The Easter Egg the Easter Worm and Me

Listen to Jim’s podcast:

http://redclaydiary.com/mp3/theeastereggtheeasterwormandme.mp3

or read his story below:

The Easter Egg the Easter Worm and Me

There is a glistening, squiggly brown earthworm hiding just under the Easter egg I’m grabbing from the damp red clay near my grandparents’ home in Peterson, Alabama, this bright sunny Sunday in Alabama, circa 1946.

Suddenly, my zeal in finding more treasure than cousins and siblings is placed on hold. Standing frozen, clutching the aqua-dyed hard boiled condiment in one hand and a small hand-woven basket in the other, I squint at the alien creature and wonder what it will do, now that I’ve exposed it to a larger reality.

I am regarding the earthworm, but I wonder whether it is regarding me.

It curls and stretches and begins burrowing into a deeper earth, so I decide that it has no interest in me and my Easter egg.

Which end is front, which is back? How does it eat? How does it even see?

I can’t help pondering during this extended moment. I know something special has happened, but I cannot quite express what that something special is.

Suddenly, I become the worm and begin feeling the soft red clay sliding past my extended exterior. It is getting darker as I leave the sunshine behind and head for home. Is my family waiting for me to relate my adventure? How will I explain my excitement? How will I describe objects that I cannot name?

“Ma, this gigantic roundish object was on the ground, and I thought I would hide beneath it for a time, but suddenly these five pudgy pale pink worms came down from the sky and just missed squashing me. They lifted the big round thing up to the sky and disappeared!”

What will Ma say when I tell her this? Will she dismiss the whole thing as something I dreamed up? Will she curl around me and comfort me till I settle down? Can she actually see in the dark?

“Jimbo! C’mon over here and let’s count your eggs,” cousin Jerry yells. I snap out of my tiny worm world and run over to other relatives and family to continue the Easter egg hunt.

Later that night, Mother gives me permission to eat the aqua-colored egg. As I crack and peel away the shell, the soft shiny white surface reminds me of the shiny earthworm family I’ll never get to know.

I silently nibble on the egg and pay secret respects to the critters that surround my small world…the worms that may become fish bait, the fish that may become food, the egg itself that might have become a baby chick…and the worms that, a few decades down the road, may become the diners rather than the dined

© Jim Reed 2016 A.D.

jim@jimreedbooks.com

http://www.jimreedbooks.com

http://www.jimreedbooks.com/podcast

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I’ll Never Forget the Day I Read a Book

I’ll Never Forget the Day I Read a Book

So…what is the first book you ever read?

What is the first book I ever read?

Allow me to crank up the Time Machine and get back to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when books slowly insinuated themselves into my life.

First thing I do is SEE a book. It’s over there, just within reach of my chubby little uncoordinated fingers. I can roll just a quarter-roll in my crib—that’s all it takes to see this unfocused blur of colors and shapes on the cover. All I know how to do is experience the book, not knowing that it can be read and manipulated. So, I do what I know how to do: lick the cover and gnaw at the corners. It tastes different than those mashed-up things they are feeding me. It would be even tastier if I could bite off a piece and swallow it, but that comes later.

So, first I SEE a book. Then I TASTE it. Then I masticate a bit. Then, I lose concentration and fixate on a wiggly toy that is hanging above me. I’ll get back to the book later.

Next thing I know, I’m snuggled up to my mother’s chest, experiencing the words she is reading to me as they vibrate the side of my face. I can HEAR her voice with one ear. I can FEEL her voice with the other. And then I note that she is gently turning the pages, causing the colorful shapes and strange markings to shift each time. I can hear her inflections of warmth, suspense, happiness, as the pages drift by.

Before I know it, I’m sitting up in my own wobbly fashion and turning the pages—not necessarily one at a time, not necessarily in any order. But I am doing the book the way I know how to do it. And, now and then, I even taste it again. I’ve been known to rub a crayon onto the paper to add color and design.

Time flies and now I’m reciting a book to my mother and sister, pretending that I’m reading it as the pages pass, but actually I still don’t know how to read, I’m just feeding back what I’ve heard them read aloud so many times. They play along with the ruse.

Now, at last, I am picking out a word or two in preparation for enrolling in the first grade. I’m excited about the prospect of actually making my way through the words with some degree of understanding. And, amazingly, after a while I start to read big-lettered words on my own.

What is the first book I can read without assistance? Hard to tell, since the books at school are not the same books we have at home. I’m reading some in both places. But in class, I get to read a Dick and Jane and Sally story all the way through! When I become an author many years later, I am jealous of those who wrote this reader. Wouldn’t you like to be the writer whose works can be recited by heart by millions of school kids? “See Dick run. Run, Dick, run!”

In middle age, I discover the song that comedian Jimmy Durante co-wrote and performed with gusto:

 There’s one day that I recall, though it was years ago.

All my life I will remember it, I know.

I’ll never forget the day a read a book.

It was contagious, seventy pages.

There were pictures here and there,

So it wasn’t hard to bear,

The day I read a book.

It’s a shame I don’t recall the name of the book.

It wasn’t a history. I know because it had no plot.

It wasn’t a mystery, because nobody there got shot.

The day I read a book? I can’t remember when,

But one o’ these days, I’m gonna do it again.

(Listen to Jimmy sing it, at the end of this column.)

Just yesterday, a pleasant family enters the shop, looking around and remarking upon the variety of things to read. One young girl is just tagging along, so naturally she’s the one I try to engage in conversation: “What do you like to read?” I ask, hoping to introduce some titles to her. She performs a sly smile and doesn’t answer because, like so many other children I meet these days, she knows her avid parents will answer for her. “Oh, she doesn’t read,” her father says. I know what he’s saying, but I play dumb just to see what kind of response I’ll get: “You mean she doesn’t know how to read?” I ask sympathetically. She grins even more deeply, waiting for her parent’s punchline. “No she just doesn’t like to read.”

I get it now. This lass has found a way to rebel against her parents, assert her own identity, appear cool to other kids. Normally, I get to talk up a book enough to inspire someone like her to try it, but I know there’s no way this can happen when hovering but well-meaning parents are there to puppet-master her conversation.

So, I say what I always say whenever the situation calls for it: “Oh, too bad. Mark Twain once said that a person who does not read has no advantage over one who can’t read.”

This is aimed at no-one in particular. The girl gets the joke but continues to play dumb. The parents remain perplexed.

What will no doubt happen—I’ve see it often—is she will discover a spicy novel proffered by a friend and, in secret, read it voraciously, becoming hooked on reading despite herself. She will, in the tradition of all kids, hide this novel and this fact from her parents as long as she possibly can.

The cycle goes on.

And maybe one day she’ll hear an old Jimmy Durante song and get excited all over again

Here’s Jimmy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLOR8gKwyoo

© Jim Reed 2016 A.D.

jim@jimreedbooks.com

http://www.jimreedbooks.com

http://www.jimreedbooks.com/podcast

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Falling Up the Stairs for Fifty Years or So

Listen to Jim’s podcast:

http://redclaydiary.com/mp3/fallingupthestairsforfiftyyearsorso.mp3

or read his story below:

Falling Up the Stairs for Fifty Years or So

Just checking a list of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

It’s the 1960′s, and I’m standing in the poolside doorway of my apartment in Alberta City, Alabama. To be exact, I live at Claymont Apartments just behind the bowling alley that is boldly called Leland Lanes. To the far right side of the obligatory chlorine-fragranced swimming pool I can see a small human figure swaying in the twilight shadows, silhouetted against the picture windows of each living unit.

I can make out who this human is, just from the way he holds himself. It’s Bill, the Tuscaloosa city planner who resides here. Normally, Bill is an engaging and lively conversationalist who takes his day job quite seriously. But on the weekends, and particularly on Saturday nights–this happens to be one of those Saturday nights–Bill pickles himself with a steady flow of beverages of the alcohol-content type. When Bill drinks, he remains sociable and smiling and harmless, but the lively discussions may wander about with less focus than usual.

Anyhow, this evening, Bill is weaving toward the stairs that lead to his second floor nest. His aim is true despite the meandering, and he raises his right foot to place it on the first step. He’s not holding onto the banister because his hands are protectively preoccupied with one bottle and one tumbler hugged to his chest.

Bill leans forward onto his right leg and raises his left leg, aiming to achieve either the same step or, optimistically, the second step. At this point, his leaning takes the appearance of toppling forward, face rapidly plunging toward the concrete surfaces. But then, a magical moment occurs. Instinctively cuddling both containers, Bill quickly raises his right foot in order to engage a third stair, thus saving his face but in the process failing to stabilize his downward fall. Rapidly struggling to remain erect, Bill lifts his left leg and manages to plant it on the fourth step just fast enough to again refrain from falling flat upon stairs and glassware.

Magically, Bill continues to fall forward at the same rate that  his legs effect the ascent and, like a slapstick comedian, he eventually arrives at the top of the flight, still wobbling, but vertical and unharmed.

I realize that time has stood still during this event. I haven’t breathed or averted my gaze. It happens so quickly that it takes me a while to absorb the physics of what I’ve just witnessed.

Bill wends his way toward his apartment or the next second-story party that he can find. I resume breathing and going about the business of hunkering down for the evening. Life goes on for another fifty years. Memories like this keep falling forward into my mind like a drunken friend, unable to self-destruct, unable to become forgettable.

I smile to myself and check the list to see what other funny reminiscences are hiding in stacks of notes and dictations.

There’s got to be a funny pony somewhere in there

© Jim Reed 2016 A.D.

jim@jimreedbooks.com

http://www.jimreedbooks.com

http://www.jimreedbooks.com/podcast

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some wonderful old things we’ve sold of late

 some wonderful old things we’ve sold of late

F. Scott Fitzgerald. 1 title

1 poetry anthology

FLINTSTONES calendar

1 ALICE IN WONDERLAND pop-up book

JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL

3 collectible STAR WARS figures

1 old snapshot camera

2 old large Disney Golden Books

1953: March 9 Issue Time Magazine with Cover Art of Syngman Rhee Plus Bobby Jones & Dwight Eisenhower & Joseph McCarthy Plus Virginia Mayo & George Santayana

Books by Agatha Christie & John Steinbeck & Mark Twain

DIALOGUES OF PLATO

THE ARABIAN NIGHTS

1 STAR WARS title

2 books on CD Philip K. Dick sets

1 1890′s children’t book

Stacks of Georges Simenon titles & other mysteries

4 patterns (1960′s)

2 small kids’ prayer books

Trotsky. 1 title

Flannery O’Connor. 1 title

Tolkien. LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy

Lewis. IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE

1 novel

Bookner. 2 novels

 HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF MISERABLE

PRIZE-WINNING NATURE POEMS COMPILED BY THE CHATTANOOGA WRITERS’ CLUB (Tennessee)

A SOUTH CAROLINA ALBUM

Old book parts

Edward Lear. NONSENSE

James Norman. 1 novel

Shelley. POEMS

Pohl. STAR SCIENCE FICTION

somers. BEYOND THE BLACK ENIGMA

Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine April 2003

Fantastic Magazine September 1965

Fantastic Novels Magazine May 1949

3 modern fantasy novels

1 old romance novel

1981: January 19 The Spotlight Tabloid Newspaper (from Washington DC) with Cover Photo of Henry Kissinger & Headline “War with Iran?”`

YOUNG FOLKS’ STORIES OF AMERICAN HISTORY AND HOME LIFE

Some postcards

1 old construction book

2 Alabama author fiction titles

2 Alexander McCall Smith titles

3 humor titles

Teasdale. POETRY

RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM

Various books of verse

Armed Services Edition paperbacks: Browning LOVE POEMS, Ben Hecht CONCERNING A WOMAN OF SIN, CHAUCER & WHITMAN POEMS, GIOCONDA SMILE by Huxley

WALKING THE BIBLE

1 very early DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS book

Several women’s issue titles

1 3-volume sci-fi set

1 classic novel & 3 novellas

Steinbeck. 1 title

Barclay. 1 religious reference

Shakespeare. JULIUS CAESAR

FORGOTTEN ALABAMA autographed

1956: August Issue of Show Magazine with Cover Photo of Tina Louise Plus Kim Novak & Jean Richard & Nejla & Mickey Hallett & Renee Lavalle & Joi Lansing & Jayne Mansfield & Robert Haynes & Billy Beck & Rainier Deigh & Gina Lollobrigida

Shute. ON THE BEACH 1st edition

1966: September Issue of Esquire Magazine, man on Cover applying lipstick, Headline How Our red Blooded campus Heroes are Beating the Draft, Richard Joseph, Bobby Kennedy

GRETI UND PETERHANS Eine Ersahlung Aus Dem Berner Oberland Mit 24 Zeichnungen Von Romeo Roggero

Baggett. A WOMAN OF THE TOWN Louise Wooster, Birmingham’s Magdalen

Solzhenitsyn. FIRST CIRCLE leatherbound

Several leatherbound classics

A large trove of foreign-language titles and history books

19th-century cookbook

Simon Tolkien. 1 title

Kafka. 1 title

Mary Roberts Rinehart. 1 title

4 Audiocassettes

THE PLAYBOY GOURMET COOKBOOK

Lewis. TILL WE HAVE FACES

2 old comic books

1 book on country music

3 titles by Kurt Vonnegut

2 DOLL PEOPLE titles

ENDER’S GAME

F. Scott Fitzgerald. 1 title

Tolkien. Several early hardbacks

Klimt. 1 color print

1 snapshot

LORNA DOONE

1 LP

1 1930′s BIG LITTLE BOOK

2 old golf clubs

Books by Vonda Kay Van Dyke & Elizabeth Taylor

Hans Christian Andersen. COLLECTION

Rod McKuen. 1 title

Several eggs with prizes

Sabuda pop-up books of ALICE IN WONDERLAND & THE WIZARD OF OZ

Lazer. DAYS

Carr. POISON IN JEST

2 nursery rhyme books

1 sci-fi novel

3 Old Prints

VALENTINE THE COUNTESS

MADCAP VIOLET

Ingraham. PRINCE OF THE HOUSE OF DAVID

Peet. PAMELA CAMEL and WINGDINGDILLY

Goudge. CHILD FROM THE SEA

Thompson. GREAT SHARK HUNT

Fitzgerald. 1 title

PLAINS INDIAN WARS

Bruchac. LASTING ECHOES

White. A WALK TO FREEDOM

1 mystery novel

3 large LP albums

PARABLES ACCORDING TO PEANUTS

2 Old Prints

1976: Special Report Life Magazine Remarkable American Women

Jimmy Carter. Autographed book

Lady Bird Johnson. Autographed book

DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS

FLOWER DRUM SONG

1 Bham refrig magnet

2 Bham postcards

2 old prints

2 STAR WARS novels

Paolinni. ERAGON

Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  SILENT NIGHT LP

GARDENER’S COMPANION

King. STAND

Campbell. PRIMATIVE

1 Sci-Fi title

Dick. UBIK

Titles by Vonnegut, Kierkegaard, Salinger

1 book on the Prado

Bradbury. SOMETHING WICKED

A number of sci-fi & fantasy titles

Bradbury. DANDELION, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES

Octavia Butler. Several titles

Books by Wordsworth and Coleridge

LIVES OF THE TWELVE CAESARS

Buck. THE GOOD EARTH

1 novel

1 Charlie Pride LP

ADVANCED ROCKCRAFT (AUTOGRAPHED)

One $75 gift certificate

1942: November 26 Thanksgiving Menu for Station Hospital in Camp Blanding Florida … this Lists the Menu & Hospital Staff & army Nurse Corps & Lists “colored” and “white” Staffs Separately…plus Civilian Employees

Lots of classic literature

A number of collections (Peanuts, Family Circus, etc.)

1 very old cookbook

LPs by Eddie Kendricks & Dionne Warwick & Lena Horne & a children’s play album & Mahalia Jackson

Achebe. ARROW OF GOD & NOVELS OF

COMPLETE POEMS OF SAPPHO

MacLeish. COMPLETE POEMS

Byatt. POSSESSION

Hanff. 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD

THE REFORMATION OF THE SUBJECT

Mary Renault. 1 title

Twain. HUCKLEBERRY FINN

DAVID COPPERFIELD

DEATH TRAPS The Survival of American Armored division in World War II 

1 WWII title

Books on witchcraft, occult, advertising, etc.

Bunches of sci-fi & fantasy titles

1 big bag of novelties, prizes, premiums, etc.

MILL ON THE FLOSS

Mad Magazine paperback

2015: April 26 issue of New York Times Magazine

THE EVIDENCE OF PROPHECY Historical Testimony to the Truth of the Bible  NEW AND REVISED EDITION

Old Life Magazine with Cuba feature story

1 publicity photo

MA GASTRONOMIE

1 old cookbook

Hemingway. FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

Vonnegut.  GALAPAGOS and DEADEYE DICK

Bradbury. MARTIAN CHRONICLES

Several foreign-language titles

Barra. RICKWOOD FIELD

Steinbeck. 2 titles

Flynn. GONE GIRLdams

A MORE THAN COMPLETE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE

Carver. CATHEDERAL

THE COLOR PURPLE

GONE WITH THE WIND

Lois Lowry. 2 titles

FREDDY THE PIG

Several YA novels

1 4-volume set of H.G. Wells’ OUTLINE OF HISTORY

A COMPETITIVE SPIRIT THE STORY OF CENTRAL BANK OF THE SOUTH Birmingham Alabama

Charles Dickens. Several old titles

Bunches of kids’ books

Hemphill. LEAVING BIRMINGHAM

Vonnegut. PLAYER PIANO

Lewis. SCREWTAPE LETTERS

1 phrenology book of olde

1 old auto bluebook

Lots of novels & kids’ titles

WIZARD OF OZ

VEGETARIANISM

Lewis. THAT HIDEOUS STRANGTH

Several coffee table books/foreign countries, etc.

Lewis. TILL WE HAVE FACES

LPs: LAST TANGO IN PARIS & ANTHONY PERKINS SINGS

MARCUS AURELIUS. MEDITATIONS

PLUTARCH’S LIVES

3 enormous art books

Hugo. 5-volume early edition of LES MISERABLES

Le Guin. 1 title

Julia Child. 1 cookbook

John Le Carre. 1 title

1 Mickey Mouse board book

Whitman. LEAVES OF GRASS

T.S. Elliott. 2 titles

Bukowski. 1 collection

Several small leatherbound books

1 French language book

1 LP

NEVER TO BELONG

2 mystery novels

1 Egyptian bookmark

Leroux/ PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

FLINTSTONE DICTIONARY

DONALD DUCK BANK

1 LP recording

Carl Sagan. COSMOS

1 EAGLES publicity photo

Vonnegut. DEADEYE DICK

1 large book on Gustav Klimt

Several old prints

1 book of quotations

WATERSHIP DOWN

3 sci-fi classics

Hitler. MEIN KAMPF

Keller. MY STORY

1936: THE VERDICT Yearbook of ALBANY LAW SCHOOL

ALFRED HITCHCOCK AND THE THREE INVESTIGATORS IN THE MYSTERY OF THE GREEN GHOST

1 old Welsh language text

Bristol. THE MAGIC OF BELIEVING

21 3-d slides/storybook

Mencken.  BOOK OF BURSESQUES

Vonnegut. GALAPAGOS and TIMEQUAKE

8 Old postcards

1 pair Ray-Ban Sunglasses

1 pop-up haunted house book

MICHELANGELO leatherbound

Rollo May. 1 title

FOXFIRE

Benford. TIMESCAPE

NEW HUGO AWARDS III

4 SCI-FI TITLES

Reynolds. REDEMPTION ARK

1 JFK title

THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS

2 philosophy books

COMPOSITE AND STEEL YACHTS

2 hand-tinted WWI prints

CIVILIZATION MAGAZINE/Titanic issue

OF MICE AND MEN

Moore. HISTORY OF ALABAMA

Neil Gaiman. 1 title

1 1977 issue of Playboy Magazine

Rushdie. 1 title

Bertrand Russell. 3 titles

1 JFK LP recording

Goodis. NIGHTFALL

WALT DISNEY ANNUAL (1930′s)

Douglas Adams. HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE book 3

Patricia Wentworth. 5 titles

Dashiell Hammett. 1 collection

STUDS LONIGAN

2 noir mysteries

Nabokov. 2 books by him

Plath. THE BELL JAR

FORGOTTEN ALABAMA

1 stack of early children’s classics in original bindings

PURLIE LP cast album

Bartender’s guide

THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST

PAPER MOON

Various literary titles and classics

OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY

Several hand-tinted old prints

GUYANA QUARTET

CULTURE OF CRITIQUE

Several poetry gift books and trinkets

Old letters and notes and brochures

1 old comic book

2 issues of Harper’s Round Table (1890′s) tabloid

1958: April Issue of Sepia Magazine with Cover Photo of Pay Clayton Plus Mary Lou Williams & Sammy Davis Jr. & Killer Johnson & Duke Ellington & Little Richard  & Robert Smalls

1923: May 19 Issue of Literary Digest Magazine (missing Front & Back covers) with Joseph Conrad & John A. MacReady & Oakley G. Kelly

1937: April issue of Amazing Stories Magazine with Morey Cover Art plus Stories By Sloane & Walter Rose & Neil Jones & Binder & Weinbaum & Brandt

1950: November  Future Science Fiction Stories Magazine  Beautiful Luros Gga Cover Pin-up Art  George O. Smith  Virgil Finlaly  Isaac Asimov

1909: December Issue of Palette and Bench Magazine  with Illustrations By Frances Brundage

CALVIN & HOBBES

FAR SIDE

Several novels

Burton. ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY

James M. Cain. 2 novels

Picasso. 1 title about

Herbert. DUNE

Marx. CAPITAL

Sartre. 1 collection

Hegel. 1 title

Kierkegaard. 1 title

Aurelius. MEDITATIONS

1 MARILYN MONROE calendar

A big stack of fantasy & sci-fi classics

1 DICK AND JANE reader

DRACULA

SPOOKY STORIES

Wells. THE TIME MACHINE

Kerouac. ON THE ROAD

Grisham. THE FIRM

Donald Trump. 1 title

1888: April issue of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine

DAD’S TWEED COAT autographed

Steig. CDB

1 FOXFIRE book

1 MAD MAGAZINE gift book

1 novel

SEEKERS OF SCENERY TRAVEL WRITING FROM SOUTHERN APPALACHIA 1840-1900

ATLAS 21 SUSSURFACE GEOLOGY OF SELECTED OIL AND GAS FIELDS IN THE BLACK WARRIOR BASIN OF ALABAMA

4 bartending books

Campbell. 40 ACRES AND A GOAT

1 GOOD CONDUCT MEAL

Lord Byron. Works

LOVE POEMS

WALL STREET DVD

1 Christian tract

Piers Anthony. 3 titles

2 Childhood of Famous Americans titles

1 jazz LP

Several novels

2 jazz LPs

DEAR FOLKS: Letters and Diary from a World War II GI

CATCH 22

BRAVE NEW WORLD

1984

FAHRENHEIT 451

Several great popular classic novels

Rand. ANTHEM

Newin. 1814

Deighton. SSGB

Follett. 1 title

Heinlein. STARSHIP TROOPERS

Card. TREASON

Vinge.  FIRE UPOM THE DEEP

Reynolds. 2 titles

Simmons. ILLIUM

De Tocqueville. AMERICA

2 American history titles

Oller. SWAMP FOX

Crukamp.  BUSH WAR

HODESIA

LPs by Dinah Washington & Sarah Vaughan

2 religious tracts

3 old publicity photos

De Tocqueville. DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA

EDWARD HOPPER

Card.  1 title

Greene. FABRIC OF THE COSMOS

1959: August issue of Sepia Magazine with Cover Photo of Janie Burdette & Singer Margaret Tynes & Rube Walker  & 1959 Mississippi Lynching Case

1959: March issue of Sepia Magazine with Cover Photo of  Esquerita Plus Dakota Staton & Sugar Ray Robinson & Roy Hamilton & Earl Bostic  & Nat King Cole & Pearl Bailey & Juano Hernandez & Belafonte & Poitier  & M. J. Batiste  & George Henry White

1 fairy tale book

Zane Grey. 1 book

3 elementary chapter books

$100 gift card

THE HISTORY OF RUSSELL COUNTY ALABAMA

SOUTHERN GENTS A book of Single Successful Men of Alabama

Burroughs. NAKED LUNCH

ANGEL ON HIS WING

Street.  TAP ROOTS

Hemingway. IN OUR TIME

Kerouac. ON THE ROAD

Cervantes. DON QUIXOTE

1 moveable star map

A MANUAL FOR COURTS-MARTIAL (ARMY, 1928)

THE ARMY WIFE

UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL ORIGINAL NEWS FLASHES

Salten. BAMBI

Edgar Rice Burroughs. A FIGHTING MAN OF MARS

1 mystery novel

ROBERTS RULES OF ORDER

THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX

Nee. SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY

BLIZZARD OF THE BLUE MOON

SUMMER OF THE SEA SERPENT

KAMA SUTRA

KRAKATOA

Edith Hamilton. 2 books on mythology

A stack of Barry Hannah and Jim Harrison titles

2 mysteries

20 horror movies (VHS)

1927: April Issue of Etude Magazine with Cover Photo of Baby Playing Piano

ALFRED HITCHCOCK AND THE THREE INVESTIGATORS IN THE MYSTERY OF THE STUTTERING PARROT

Several sports magazines & books

Atwood. HANDMAID’S TALE

2 novels

Frankl. MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING

Several philosophy titles

C.S. Lewis. 1 nonfiction title

5 old postcards

Several religious works

Kierkegaard. 2 titles

BAMBI

1 prayer book

Faulkner. 2 hardbacks

ALICE IN WONDERLAND POP-UP BOOK

SCREWTAPE LETTERS

1 STARWARS press kit

6 VINTAGE sci-fi novels

Ngaio Marsh. 1 mystery

Ellison. I HAVE NO MOUTH AND I MUST SCREAM

1 history title

1 vintage western paperback novel

Burgess. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE

Hugo. POEMS

1 classic novel

ENDER’S GAME

1980: BELLEAIR Yearbook of VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY in PENNSYLVANIA

1900 Census Report tabloid

1 Bible

1 world globe & stand

1 jazz LP

A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES

Lennon/Marx poster

Sue. THE WANDERING JEW

4 LPs

Hemingway. 1 title

Bragg. 1 title

Thoreau. WALDEN

C.S. Lewis. 2 non-fiction titles

1 handmade journal

Stevenson. TREASURE ISLAND

Latham. LEAVING GEE’S BEND

White. MAMA MAKES UP HER MIND

Yearbook

Heinlein. 1 title

Capote. IN COLD BLOOD

ASTORIA

THIS PLACE KENTUCKY

Furlong. 2 Mystery Titles

Reed. HOW TO BECOME YOUR OWN BOOK & DAD’S TWEED COAT

Bradbury. ZEN AND THE ART OF WRITING

Several YA titles

Edgar Allan Poe. 1 title

Thayer. 13 WOMEN

1 LP

1 old Bham photo

Michael Moorcock. 2 fantasy titles

1 issue of BIRMINGHAM ARTS JOURNAL

Rilke. 1 title

Dick. MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE

TELECULT POWER

DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS HANDBOOK

Jack London. IRON HEEL

1 Civil War diary

Vachel Lindsay. COLLECTION

Thomas Mann. 1 title

2 novels

Dickens. 1 leatherbound title

CAINE MUTINY

1932 movie magazine

3 mysteries

3 sci-fi novels

Joyce. ULYSSES

NORSE MYTHOLOGY

THREE BY FLANNERY O’CONNOR

Steinbeck. EAST OF EDEN

1 old accordion

ROBERT JEMISON JR. A MAN WITH VISION

Lee. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD limited edition

1 big stack of LPs

Vonnegut. 3 titles

Capote. IN COLD BLOOD

2 winemaking books

C.S. Lewis. THE QUOTABLE

Windham. ALABAMA ONE BIG FRONT PORCH

2 mysteries

Craig Johnson. 1 Longmire title

Wilbur Smith. 1 title

Louis Lamour. 3 titles

1 OZ book

SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS

Dumas. COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO 2-volume set 1910

Morrison. THE BLUEST EYE

Erle Stanley Gardner. 1 title

1 print of the old Bham terminal station

BORN ON THIRD BASE

Agatha Christie. 1 title in French

2 French-language books

Hemingway. 5 titles

Harris. WHEN MERMAIDS SANG and WHAT REMAINS OF HEAVEN

Sartre. NO EXIT

Roach. STIFF

Moore. PRACTICAL DEMON KEEPING and ISLAND OF THE SEQUINED LOVE NUN

Woodward. WIRED

Davis. AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Schleshinger. IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY

1 French novel

1 Oscar Wilde collection

A stack of classic children’s books

1 book on Alabama’s train terminal (signed)

THE ALABAMA THEATRE

1939: April 8 issue of Billboard Magazine  with Forney Cover Illustration Plus 1 Half-page Ad for ERSKINE HAWKINS (Tuxedo Junction)  AND HIS ORCHESTRA (“The Twentieth Century Gabriel”)

ROBERT MOTHERWELL bio

Cleary. BEAVER & WALLY tv cover  Leave It to Beaver

Time Magazine March 3 1947

1 pinhole camera guide

1 philosophy work

1 horse poster

2 old comic books

1 stack of old reading copies

Rick Bragg. 2 titles, one autographed

Weber. CRUSADE

2 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD-related titles

WORKS OF C.S. LEWIS

Orwell. 1984

Chaucer. CANTERBURY TALES

DVD RESURRECTION

1 lapel pin/Alabama

Several classic novels

Several old prints

2 pairs of sunglasses

Kierkegaard. EITHER OR

IN THE SHADOW OF BUDDHA

WESLEY’S PLAIN ACCOUNT OF CHRISTIAN PERFECTION

Dr. Seuss. 2 titles

Vonnegut. 1 title

One More Glance at Childhood

Listen to Jim’s podcast:

http://redclaydiary.com/mp3/youcantellthatithurtsher.mp3

or read his story below:

One More Glance at Childhood

You can tell that it hurts her to bring me all this beautiful and nostalgic grammar
school stuff now and then. 

You can tell that it hurts her because she lingers after I’ve paid her for today’s trove,
she lingers and looks around at my walls and at my floor where the detritus of
humanity’s creative genius lies in stacks and piles and boxes and crates, stacks and
piles and boxes and crates of wonderful colorful playful deadly serious materials
from every generation since before and after the printing press. 

She smiles and looks longingly at the school materials she has just sold me: readers
and primers and felt figures and punch-out pieces that have never been punched out,
posters and circus banners and lovely lovely children’s items long disdained by
everybody but overgrown children like you and me. 

She no longer has enough room to store these glorious objects, and she wants to get
them into the hands of someone who’s more than a dealer/less than a dealer,
someone who will appreciate them and respect them and try to get them into the
right hands, and she has carefully chosen me as her heir, as her medium for passing
on the joyful notes of childhood. 

I pay her what I can afford to pay her, sometimes more than I can afford to pay her,
because I want her to keep coming back, coming back to see and pay respect to me,
coming back to bring me more surprises in the form of first-experience rushes to the
face as I open her treasure chests. 

And, too, I can tell that it hurts her to bring me all this beautiful stuff because she
tells me it hurts her, she tells me it hurts her, not in a whining voice, not in a sad
voice, but in a voice full of wisdom she has attained after a certain number of
unnameable years, wisdom she attained by being first stimulated and encouraged by
this vast array of paper ideas and paper feelings and paper joys and paper
ponderings. 

Our transactions are sacred and ceremonial.
I never thank her enough, she never stays long enough for one more extended and wistful goodbye to childhood