Neverending Firecrackers

The heat factor is 98 degrees at 9:15 A:M: on the Writing Porch. Indeed it is July the 5th! Life is good in our little corner of the world. I do not say that haughtily or with the expectation that it will always remain so….as life changes on a dime. In fact, the only thing that is certain about life…is change. The firecrackers and other sundry fireworks have been booming and crackling for several nights and early mornings. I am speaking of two and three o’clock in the morning. More than once they sounded with such a timpani that I thought they must be being set off in my front yard. Being an old retired guy with a little dog that is not afraid of the loud bursts I smiled and thought…people enjoying their independence on Independence Day and the surrounding days. Other neighbors that have to work in the morning or attend University…probably had different ideas.

How could we be half through 2022? It reminds me of watching Aaron and Jonathon grow up… every time that I looked at them…they looked different and older. It was like capturing sunlight in a bottle…impossible to do. So it is with our Journey…it is like the old Kalidscopes of my youth. Each time that you look into it the multi-colors are changing.

‘We have well less than two months of Summer Vacation left,’ said Billy B. with a frown. ‘It seems that it just started…and now it is nearly over,’ sighed Chet.’ ‘Mom says that we go back to school during the third week of August,’ Jane noted. ‘It is high time for an Eldorado Adventure,’ exclaimed Daryl! ‘What exactly do you have in mind,’ asked Chet? ‘How about a trip to the Channel 3 Television Station at Harrisburg,’ Darryl suggested. ‘Could we be in the audience when the Cactus Pete Show is being televised,’ Jane asked? ‘That is exactly what I had in mind,’ Darryl replied.

Clutch Cargo was being broadcast when our intrepid adventurers arrived. ‘I wonder if Clutch is in the building,’ Billy B. asked? ‘Clutch is a cartoon,’ Chet answered. ‘I heard that he was a real actor that was dressed up to look like a cartoon,’ Jane said with some authoritative knowledge. ‘Look over there…Clutch Cargos’ name is on the door of a dressing room, Darryl said. ‘See…I told you guys…Clutch is real as is his little pal Paddle Foot, Jane laughed with glee. Chet slowly opened the door with Clutch Cargo inscribed on its’ face. As they all slowly walked into the tiny room…it suddenly expanded into an airfield with a Propeller Plane and a voice rang out…’ Come on Adventurers…daylight is wasting…get in.’ ‘Clutch…you are real…I told them that you were real…where is Paddle Foot,’ Jane asked? ‘Come on Paddle Foot…come on Boy,’ called Clutch through his immovable angular jaw and lips that moved little. ‘Woof…Woof…’ Paddle Foot barked with canine glee. ‘Where are we going…Clutch,’ asked Chet? ‘We are flying to Appalachia to take a July 5th Picnic and some firecrackers to some children who have never had a fun 4th of July…and who are hungry,’ Clutch answered.

Cades Cove was in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and just outside Gatlinburg. When Clutch found a field to land his plane on…the families who lived in the Cove came running up to greet them. They took the picnic food and drink to the Methodist Church and enjoyed a July 5th Feast…then the firecrackers…which the Smoky Mountian Kids had not seen. The pops and cracks and wonderful sparkling light brought a certain lightheartedness to all involved. ‘I have some little carvings for each of you,’ said Carl. ‘Have you ever heard of whittling,’ Carl asked? ‘What is whittling,’ Billy B.asked? Well…we take our Case Knifes that Daddy bought us for Christmas and we get some pine wood and carve out different items from the soft wood,’ Carl answered. ‘Mine is of the Methodist Church, said Jane. ‘I have one of the Old Barn that is in the distance, Billy B. said with joy. Darryl could not help but notice that the Smoky Mountian Kids…were barefoot. He then set about getting all of their shoe sizes and telephoned his dad, The Wiz, and his dad said to tell the kids that he was Air Mailing a pair of shoes for each of them and that they should arrive tomorrow. When the Smoky Mountian Kids heard the good news of the New Shoes…they asked if Clutch and Billy B. and Jane and Darryl…and even Paddle Foot had ever tried White Lightning? ‘Daddy has a Still in the woods…he said for me to take you there and for you to help yourself to the best White Lightning in the Smoky Mountains,’ announced Carl.

As Chet passed the side mirror on the plane he noticed that his face was a cartoon character…

‘White Lightning will make you see double and feel single,’ laughed Clutch Cargo through his barely opened mouth. ‘That does not compute…that does not compute,’ Chet proclaimed in his revelry of imitating the Lost In Space Robot…while under the happy influence of White Lightning! ‘I would like to stay in Cades Cove…forever,’ Jane said as she fell asleep. ‘Wooo…Wooo,’ Paddle Foot moaned as he rolled over. ‘Paddle Foot…you have had a bit too much of the WL.’ Clutch laughed. ‘Time to load up and go home,’ Clutch said. As they disembarked from the Propeller Plane they noticed Clutch and Paddle Foot were nowhere to be seen. Upon entering Channel 3 Chet bumped into a man who looked like Clutch in the hall. He was not a cartoon character…and he winked at Chet as he passed him…with a closed mouth… slight smile…

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