Sunday, February 10, 2013

Story time with Miss Nicole

Going to story time at the library made me ask myself did my brother and I ever have the experience of going to a library with a family member to hear someone tell a story? I don't think I ever knew there was such a place as a public library. We did have a story time experience, but it was at home in Iowa on a Saturday morning. We would bring my mother a comic book and try to wake her up which was almost impossible. She went to college and worked and studied constantly. Saturday morning was her one day to get some sleep. What worked was making her a strong cup of instant coffee. I'm sure we made it triple strength because her hair would stand straight up and her eyes would pop open. We would sit on her bed trying not to gag as she read Superman or Batman and we would be glued to every word. We would then watch the Saturday morning shows that ended at noontime. Saturday morning was a trip to far off lands, to another time long ago when men wore big hats and rode horses and the hero would only get shot in the shoulder which we knew would only take a week to heal because the following Saturday he would be good as new.We had spaceships that looked like ice cream cones wrapped in tin foil that sped to the moon and beyond. Again the hero would only get wounded in the shoulder which we knew only took a week to heal. So is this 2013 world a better place with Miss Nicole and her high sweet voice reading a story about astronauts flying to the moon than my 1950's world? I looked at Samaya's face feeling the loss of gravity along with the other kids making the journey to another world on a space ship. I leaned against the back wall with Violet on my lap who was surprisingly well behaved outside of the earth's atmosphere. I breathed in particles of disintegrating words coated in wonder that floated down from rows of wooden shelves.Is the world a better place?--such cosmic questions giants ask each other on Mount Olympus. I am a small man who lives in Eliot--no mountains or giants in sight. Here on this little corner of earth,I can try to make their world a better place. My first official act will be teaching them how to make a decent cup of coffee.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Lone Ranger I saw a commercial for the new Lone Ranger movie starring Johnny Depp in the Tonto role. Johnny Depp is a great actor but maybe he lost a bet and has to wear buffalo underwear on screen. That being said he will probably win the Oscar. The clip I saw has Depp saying "Kimosabe" and the Lone Ranger says, "What is wrong with you? I keep telling you my name is the Lone Ranger."(not true, sorry Johnny). And then he says, "You need to go out shoot another buffalo because you definitely need some fresh underwear. I am not camping out another night with you!"(that is not true either). In fact,this whole blog has been a tissue of lies. I was the one that lost the bet and was made to write this blog. Who knows? Truth is relative which reminds me of my grandmother(one of my favorite relatives). When I was very young I remember sitting in a dark living room with my brother and grandmother listening to the Lone Ranger on radio. He had such a rich deep voice and was such a good actor. I could imagine riding along side of him and Tonto chasing the bank robbers. I could see the canyons and smell the dry wind as it flew by. Take me with you,I would whisper. I would look over at my grandmother who was knitting--always knitting in the dark with her ear turned toward the radio and I thought it was all normal and that maybe I would grow up listening to radio shows and my imagination would build up and tear down worlds with the end of one show and the beginning of another feeling safe because my grandmother was right there--she would always be right there. I would wake up in the morning and my grandmother would be gone and I knew my mother was sleeping having coming home very late from the brick factory by the river that is now an improbable art museum. Now it's late at night and there is one lamp on and instead of the sound of clashing knitting needles, there is the sound of keys being poked.Karen is sleeping and upstairs my little Indians are dreaming of Mr. Rogers not knowing he is with my grandmother and she is teaching him how to knit his own sweaters.