Dr. Electro #29: What's the Deal?
+ A Country Nighthawk
Volume 49, May 23rd, 2023
Sunday in America
Remembering What’s Now
The road unfolded through hayfields tinged with living blue, the mountains smiling in the distance. I was on the way to drop the trash at the dump, but man, the air smelled sweet. Must have been the honeysuckle, aided by the gracious red clover nodding by the shoulder. A man fiddled with his lawnmower in a driveway of a modest house, looked up, and waved. The sun slanted low, and somewhere, someone was barbecuing. The guy at the dump was friendly. “Push that green button if you will” he asked, and I was delighted to comply. The compactor groaned to life. It was another Sunday in America, and a nice one to remember. Isn’t it weird how easy it is to lose sight of our neighbors and our friends, and grow the seeds of bitterness and division?
It happens to me whenever I forget who people are (even with their flaws). Seems like we’ve been doing this as a country, doesn’t it?
It’s a nice time of year to start remembering who we are, to start seeing, when the air is sweet and the sun pours us lemonade.
Round bales dot the spring fields in central Virginia. It’s hay cuttin’ season, neighbor. The air sure is fine.
A Darn Good Quote
“What you seem to be, be really.”
- Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1744
Happy birthday, Bifocals & Dad!
Ben Franklin unveils his new gizmo (1785). Centuries later, my father is born, this day in history.
Book of the Week
“Three Men in a Boat” - Jerome K. Jerome
Three friends, two weeks, one boat on the Thames. What could possibly go wrong? If you need a laugh, you need this book. Published 1889
Down the Rabbit Hole
The “here and then” is our topic to chase this week. What’s the history of your exact location? Are there any tales of Sasquatch floating around, or perhaps the Redcoats drank their tea here? Local history sure is a hoot!
Let us know what you find.
Write to Us!
The Nighthawk is a new old-fashioned way to connect, published weekly. You’re invited to write back, or just enjoy reading. Let’s have some fun! It’s a social paper! Send stories, etc to: PO Box 783, Rustburg, VA 24588 or email JoshUrban@protonmail.com
Letters from Josh
(A weekly update from Josh Urban’s adventures on the farm and in the city. #135)
Howdy, folks! Ready for the next installment? Previously on Dr. Electro: With a deft motion at the control panel, Electro ripped out the right wire, freeing Walter from the crushing door. Inside, the control room bristled with wires, and strange labels: Fond memories. Summer Afternoons. Laughter. Honor. Wins & Awards. Hard work. Sentiments & Mementos. Selflessness. “Walter!” he yelled, the bubbles of an idea stirring in his brain. “Yessir!”
“What’s it say on that box you’re leaning against?” This is...
The Return of Dr. Electro - #29: What’s the Deal?
With a huff and a puff, Walter stumbled to his feet. “This box says..School drawings.”
“School drawings? Kiddie art? Why would anyone but a parent keep those?” Lady Wilkes raised an eyebrow pointedly. “Pop that open and see what’s in there, sir.”
Stacks and stacks of scribbles, finger paintings, landscapes with lemon yellow suns and rejoicing stick figures, illegible scrawl, and the like sat neatly in the first box.
“It is just kiddie art. Well I never...” Lady Wilkes shook her head.
Electro stood, thoughtful. “There’s a reason. I almost know why.” He lifted his hat, scratching his head, and moved slowly down another canyon of boxes. The gang followed.
“Brother, check this.” Preacher stopped suddenly, leaning towards another crate.
Between a box of American flags, and another labeled Shelves, with Trophies, sat a large container painted with Shelves, Without Trophies.
“Shelves, Without Trophies” Electro muttered. “Why without?”
“When I was a kid, I couldn’t ride my bicycle without hitting something. My father said I’d be the worst driver in the world” Jimmy mused aloud. “I sure showed him. I’ve got my own trucking company now. I wonder if that has something to do with it.”
“Onward, onward!” Electro waved, spurred to action. “I’ve almost got it! Read me any labels or signs you see.” His walk turned into a trot, and the gang followed, bustling. Preacher lofted the John light, casting wild shadows and stabs of light into the gloom. All eyes strained to read the crates, and all voices dropped low. The vault seemed to be listening, but there was work to be done. Their hoarse whispers seemed to echo into a swirl of images. If thoughts had a smell, they’d have been of baking cookies and half-remembered wool sweaters. Dutifully they recited what they read on the boxes.
“Used work gloves.” “Alarm clocks.” “Diaries - Good times. Diaries - Bad times.”
“Cups for borrowing sugar.” “Grandmother’s knitting.” “Grandfather’s pipes.” “Grandfather clocks.” “Prom corsages.” “Rollerskates.” “Rocking horses.” “Certificates.”
“Stop!” Electro halted, the company skidding up. “Who’s got a knife? Let’s open this one.”
A familiar voice eased through the darkness with a chill. A clank. Lights suddenly flooded down.
“You just can’t leave the Good Old Days alone, can you, Dr. Electro?”
Ordinary Man stepped out from behind a stack of boxes, quite collected.
To be continued...
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