds, but as they came closer, I could hear the “caw, caw” of their rough call, and knew they were crows. My nemesis. Crows.

I thought: “they have been following me for years, and now they are here to kill me”

As they flew closer, I raised the walking stick up into the air and discovered that it had turned into a shotgun! I began to shoot..and shoot…and shoot…

Then…I woke up…

Old Rivers.

I start off walking towards the river. It has always been there. I don’t know how many centuries it has flowed its current course, but likely it has been many. The center of the little town grew up around it’s flood plain, copying the footprints of the Cherokee who lived here and the mound builders who preceded them.

More than likely, even older Paleolithic people inhabited this area over 10,000 years ago as exhibited by Russell Cave in Alabama and the artifacts found there. I think there may have even been some Clovis points found in this area.

I like the spirituality of the land and its lay. This area is one of the most Geologically stable and least changed in this country. Things are much as they were in terms of the land for these past many centuries now. I feel this as I walk.

I imagine a time when the rivers were filled with gar and sturgeon, and even occasionally a bison would wander this far south. When bear, puma and wolf roamed here. When huge trees grew uncut and blocked off the sunlight to the forest floors. I wonder at how the progress of mankind has shaped those bygone days into what I now see on my walks.

Oh I can imagine that life was extremely harsh for humanity in those years. A day was filled with the immediate needs for survival. Food and shelter…clothing. But by and by things got better. There was agriculture, There were the beginnings of government amongst the red man. Especially advanced with the Iroquois nation. What might have developed from these beginnings I often wonder?

I have read in history where the natives of this country were of much more robust and good health than the first Europeans who came here. They were just not resistant to the diseases which came with the white man and between measles, smallpox, and other contagious sicknesses 8 out of 10 of them perished within the first 100 years of contact. The rest were swept aside like dust on a clapboard floor.

Sometimes now as I walk along the bank of the Chattooga river I hear faint voices on the wind whispering “Why, why?” For that question I have no answer.

Death of a stranger

A Seventies Memory- The Death of a Stranger

Paula and I went to Canton, Georgia today to take the two Cocker Spaniels to the lady from the Cocker Spaniel of Georgia Rescue group. Instead of going down I-75 and cutting across on Hwy 20 we went the “old” way on Hwy 140.

This is kind a trip down memory lane for us, as we used to come this way quite often between 1970 and 1974 when we lived in Athens. We didn’t really care for the ride on the Interstate back then so we sought out several more “scenic” routes to travel from Athens back “home” to Trion. This drive takes you through Waleska, Georgia where beautiful little Reinhardt College is located. What a pristine and pretty little campus, plunked down right in the center of rural outback Georgia. Even now, Waleska is much as it was back in the 70’s. Can’t say the same for Canton though.

At one time, the entire ride from Athens to Trion or back using these old “back road” routes was pretty much like an extended ride in the county. Canton use to be a tiny little mill town like Trion, before Atlanta crept up on it from the South like a tortoise who comes on slowly but surely and in the end wins the race. Canton is much more like a bedroom community for Atlanta now, with even the old Canton Cotton mill building turned into apartments. Wow….things really have changed.

We used to sometimes come this way in the evenings after work when we were coming home. It was beautiful back then….so starkly dark you could spot “shooting stars” from inside the car at night. The roads are mountainous and curvy and I always was careful and took my time, even as a “young an’” back then. One night as we were going up the first big hill outside of Canton a little red sports car came flying around us on a double yellow line. “Dang,” I said “If that guy don’t know these roads he’s liable to get killed” Prophetic…and quickly so.

As we drove on, just another couple of miles we saw a huge flash of light up ahead lighting up the night sky. “What the hell…” I muttered. As we rounded a steep curb we saw the reason. The little red sports car hadn’t mad the curb and had overturned and slammed into the harsh mountain rocks sticking out from the curb. The car was fully in flames…so hot that we could barely stand the heat even from the other side of the road. We could see the guy in the upside down car, immobile and burned in the driver’s seat. “Oh my God” my wife said.

It was a lonely and desolate Friday night and there was not much traffic on highway 140 back then. No other cars passing to flag down. No cell phones back then. I didn’t have anything resembling a fire extinguisher…and even if I had I could never have gotten close. We decided to go as quickly as possible to the next house, which was a new trailer on the right hand side of the road about a mile away. We frantically knocked and told them what had happened and they called the sheriff’s department. We decided not to stay. It wasn’t that we didn’t care, but there was nothing that we could have done. We didn’t know the driver, we were not actual witnesses of the accident, and we did not want to go back to that horrific scene. My wife especially, did not. I gave the people at the trailer my name and my folk’s phone number and told them to tell the police if they needed us to call. They never did. I’m guessing my explanation to the owner of the trailer was sufficient to what they found.

We went back that exact same route today, and relived that day. We talked about it again, and how so much time had passed, yet that memory was fresh. The same trailer was still there…had been built onto several times over the years and looks well lived in, now 40 years later. Forty years. Yet I still have that image in my head of that man or boy’s body in that burning car. I can still feel the heat at that curve and feel a little uneasy looking at the rocks there, which bore the blackened marks of fire for many years. My wife remembers jumping up in the bed at my folk’s house several times that night when the gas heater would light up.

I’ve never witnessed that happening again during my entire driving career from that day til now, and I hope I never will. Somebody’s son died that night. Maybe somebody’s brother. I believe it was a young man, so he could have been a student or someone just starting out in a working career in life. Wasted, because he had a red sport’s car that he couldn’t control going around a curve. I never tried to find out who it was. I didn’t want to know. I still don’t. I feel some sense of guilt because of what I said as the driver passed us going up the hill…..

Playing in the River

As the sun goes down tonight and they are predicting snow, I can’t help but think how beautiful the morning was on this day. It was coolish…around 30 degrees, but that’s nothing to a guy who braves 25 degrees or lower to prowl flea markets hunting for junk. So I walked and had a go at some photos of familiar things. I know all of you my Facebook friends have seen these views many times, but for every day that passes there is a subtle difference. There is a tiny erosion of time in both me and the scenery. I feel different. I feel much differently about things than I did as a young boy. Things just don’t appear as bright and new as they did then.

I played and fished around this river all of my childhood. I put a hole in my shinbone on one of the limestone rocks in the river on the day Kennedy was shot, and happened to be home on that day to hear Walter Cronkite announce his death. I was trying to jump from one rock to another and didn’t quite make it with my left leg, and jammed it into one of the sharp limestone “knobs” on the rock.

It had been our lunchtime at school, I think about 11:15 a.m.,when I did it and Mr. Couey, one of my teachers had sent me home for medical attention. My Aunt Shelia Stuart was visiting us that week and I remember she and my Mom gasping at the news when it came on T.V. a little after 12:30 on that Friday afternoon. I don’t know whether my Aunt remembers it or not, but I do. So, I got this dime sized scar in my shin that I call my “Kennedy” scar.

It’s surprising that so much has changed in the years since then. I do however, look with a surprising amount of respect at that damn rock every time I go over the bridge which leads to the mill. I was allowed a glimpse of history and a long term memory because of it.