Saturday, November 22, 2014

51 years ago today......

I was in the 4th grade, and on the playground behind Hilton Elementary

School in Newport News, Virginia. We were learning how to play a game

called "Steal The Bacon".

I remember there was a guy on a ladder painting the backboard of the

basketball goal.

Someone came out and told us that President Kennedy had been shot.

Everything after that is a blur.

My Dad kept all the newspapers. I now have them.

I have been to Dealy Plaza in Dallas. I have been on the infamous

"Grassy Knoll". I have looked from the window that was allegedly

Lee Harvey Oswald's perch inside the Texas School Book Depository.

It is a most surreal place.

The debate between "lone gunman" and "conspiracy" will continue

forever, I suppose.

51 years ago today.

I remember.

Do you?

Friday, November 21, 2014

I can hear memories....

I read something somewhere that our sense of smell

is our most memory inducing sense.  I can see/smell how they came

to that conclusion as anytime I'm in a high school gym I am transported

back to eighth grade and Coach Byrd's class, and trying to figure out how

to properly wear an athletic supporter. Good times.

For me I think it is sound, specifically music.

Last evening I sat in my chair, clicking away on my Mac.

Somehow I wound up on YouTube.  It's never a short visit.

One link suggested another, and I rolled through songs from my


A Beatles song reminded me of the playground behind my elementary

school, and how the boys would split up in groups of four and pretend

to be the Mop Tops. The girls would chase whoever had dibs on being

Paul or John.  Somehow I was always Ringo.  I was OK with that because

I was most concerned about cooties.

A Chad and Jeremy song reminded me of seeing them on an episode

of the "Dick Van Dyke Show".

A Doobie Brothers song and I was back in Roanoke, Virginia.

Dan Fogelberg and I was on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The old stuff is still fun to listen to, and your subconscious remembers

all the lyrics. (Or at least what you think were the lyrics...)

But... the music takes you somewhere.

And a lot of times, those places are not physical.

They are emotions and feelings.

Joyous. Silly.

Love. Heartbreak.

Carefree. Bulletproof.

Time travel.

Thanks YouTube.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

There's something cleansing about dirt....

I love where we live.  A little town outside of Raleigh.

Electricity and runnin' water.  Cable TV and an ice maker.

Our home sits on about an acre.  Close enough to neighbors

to yell for help and be heard, but not close enough to raise

a window, whisper a request to borrow a cup of sugar, and have

a neighbor hand it to you from their driveway.

(Do neighbors even borrow sugar anymore?)

At the end of our street there's a big field.  This past summer

it was full of tobacco.  Now it's all plowed and getting ready

for whatever's next.

I walked up there today. The sun was starting to get lower in

the West, casting shadows in the furrows.

That was some beautiful dirt.

Memories of diggin' in it as a kid flashed in my mind.

Looking for worms, or fashioning foxholes for my toy soldiers.

Throwing dirt clods.  Making mud pies.

Gettin' a little dirty helps us come clean....