And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
You can't scare me. I'm eighty-six years old, wore out, can't sleep at night, can't stay awake in the daytime, can't taste my food, can't hear the music, teeth gone, money gone, wife gone, whatta ya gonna do to me to make things worse?
Approaches plagiarism, you say? Maybe. It is cobbled together from some lines I heard in an old Western movie from half-century ago and a verse in 2 Samuel 19:35, adding a sprinkling of my own experiences.
Solomon said, "There is no new thing under the sun." And Willa Cather wrote, “There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.”
Twelve years ago today on a rainy night in the middle of Missouri I made my first blog post. Here it is in its entirety.
"Traveling Life's Road
Today my sweetheart
went for a ride in a long blue Cadillac
rode past farm fields, silver-lined clouds
with sunbeams streaming down
I rode behind her and I drove home
did not return with me, the ground received
But God received
--September 28, 2020
Cañon City, Colorado, summer 1940 my father in the process of building a church building is sitting on the ground, hammer in hand, a bent nail in the other hand held against a flat stone. Dad is straightening used nails. There is a small pile of nails next to him. He places the straightened nails in a near-gallon lard bucket as he works.
Coming up Seventh Street we see an elderly gentleman, arrayed in full three-piece dress suit, starched collar, cravat, walking briskly to the north. This is "Busy" Jones. Mr. Jones acquired the appellation because he is busy. He is milking virtually every cash cow in the community and though he has amassed a fortune the size of which the town busy-bodies speculate about and wish they knew. Jones lives with his spouse in a nice but modest abode a few blocks north of the church site. Jones walks to and from his office daily.
"Good day, Preacher," greets the old man
"Nice day, Mr. Jones," replies Father. Dad drops a nail into the can, picks another from the pile and places it on the stone. As he pecks at the crookedy nail with his hammer, Mr. Jones reaches into his pocket. He pulls out a dime, drops it onto the mass of bent nails lying on the ground.
"Here, Preacher," he said, "go buy yourself some nails!" He turns and heads on toward his domicile.
I have speculated about this event over the years and have wondered if perhaps the old tight-wad acted that evening to buy himself a piece of heaven, for he was 74 years old at the time, or if he was just having a piece of fun with a "religious crank."
It was nearly a lifetime later that I grew curious enough about Jones to use the interwebby thingy to see what I could learn about him. His name, which I had never known, was Lewis Jones. He was born in 1866 and lived ninety years on this orb. He built Cañon's theatre, The Skyline, in 1917 but sold it a few years later as he had many other fish to fry. RIP, Busy.
The old apple man never asked, and we never told him.