I must confess that I am a bit addicted to taking photos. Durig 2022 I have branched out to take pictures of my home for most of my life…Litte Egypt…or better known as Southern Illinois. I traveled to Johnston City today and had a thoroughly enjoyable experience. First I stopped at Stuckey’s…and I did not realize there were any Stuckeys left in the United States. Stuckey’s had the old toys, dolls, and walking sticks of my youth…and I was hooked.
So…among the Stukey’s Vintage Toys…was Teddy…a Vintage Doll. I thought he looked like several people that I know…and I assumed that MJ would be bowled over by his unique countenance…as I was… Thus…it was on to my photographer duties. I had no more than begun my work when I see a dignified-looking gentleman…who looked like my friend of over 40 years…Gary McArthy…and it was him! He has a bit of the Dorian Gray in him…he keeps his youthful appearance…and I keep getting older. Seeing Gary made my day! I was struck by how vibrant Johnston City still was. I drove through it every night in 1976 when I was working for a cleaning service and on my way to Ziegler Coal Company’s Offices. Once a Johnston City Police Officer stopped me…I was glad that he did as I thought that I was laying shingles on our little church in Elkville…but I was driving through Johnston City…I was falling asleep at the wheel. When he asked me if I had been drinking…I replied that I was a teetotaler…but that I was very tired as I worked 16 hours per day. He advised me to open all of the 1963 Ford Fairlane windows and get done with work as quick as I could and then to go home and sleep. I thanked him and assured him that I would do so.
My last contact with Johnston City…was generations ago. I was 17 or 18 and I desperately wanted to succeed at my job. I gave it all that I had and more than I had. My buddy Steve and I were partners in crime. Neither of us had a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of..but we had a heart…and often the heart is enough. A young man with a dapper hat called out to me and said ‘Hello There,’ and it brightened my day. He said, ‘I like your hat.’ I replied that I liked his as well and that, ‘One hat wearer…knows another!’
We were in St. Louis, Missouri yesterday and we visited the Art Museum for a short while.