It has been raining all day and the temperature is 65 degrees.
My kind of weather!
I have always enjoyed rain and cool weather and clouds…and night.
I think my affinity for night comes from working for nearly 20 years on either the second or third shift.
We night shift workers understand each other…we have a common bond. When our families and friends and everyone else are arising to begin their day…we are ending ours.
My mother-in-law, many years ago, often telephoned, early in the morning, and when I answered, groggily, she would exclaim, ‘Jay…you are not still in bed…are you?’
When I responded, as politely as an exhausted shift worker can say, that yes I had been in bed for 90 minutes…she would remark that she guessed I did work at night.
When I worked third shift, which is 11pm – 7am, we ate our lunch at 3 am. When you are eating your lunch at 3 am…the world is, somewhat, different for you.
I enjoyed monster movies, when I was a lad, and I still do.
My cousin, Billy, was a monster movie aficionado, and he had a grand collection of, expensive, masks that fit completely over your head…and they had an authentic look.
One time we made a, short, 8mm movie where I portrayed the monster. If memory serves me correctly, I wore the mask of the Creature from the Black Lagoon. I also wore the Creature’s claws over my hands and I walked, slowly, toward the camera…gesturing in fish-man fashion.
I had some models of Frankenstein and Dracula and the wolf man that I had glued together, much like a model car kit, and then painstakingly, hand, painted, and they were lost in the fifty five gallon barrel that my parents used for burning the household trash…as we lived in the country.
I had a wonderful comic book collection. When I accompanied my mom to the grocery store, The Food Center or Big Johns, I would purchase one, 12 cent, comic book per week. As the years went by…I had an impressive collection.
I moved away from home the morning after I graduated from High School…I was 17 years old. A few months later I told my mother that I wanted to retrieve my comic books, as they might be worth some money some day. She laughed, heartily, and remarked that she believed that she had burned them in the trash barrel…since it did not appear that I wanted them any longer.
I think about the comic book collection that got away…from time to time.
My mom was a wonderful woman…but when she asked you if you wanted what you had left behind…she meant what she said.
I also had a record collection from my time of belonging to the Columbia Record Club and purchasing one vinyl LP per month. I had quite an assortment of records and listened to them often.
Several years later, mom asked me if I was ever going to take my record collection…and I commented that since CD’s were becoming so popular I doubted if any company would be making record players…much longer.
There is a saying, ‘everything old is new again.’
My aunt, Vema, had a reel to reel tape recorder and at each family gathering…she would make tapes of all present. She loved to recount to me that when she asked me what I wanted for Christmas, on tape, that I, firmly, announced that I did not want a ‘short’…which is how I pronounced shirt.
Years later, I obtained a reel to reel tape recorder and enjoyed it for hours on end. To this day I do not think that there is a better tape recorder than the reel to reel.
The DuQuoin State Fair begins tonight. As I was growing up in Eldorado, Illinois…this was the event of the summer.
Each year we drove, the fifty miles from Eldorado to DuQuoin to enjoy a evening of State Fair bliss!
I saw a headless man…one year.
Another year, at the fair, I witnessed a woman turn into a gorilla!
And, even more mystifying was the snappy music and ladies in their bathing suits and the invitation to come inside…if you wanted to see more.
I never got to go inside?
The Hambeltonian Harness Race was held at the State Fair…for several years. I am told that the Hambeltonian is the most renown harness race in the country.
Bob Hope performed at the fair on several occassions as well as Red Skelton.
In recent years we have had the pleasure of seeing both the late, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson perform.
The Fair sells Malone’s Taffy…and it is to die for!
Rainy days…are peaceful days…days of renewal and refreshment and regeneration for the coming challenges of life.
And, they are also good days….for fuzzy memories.