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Another Whirlwind Roller Coaster Bumper Car Day in the Magic City
My car heads west on the Bessemer Super Highway this morning. I don’t have to tell my car to do this. It just does it. I’m riding in a driverless car.
The signs along the way are worth the drive. There by the side of the road is GRANNY’S LITTLE ANGELS DAY CARE CENTER. I still miss the long-gone POWER RANGERS FOR CHRIST DAY CARE CENTER. Maybe those tiny Power Rangers became little angels one day.
I would pick out my favorite sign, but each one is a favorite for a special moment. Look! There’s MIDFIELD THE CONVENIENT CITY. I’d love to have been in on the committee meetings that decided on this slogan. “Well, Charles, I think your idea about MIDFIELD THE IN-BETWEEN CITY is a little vague. And Andy’s YOU’RE PASSING THROUGH MIDFIELD ON THE WAY TO SOMEPLACE ELSE is too long.”
Actually, MIDFIELD A WORK IN PROGRESS wouldn’t be bad.
One pedestrian is walking a scruffy dog. He holds his head high and takes a deep breath of fresh air, then sticks the large billowing cigar back into his mouth and continues on, deep in a portable cloud.
Along the way, I look for clotheslines. I miss clotheslines. The last time I visited my Aunt Margaret in Cuba, Alabama, she was out in the yard hanging out clothes, ignoring the nice washer-dryer combination in the house. When I helped bring them in, they smelled of pure air and cleansed soul. The same way they smelled sixty years ago in my backyard in Tuscaloosa, when Mother and I would quickly take them down in advance of a storm.
A man crosses the street in front of my idling automatic vehicle. He strolls with the calm air of someone who has no appointments. How I envy him.
In some of the passing mysterious places, highly trafficked, somebody somewhere has forgotten to put up a sign telling the name of the street or the name of the intersection…thus depriving people of knowing where they are. Thus depriving the neighborhood of its history.
I remember when the sign at the entrance of my childhood home, EASTWOOD AVENUE, was removed by the city of T-Town without warning. Someone had decided a numerical system would make more sense. Our street was stripped of its story. But to us, those who lived much of our lives on EASTWOOD AVENUE, it would always be EASTWOOD AVENUE. Some things cannot be removed.
Cesare Pavese once wrote, “We do not remember days, we remember moments.”
That’s why my pockets are bulging with tiny sticky notes jotted with moments.
Never know when they might come in handy
© Jim Reed 2014 A.D.