So I was in Eldorado again today and thought this was becoming a habit. Well you see I had been tasked with retrieving Take-Out for MJ and me at 2:30 P:M: and Giant City Woods is in a completely different direction than Marion…where the Cracker Barrel is located. So it was Eldorado first and then back through Marion for the fried chicken. Good fried chicken by the way. Marion has a Federal Prison and when it was first built I was told that it replaced Alcatraz. But that is another story. I noticed today on my halting walk…as a bad leg impeded my success somewhat…that my photographic paths are becoming familiar. MJ asked me if my leg hurt and I replied no it had just been naughty.
I drove by Washington School which was Washington Junior High School when I attended and it had a wonderful little market just across from it. Mr. Seagraves was the principal of Washington Junior High and he reminded me of a Mafia figure. He dressed in a three-piece suit every day and had a handsome head of salt and pepper hair which he wore slick backed…probably with Vitalis. He told me in a mid-year conference that he had with the eighth graders that I should work on improving my math grades. I then asked if they would impede me from graduating he smiled and said just keep working. Shortly before Commencement Mr. Seagraves met with the class and told us to examine our diploma envelopes when we got home to ensure that there was a diploma in them and not a note that said we would be repeating the Eighth Grade in the fall. I was pleased to see that there was a diploma in my envelope.
I received a stereo record player for my graduation gift and joined the Columbia Record Club where I purchased a Long Playing Vinyl Record a month. I gathered quite an assortment of good listening but lost them in the fire…of Mom’s Burn Barrel…when I moved. Since then I have worked to achieve as good as and in some ways a better Vinyl Collection as I had 50 years ago.
I drove down the Raleigh Road that goes through Raleigh. It has 1.8 square miles of land area. The population is around 300 people. It is a village. I lived in the Village of Elkville for 26 years. The villages are nice…very calm and centered. They are ideal for reflection and thinking and friends and napping. There was the most wonderful Ghost House on Raleigh Road between Raleigh and Eldorado. I did not see it today and believe that it has been torn down. At Christmas, the owners put one candle in each of the many multi-floored huge windows of the Victorian manner. Yes, I did say Christmas but it always engendered in me the thought of Halloween.
Eldorado had a sense of community. There were several family-owned restaurants and businesses. Both the Orpheum Theatre and the Starlite Drive-In were bustling. A town full of churches of which several remain today. They have a wonderful Museum that is dedicated to keeping the memory of this proud town alive in the hearts of those who love her. I remember the peaceful and easy feelings on the Saturdays that MJ and Aaron and Jonathon and I would visit Grandma Neva J and Grandpa Earl. Stress melted away and thoughts of work and all of the demands thereof seemed to evaporate. In their place were thoughts of Mimos Pizza and Franzia Boxed Wine…