Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cool Sunday In May

Downton Abbey has been one of MJ and my favorite dramas of the past several years. This morning we saw the latest Downton Abbey movie and thought it was outstanding. It is quite a change for me to only attend the Theatre a few times per year…when I once was in the audience two or three times per week. Our Pandemic changed so many things which have been altered by this life-taking and life-altering event. May is getting away from us and soon 2022 will be half over. As the motto of the old Soap Opera, The Days Of Our Lives, reminds us, ‘Like sands through the Hourglass…so are the days of our lives.’

Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

Billy B. knew that his childhood was passing quickly. He and Chet were members of the 6th grade…which is Junior High School…at Washington School in Eldorado. Billy B. had talked Neva J. into purchasing for him a used Tenor Saxophone and he had enrolled in Band with Mr. Prince. Billy’s Tenor Saxophon Idol was Boots Randolph. Boots was famous for his song…Yakety Sax. Many years later Billy B. saw Boots perform at the Executive Inn in Paducah, Kentucky. Billy B. was underwhelmed. Mr. Prince told Billy B. that he played the Scales better than anyone that he had ever heard. Billy B. played the Scales…a lot… Chet and Jane and Daryl were excited about the upcoming trip to New Harmony, Indiana for the 6th Grade Class. New Harmony is a historic town in Indiana. Chet and Billy B. thought that this would be a golden opportunity to try out the new cameras that they got for Christmas. Billy B. had a Big Swinger Polaroid Camera. The Swinger…which was white…was more popular…but Billy B. never sought the most popular. The Big Swinger produced a photo in about 60 seconds from the time of punching the red plunger button on the side of the device. You could watch the photo come to life after you pulled off the top black paper from it once it exited from the camera. Once the photo seemed to be fully developed…there was a strong-smelling chemical that came with each pack of film that had an applicator that you spread the semi-high inducing chemical on the completed picture. Seeing the magical photo develop before your eyes and then taking a hit off of the Photo-Fixative…was a supreme pleasure. Billy B. and Chet thoroughly enjoyed snapping photos with their new Polaroids. Chet had the old-time regular Polaroid that had the camera lens folded out from the camera body. Jane commissioned the young photographers to come back with photos like no one had ever seen before. They accepted the challenge.

Daryl told Jane and Billy B.and Chet that New Harmony was inhabited by ghosts. ‘Ghost loves New Harmony…they are spirits from the Community that lived here and when they died…they did not choose to leave,’ Daryl said. New Harmony was the site of two Utopian Communities. The town was founded by the Harmonist Society in 1814. It was built by Pietists who were a religious group. George Rapp was the founder and the group was also known as Rappites.

Billy B. began to snap Big Swinger Polaroid Photos with his new Big Swinger. Chet followed Billy B.s’ lead and took several Polaroid Photos with his Polaroid Camera. There was the Roofless Church and the Eigner Cabin and the Potter Cabin and he and Jane and Chet and Daryl had a distinct impression that someone…unseen…was watching them.

Billy B. playing his tenor saxophone was one of the photos that emerged from the side of the Big Swinger…although the Tenor Saxophone was safely at Billy B.s’ home in Eldorado. Another Polaroid Photo was of Chet and his mom, Thelma, with sad looks on their faces. Chets’ dad died a few months after their New Harmony 6th Grade School Trip. There was a Polaroid Photo of a School Teacher with a white blouse and a long black dress and her hair fastened in a bun on her head…the only problem being that the image appears in a photo just of the School and the Teacher was not present

‘Part of New Harmony’s failings stemmed from three activities that Owens brought from Scotland to America. First, Owens actively attacked established religion, despite the United States Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. Second, Owens remained stubbornly attached to the principles of the rationalist Age of Enlightenment, which drove away many of the Jeffersonian farmers Owens tried to attract. Thirdly, Owens consistently appealed to the upper class for donations, but found that the strategy was not as effective as it had been in Europe.’

‘I like the photo of your playing your Tenor Sax,’ said Jane with a wide smile…

Storyman

Pouring…was the best word for Saturday. Billy B. was wearing his ‘Big Shirt’ that he purchased at J.C. Pennys…just before they closed for business. It was too large for him…but it was comfortable. The rain had a calming and soothing effect on Billy B. It seemed that several of the happy occasions of his life had been associated with rain. On many rainy Saturdays, Chet and Billy B. were ensconced in their plush Theatre Chairs at the Orpheum…watching Dracula and his escapades. Bella Lugosis’ Dracula was the gold standard…but the British actor, Christopher Lee, was no slouch. During the 60s’ there was at least a new movie per year of Dracula and another wonderful British actor, Peter Cushing, fighting off Evil with a Cross and some Garlic. Vampires do not like Garlic. This is how I am certain that I am not a Vampire…

‘We need to search for Vampires in Eldorado,’ whispered Chet. ‘I think that they live on the way to Raleigh…in the Haunted House that we pass on the way,’ Chet continued. ‘I have never known who lives there,’ replied Billy B. ‘A former Prince from Prussia…I heard from the Pool Hall Manager…Mr. Mugs, said,’ Chet. ‘I saw him at the Townhouse Cafe…drinking a Bloody Mary,’ Chet continued. ‘I think that we must go to the Haunted House…tonight…and see if we can determine if he is a Vampire…or just a Prussian Prince…who looks like a Vampire, Chet said with some excitement.

Jane joined Billy B. and Chet for the Sherlock Holmesian Hunt. No one had ever seen the PP accept at night or on a very cloudy and rainy afternoon. He drove a 1957 hardtop Chevy and kept it in the Haunted Houses’ garage. As far as they could tell…PP lived by himself. Chet knocked on the door…and a black cat ran in front of the threshold. The door slowly opened…but no one was there. As Billy B. and Chet and Janes’ eyes became accustomed to the dim light of the living room they could see what appeared to be gold-colored vinyl records on the walls behind the red sofa. On the opposite wall was a humongous stereo system and suddenly it began to play Chubby Checker singing his hit…The Twist…

‘Well…it looks like you have found me,’ said Chubby Checker. ‘I told my uncle Vlad that it would only be a matter of time before someone discovered that I was outside Eldorado…with him, said Chubby. ‘But why are you here,’ asked Jane? ‘I had to get away from Pennsylvania for a while…my fans would not allow me any rest, said Chubby. ‘Where did you live in Pennsylvania,’ Jane asked? ”King of Prussia, Pennsylvania,’ replied Chubby. At about the same time the basement door opened and out stepped…Uncle Vlad. ‘Who are our guests,’ Chubbys’ Uncle Vlad asked? ‘They are fans of the Twist…,’ answered Chubby. ‘Well…that is true…especially of my mom…Neva J….she Twists every day and every evening…when she has the chance,’ laughed Billy B. ‘Do you kids know…The Monster Mash,’ Uncle Vlad asked?

Billy B. and Chet and Jane liked Uncle Vlad and his nephew…Chubby…but it was a bit chilly sleeping in the basement of the Haunted House and only coming out at night…and either singing the Monster Mash…or ‘Twisting the night away…’

Terrarium

Jane was awakened by the Sun shining through her bedroom windows. It was unusually brilliant and peeked its rays through every crack and crevice surrounding her heavy drapes that were pulled tightly shut. In fact, the bedroom was similar to the blinding glare of the powerful movie light bulbs that Billy B. used when he was filming a Holiday Event. He used a light bar with six powerful light bulbs ablaze in order to facilitate the images on the 8-millimeter movie camera being bright enough to see clearly. When he was taking movies everyone had to squint into the camera lens and paint a humongous smile on their faces…while their eyeballs felt like they were going to burn out of their sockets. Jane stumbled to the bedroom door and fumbled for the handle and then…sweet relief…the sunlight became normal once again.

Mrs. M. told her third-grade class to be prepared for sudden solar outbursts throughout the day as the scientist had announced that the Sun was undergoing numerous Solar Flares and that the sudden onset of brilliant light was a bit blinding…until you became accustomed to it. Daryl said, ‘I had to milk. the cows on our farm this morning, before school, and that they would give no milk after the bright light.’ ‘I was waiting on the school bus…but it had to stop and wait for the light to subside…as Doc Irvin could not see the road,’ Chet noted. ‘Our dog, the Bruiser, cried and howled for an hour after the glaring light,’ Buddy whispered. ‘I saw a car wreck by the Ben Franklin Dime Store,’ Bill said.

‘Oh my God…there it is again, cried Mrs.M.! ”Everyone please walk single file out to the hall and drop to your knees and cover your heads as you rest them against the block walls of the hallway, Mrs. M. continued. ‘I fear that we are under Nuclear Attack from the Soviet Union, cried Mrs. M…

‘Billy B…are you still playing with your Dad’s light bar,’ asked Neva J? ‘Yes mom…I am shining it on the Terrarium and you would not believe how the little people scurry and run for cover,’ Billy B. laughingly responded. ‘Put the lid back on the Terrarium and unplug the light bar before your Dad gets home and discovers that you have been playing with it,’ Neva J. said.

‘Finally…we can stop squinting,’ said Jane. ‘Billy B…you seem to take some pleasure in shining the blinding movie lights in our eyes as you produce your 8-millimeter film,’ said Chet. ‘I wish that I did not have to use such bright lights for the 8-millimeter film…but without it, the images are so dark that it is difficult to distinguish what is on them, replied Billy B.

‘Chet and Jane and Buddy and Daryl and Billy B. were walking in Eldorado on Halloween night on the brick street that runs alongside the Methodist Church. It was so dark on this moonless night that you not only could not see any black cats…you could not see your hand in front of your face. Suddenly Jane heard a click and the whir of the 8-millimeter film…and then…light as bright as noontime…

‘Billy B…stop tormenting your friends…

Unexplained Flying Objects

‘The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain,’ said Neva J. as she walked through her and Billy B.s’ house on West Street in Eldorado. She was quoting the lyric from My Fair Lady and she always said ‘falls’ rather than ‘stay.’ Neva J. was a bit of a renaissance woman. It was the 4th of July morning and there were big plans for the holiday. She and Billy B. and Chet had traveled to Missouri to purchase some illegal firecrackers…illegal in Illinois that is. Billy B. was accustomed to the little black buttons…that when you lit them they expanded into a long and charred cylinder…called snakes. Chet was bringing sparklers, which were legal in Illinois, and Lanny W. and Dennis W. committed to bringing Cherry Bombs…which were illegal most everywhere.

The Starlight Drive-In always had a magnificent Fireworks Show…but Billy B. and Neva J. seldom attended due to their not wanting to drive in the relatively heavy traffic that parked alongside Route 45 as an overflow from the Drive-In Parking Lot. Grandma Askew and Aunt Guelda had a ‘birds-eye’ view of the Fireworks Show from their Front Porch on Richardson Street. The years that Billy B. and Neva J. and Chet had gone to Granma A.s were some of the most impressive light shows that they had seen on the nation’s birthday. Billy B. wanted especially this year to celebrate the 4th on West Street…ever since he had seen the lights in the northern sky around Christmas. Guelda had said, ‘Why those lights must have been the Christmas Star.’ ‘Yes…I thought of that possibility…but there were at least ten lights,’ answered Billy B. Chet had suggested that when the 4th came up…they would set off their fireworks in hopes of attracting the Aliens… Now Aliens was not something you spoke of in polite company..and at least not without a large smile on your face and a hearty laugh to indicate that you were ‘having a laugh’ as the British say… UFOs were relegated to the authors; Issac Asimov and Ray Bradbury…and other Science Fiction writers. Billy B. and Chet loved Science Fiction movies and had seen most of them at one time or another. They had watched the Mole People and It Came From Outerspace and This Island Earth. They had read the Martian Chronicles. The story of Barney and Betty Hill’s abduction by Aliens on September 19 and 20 in 1961…intrigued both the young space explorers.

Lost In Space was the Science Fiction show of choice for Chet and Billy B. Chet brought his Lost In Space Robot Costume to the 4th of July Event and wore it…although it was a little hot. The fireworks were spent and even some Roman Candles were fired off and the night sky was as bright as noontime…as far as Neva J. and Billy B. and Chet were concerned. Billy B. brought his binoculars and looked and peered and searched for the Unexplained Lights in the northern sky…but saw none. As he and Chet cleaned up the last of the explosive debris…when a small friendly voice said, ‘Don’t forget your binoculars…Billy B….you are going to need them in the future…’

The four-foot-tall man with the big head and spindly arms and who was distinct grey color…winked a massive black pupil eye at him…

Family

During my Campus walks, I have begun straying from the Beaten Path. It is a bit difficult to see wildlife if you are walking the paved path that everyone else walks. I have found the same to be true on the Path Of Lifes’ Journey. If I walk in the same steps as everyone else…I often see what they see. I tend to see things differently than some. I blame it on my artistic temperament. When everyone is walking in the same direction…I wonder what the catch is. Have you ever had a question for a member of a group…such as a church group…and their answer is almost like a tape recording of what the church leader would say? The same can be said for politics. Everyone is tutored in Poly Parrot Speech. There is little that I enjoy more than speaking to the real human in front of me…rather than their Artificial Intelligent Representative.

Family is what protects us and educates us and loves us unconditionally.

I saw a lonely woman today. She was sitting alone at an outside table at our local Sonic Restaurant. She looked sad and perhaps ill. She hung her head, at times below the table. Yet she was charging what appeared to be an iPhone and was carrying a nice backpack and a camera case. Her clothes were clean and she had a large Sonic Soda on the table beside her. I almost never indulge in the culinary delights of Sonic…but today and today only… they had Corn Dogs for 50 cents apiece. She checked her phone charge every few minutes and appeared to be waiting on a call…

We members of the largest family on Earth…the Human Family…are sad and lonely and looking for answers that we have not been able to find on the Prescribed Path to Nirvana. We are hopeless…and we are looking for hope. We are searching for loved ones…but we are afraid to reach out. Often we see the world through the prism of what it has done or has not done for us. A photographer would tell us that we may need to change the filter on our human camera…to see the brilliant hues and colors and richness of our surroundings.

‘Always Be Humble And Kind’

Humility captivates me. When I witness it…I am stopped in my journey and pause to consider where I am going…and where I have been. The most influential people in my life have been humble and kind. Those who are humble shine as a brilliant diamond in our world of; ‘Me First’ and ‘The poor can get theirs just like I got mine.’

Billy B. and Chet were looking forward to the 4th Of July Picnic at Mahoney Park. Jane and Daryl were coming and Daryls’ dad, The Wiz, would be there. Neva J. was making her favorite Christmas Coffee Cake…as the theme of the Picnic was Christmas In July. The Wiz was the 6th-grade teacher and he and Daryl had come to Eldorado from Bath, England. In Bath, The Wiz had taught Medevil History and he was called The Wiz due to his penchant for wearing all black clothing and a pointy hat with stars sewn on it. He loved to perform magic acts and planned to do so at the Christmas In July Picnic at Mahoney Park. When The Wiz was at the Party…there was no telling what would happen.

Tommy L. was a bit disabled and did not have many friends. As the Christmas In July Picnic was being planned…his name did not come up…either to bring something or even be invited. Chet said that Tommy L. must come and that he not only was going to invite him but that he would sit with him at a picnic table and stay with him throughout the event. Jane said, ‘Chet…you are a special person…and I will join you and Tommy L. for the day.’ Chet blushed and was embarrassed by Janes’ compliment and he said, ‘Tommy L. is a cool kid and I want him for my friend.’ Billy B. was listening to Jane and Chet as they spoke and he was impressed with each of their humble natures. Billy B. thought to himself that neither of them wanted recognition for their actions…they just were being kind and loving to Tommy L.

Christmas In July…was in full swing. The Wiz had planned his Magic Act with a Christmas Story message and he was excited to begin. As more of the people at the Picnic saw Tommy L. and the manner that Jane and Chet and Billy B. treated him with honor and respect and had him sit with them at the head table that was directly in front of the Magic Show Stage…they began to come up and greet Tommy L. and tell him how happy that they were that he was there. Tommy L. had a humongous smile on his face. He was talking and laughing and even arose to illustrate his Tap Dancing skills. Tommy L. was the life of the party!

Up came; Buddy and Tommy C. and Jim and Debbie to join Tommy L. in the Tap Dancing extravaganza. The Wiz watched as a tear rolled down his cheek. When it was time for the Magic Show The Wiz stepped up onto the stage. He looked out at the extremely happy picnickers. ‘Tommy L…come forward and speak to us about Tap Dancing…’ Tommy L walked onto the stage and began to tell how he came from a Tap Dancing family and that his grandparents had been in Vaudeville and his mom taught tap dancing in New York City before they moved to Eldorado. Tommy L. told stories about meeting George Burns and Bob Hope and Fred Astair. Ginger Rogers was his pen pal.

Tommy L. sat down to a thunderous standing ovation and his promise to begin teaching Tap Dancing at Hillcrest School on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

”The lesson of Christmas In July has been expertly taught by each of you and most especially by…Tommy L…” said The Wiz…

‘It Aint Necessarily So’

Our Tuesday is a bit cooler with the promise of rain in the forecast. I was thinking that we all have some of God in us…in that we each attempt to fashion organizations that we are a part of and people that are close to us…in our image and after our likeness. I just left Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale…or the University that Delyte Morris built. Almost every success for the past over 70 years has his fingerprint on it. President Morris envisioned a University without prejudice and bias and with an international outreach…and he brought all of those wonderful elements to pass. Dr. Morris saw a world-class university that never forgot where it came from and thus had its’ primary mission to the people of impoverished Southern Illinois.

Eldorado, my hometown, Duquoin, and most of the little Southern Illinois Towns and Villages were founded with purpose and vision by a handful of people. While those Visions flourished…the town prospered…when they were forgotten…the forgotten towns languished. The Bible tells us that, ‘Where there is no vision…the people perish.’

Churches are governed by members of our human family. But…then again…our Bible was written by the same. In George and Ira Gerwishins’ popular song from their Opera, Porgy, and Bess that is sung by the character, ‘Sportin’ Life, he sings, ‘It ain’t necessarily so, The things that you’re liable to read in the Bible, It ain’t necessarily so.’ The media spends an inordinate amount of time covering either the far right of politics or the far left and basically ignores the preponderance of people that are neither..but rather in the middle. Many of us have thought deeply regarding the very divisive subjects of the day and our opinions can not be expressed in a soundbite. Nor are our opinions hanging off of the edge of political/religious thought. If we are not careful we can be guilty of fashioning our churches in our own image…and forgetting the many who are not like us and who can not find a home in our narrow faith and worldview.

‘We see through a glass darkly,’ Paul told us. We search for God and his will for our lives and our churches and our world. Often we see the shadows…while the image stands in dim light…

The Mystery Of Life

Billy B. was excited about his and Chets’ upcoming trip to the DuQuoin State Fair. Each Labor Day they rode with Neva J. to DuQuoin to attend the last day of the Fair. The Fair was the capstone of the Summer’s Events…and it was anticipated for some months. Living in Eldorado…the State Fair was a big deal. They were accustomed to Carnivals both in Harrisburg and Eldorado…but the DuQuoin Fair had a mystery all of its own. Billy B. had ridden the Scrambler at the Eldorado Carnival and had hit his mouth on the metal side of the cart when it turned violently and Neval J. lost hold of him. The owner of the attraction had run over to see how Billy B. was and brought a massive Teddy Bear for him as a gift. Neva J. tore the owner a new A-Hole and assured. him that he would be sued if there was any damage to Billy B.s’ mouth or teeth.

Chet announced…when he and Neva J. and Billy B. arrived at the Fair… that he was seeking the mystery of life and that he was sure that he would discover the ‘Mystery’ somewhere in the many dark and inviting corners of the Fairgrounds. Chet had seen the movie NightMare Alley with the actor, Tyrone Power, and he had been intrigued with searching out what the DuQuoin Fair had to offer him in his quest for knowledge. So…Neva J. and Chet and Billy B. made their way to the tent that had a Carnival Barker in front of it who was announcing, ‘Enter here…all those who are seeking answers to the mysteries of life!’ Inside the tent was a gentleman dressed in a top hat and tails. He had on white gloves and carried a walking stick with a pearl handle. He wore a handlebar mustache that had been carefully waxed. Chet looked around to see that the tent was full of people…perhaps 100 or more… The well-dressed and serious man began to speak. ‘Take warning all of you who have entered here…this is neither a game nor a sideshow farce.’ ‘This tent is erected over a geological certainty…while being a terrifying mystery,’ the Top Hat man said. ‘You are sitting directly over a Black Hole…that can take you forward or backward through time,’ he whispered. ‘If you are afraid…please leave now…if you have a heart or nervous condition…leave now.’ ‘There is a caveat to this Mystery of Life…you will not be able to pick where you are going or if it is ahead in time…or backward in time,’ he said as a tear coursed down his cheek.

Chet marveled as he looked at his well-appointed office in the White House. ‘The President needs you immediately,’ said his Executive Assistant. ‘Russia has launched a…First Strike…’

‘At least I live in a nice house…this time,’ thought the four-year-old Billy B. as he walked on his front porch in Sauk Village…

Loves’ Variations

Pastor Kerry preached a sermon about Love this morning…and it was lovely. MJ and Jonathon and I were back in our physical Church Building and it felt very good to be there. There is something about fellowshipping with your fellow parishioners that can not be replicated on Zoom. When you see…in the flesh…your fellow congregants…you know and understand that you are not in this walk of life…alone. Others are facing the challenges of the Christian Walk and being members of our mutual Human Family…on Earth.

Love is a deep well that we have yet to discover its’ bottom. When a couple stays together for years and years…it may not be immediately apparent to observers in the cheap seats…but they are witnessing love… The term ‘Tough Love’ was often bandied about in our last Century. Tough Love was supposed to represent bringing a person to tasks to admit their mistakes and to seek the help that they need for their problems. I have seen Tough Love misused much more often than I have seen it done correctly. Fundamentalist folks often engage in what they call Tough Love…which is a political/religious amalgamation of their ‘John Wayne Theology’ and which takes advantage of hurting people at their most vulnerable times.

Jesus did drive the money changers out of the temple…but he also was a friend to the woman who was caught in the act of adultery… and he then knelt down and began to write in the sand and slowly all of the faithful hurlers of stones…crept away on little cats feet. He then asked the woman, ‘Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.’ John 8: 10 – 11. KJV

‘Love covers a multitude of sins,’ Peter told us. Love is not essential to support someone who is able physically and mentally to work…but as the old saying goes: ‘Give a man a fish and he will eat today…teach a man to fish and he will eat for his entire life.’

Everyday Superheros and The Fluidity of Time

So…Verizon Phone Service offers a deal that you can’t refuse… I saw a television commercial that said that anyone could come in and trade their old iPhone for a new iPhone…for Free. I learned many years ago that things that seem too good to be true…usually are. In any case, we went in and I traded my XR iPhone for a new iPhone 13 at no additional cost except for the upgrade in memory…and we kept the same plan. A young man named Gabriel waited on us for the majority of our time at Verizon and he was a delight and a truly nice person. Where his colleagues did not seem to be overly interested in assisting us…Gabriel stepped up and even worked 30 minutes after his quitting time to ensure that we were well taken care of. He was enthused about two handcrafted writing pens that he had recently purchased as MJ noted that one that he was using was exactly like her formerly favorite pen that she had purchased in Paducah, Kentucky. As he worked diligently on our phone transfers he told us the story of his handcrafted pens and even found the person’s business card for MJ to photograph to facilitate her contacting the craftsman.

Mrs. Baker was Billy B.’s English teacher at Washington Junior High School in Eldorado. Billy B. liked Mrs. Baker as she talked with him often and encouraged him in his studies. Mrs. Baker was a prim and proper lady…with blue hair. Billy was mesmerized by her blue hair…he had never seen blue hair before. Mr. Baker, Mrs. Baker’s husband was a teacher at the Eldorado High School. Mrs. Baker often spoke of Von and sometimes her words were a bit personal…but tasteful. Billy B. and Chet especially enjoyed the film that Mrs. Baker showed the class of Eldorado during the 30s… 40s… and 50s. Many of the buildings were recognizable while some were not. At one point Mrs. Baker or as Billy B. thought of her, Gwendolyn, mentioned that if the class looked closely we would see her crossing the street near Burnetts’ Bank…and Chet laughed when he saw his respected instructor as a young lady…who as she laughed she did a little jig in front of the Bank. The 8th-grade classroom was hot that day and the lights were turned off in order to see the historic film…and suddenly Billy B. and Chet were standing beside…Gwendolyn.

‘My goodness…Sally…look at these cute boys and what unique clothes they are wearing,’ said Gwendolyn. ‘Are you on your way to School,’ asked Chet? ‘No…Sally and I are going to Carter and Chossiers’ Drug Store for a tall and frosty mug of root beer…would you like to join us, said Gwendolyn. ‘Would we ever,’ announced Billy B. ‘You two are a lot of fun…how old are you guys…anyway, asked Sally. ‘How old do you need us to be,’ asked Chet. ‘Well, Sally and I are 17 and we are on our way to college at SIUC Normal in Carbondale this September,’ replied Gwendolyn. ‘We are both 17…would you girls like to go with us to see the new film, The Wizard of Oz, at the Orpheum, asked Billy B.? ‘We would like nothing better, smiled Gwendolyn…

‘Sally…excuse me for a moment I need to go to the Teachers’ Lounge and call…Billy B….to see what time he will be able to leave EHS for our vacation to Gatlinburg,’ Gwendolyn said. ‘When you find out I will call Chet and tell him to pack the car…I like the idea that we will be traveling at night…especially with this 1969 traffic…