MJ and I were watching the PBS Series, Frankie Drake, and Frankie made a profound statement to Agatha Christie. She said how she loved Agatha’s books and how the murder case that they were both working on could never be as exciting as Ms. Christies stories. Agatha answered that was why she was a writer. There is a bit of truth to the Fictional Female Sleuth Franke Drake’s observation. I think that I have always seen life through the eyes of a writer. Today I traveled to Eldorado for at least the 20th time and I think it may be more like 25 over the past year. Each time that I am there I see the Eldorado of my childhood. I am no longer 65…but rather 5 to 15. When I look at the Orpheum Theatre I see the Marquee lit with the advertisement of the movie Frankenstein or Dracula or the Creature From the Black Lagoon. I see kids and kids at heart walking into the Movie Emporium with smiles on their faces and their eyes wide with wonder.

I see Uncle Bill at the top of the Old City Hall Steps smoking his ever-present cigarette. I see Aunt Guelda knocking on the door of the little red house that we rented from her on West Street. She had Sprite for our stomachs and some chicken soup as Neva J. and I were down with the Tomaine Poisoning that we swore we contracted from some bad fish from Shawnetown. Shawnetown was a booming place in Little Egypt at one time. ‘At the time of Illinois statehood (1818), Shaneetown and Kaskaskia, then the State Capital, were considered to be the two most important settlements in the state.’ Encyclopedia Britannica. By the 1960s it was known for its bars and its fresh catfish and its historic Bank.

Eldorado seemed big to me. We had a carnival every year…that Grandmas’s church referred to as a ‘Carn-Evil’ and one year I bashed my head on the Scrambler. The blood flowed…it often does from a head wound. Neva J.s’ friend Smoky who drove a cab for a living…drove us to the hospital. The Carnivale owner was so afraid of a lawsuit that he presented me with a humongous bear from the shooting gallery. It was the largest that they had…I felt vindicated.

Jim P. was forcibly removed from the Orpheum on Friday night. He had been drinking and was loud and ready to fight someone. He created quite an entertainment for the intermission of the regular movie. Later I became acquainted with his mom and sister and dad as we attended the same church. He was nicer in church.

Contentment is exciting. Following the beat of your own drummer and listening to your own muse is invigorating! As someone told me not long ago that I seemed to truly do my own thing…what a compliment!

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