May The 4th Be With You

This is a big day for Star Wars Fans. When Aaron and Jonathon were children Star Wars began. I have seen every Star Wars with them. I enjoyed them all…but not as much as they did. I have always been a big fan of Harrison Ford and Chewbacca. Aaron and Jonathon had a collection of Star Wars Action Figures and I have even developed a small collection from Electric Larry’s…many years later. At the time Star Wars debut was transpiring I did not fathom what a worldwide effect that it would have. I understood a bit better when President Reagan named his missile defense Star Wars. The 1980s was a grand decade. It seemed that there were no limits to what we could accomplish. I vividly recall walking through the Walmart in Harrisburg, Illinois, and seeing Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom playing on their many television that was on. Grandpa Earl purchased a pocket watch for me and for Aaron and Jonathon at Walmart. Grandpa Earl loved Walmart. We had partaken of our regular Saturday night dinner at Ponderosa in Harrisburg and were feeling well-satisfied and ready for adventure. On one occasion we were at Walmart and Aaron who could not say many words at such a young age told his Grandpa Earl, ‘ Ball…Ball,’ as he gazed up at a regulation-size basketball. Aaron came home with the basketball.

Energy and hubris and unrealized potential consumed me in the 80s. I was married to the girl of my dreams and had two perfect sons. We often visited Earl and Neva J. on Saturdays and enjoyed boxed Franzia Wine and the National Enquirer and dinner at Ponderosa with Walmart to follow. I could not imagine life being more full or complete. If it was not dinner at Ponderosa and before that Bonanza…it was dinner at Dad’s Diner or Mimos Pizza. I pondered as to succeeding as a Building Custodian at Building Services at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale. Building Custodian was the title of the Crew Supervisor in the department. I wondered if I would ever become a Foreman who supervised several Building Custodians. I was well under 30 years old and yet felt that I had been passed by for promotional opportunities.

We listened to a Prarie Home Companion with Garrison Keilor on the radio of the little Red Tempo car as we drove back to Elkville from Eldorado. Jonathon said that he did not understand why I enjoyed listening to Garrison as he found his voice somewhat depressing. Later Jonathon and I saw Garrison live at Shryock Auditorium @ SIUC…twice.

One Saturday night we were driving home from our weekly visit to Eldorado when MJ cried out, ‘Dear…Dear…Dear,’ to which I responded, ‘What…What…What,’ and then I learned she was referring to another Deer.

Eldorado was fun and simple and grounding in a sense of place and mission. Life is not the major events…it is a mixture of the minor happenings that years later are seared in your memory…and you realize the impression that they made on you.

3 responses

  1. Very nice photos! Thank’s for share.

    1. Thank you, my friend.

      1. You are welcome, my friend.

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