ONE OF MY OLD FAVORITE FILE PHOTOS
Blue skies & big fluffy white clouds were a relaxing part of my day as I drove to & from Stratford Ontario earlier on. Picked up my buddy Jim at 9:30 this morning & we were off to a nearby Tim Hortons coffee shop for a three & a half hour conflaberation. Lots of old memories to get caught up on, a couple muffins to eat, some new memories to take under consideration, & some good old shaky philosophizing mixed in with a shabby dose of theorizing. No Bullshooting for Jim & I, we have always been straight shooters with each other since the day we met nearly 34 years ago. And therein I believe lies the success of a long & lasting great friendship.
I left Bayfield on the early side this morning because I wanted to take a couple minutes to cruise around a few of my old familiar neighborhood haunts before picking Jim up. Some may remember my story of THE ROCK a couple months ago. Drove by the house I lived in when that Rock story took place. Below is a photo of that house which I took driving by this morning.
<<< ‘THE ROCK’ SAT ABOUT HALF WAY UP THAT LAWN TO THE FAR RIGHT WHERE A SHRUB CAN BE SEEN
I called Stratford home for over 20 years back between 1975 & 1995. A lot of old friends & tired ghosts for me there & an entirely different era of my life. Driving through the south end of the city this morning it was as if I was returning to a long distant Planet I had once lived on in a different dimension. Had been over 10 years since I had last cruised through the old neighborhood & although it looked the same it didn’t look much like anything I had remembered. Oh, the old haunts are still there but many looked different to me, many had been altered, many had just ceased to be as I remembered them. Saw the old abandoned & now derelict fleabag Hotel where I once had a room for a couple months back in early 75. It was the heyday of the bad old days. Another Hotel across the road where I once wasted countless hours of my life in the late 70’s. Driving by these two old buildings this morning I could hear the voices & I could see the faces of old friends who in 1979 suddenly vanished from my life literally overnight. Some I saw around town in following years & most I never saw again. I got myself sober, a lot of my old friends didn’t.
After picking Jim up we headed a few blocks from his house to the east end of Stratford. An area I once knew like the back of my hand. An area as familiar to me as my own face. But an area, like my face, which has changed so much in the past 10 years I was temporarily discaflabberated. Have you ever peered at your face in the morning mirror & become temporarily discaflabberated? Scary!! The east end of Stratford’s Ontario street did not look as I remembered it. There were trees where there had not been trees. A giant Walmart under construction where there had been a car dealership for as long as I could remember. Old business's gone & new ones in their place. I had to ask Jim several times just exactly where we were because many of my old familiar reference points had been altered. For a fleeting moment I was disoriented. Entering the new Tim Hortons where once a Kentucky Fried Chicken place had stood I again felt like a visitor from another World. I had no recollection of a KFC on that corner years ago despite driving by that intersection thousands of times in my 20 years in the city. Even tonight typing this my mind is still searching through memory banks trying to come up with a visual image of that KFC. So far no files have been found………………………
I don’t have to be in a city, I only have to be near a city, to be reminded of why I do not live in a city. Any city. Our 7 years in an old country farm house took care of any further urban living for both of us. And for Kelly, Pheebs & I, that has turned out to be a good thing. But here’s something odd. My friend Jim grew up on a farm, drove tractors, plowed fields, herded cattle, & pitched hay. I on the on the other hand grew up in a small village near a city & never did do any of those things. We both randomly ended up in Stratford round about the same time many years ago. Jim is still there & has no desire to ever live in the country again. I on the other hand rebounded out of the city to land in the country with no desire to ever live in a city again. Ahhhh, tis quite a pair of diverse lads we sometimes are………………me & my old buddy Jim:))
GROANER’S CORNER:(( Some female philosophy tonight:
Two ladies sitting chatting……….."Your a widow aren’t you.” “I am, & may my husband rest in peace till I get there”.
“Has there been any insanity in your family”? “Yeah, my husband thinks he’s the Boss”.
“We women are Angels and when someone breaks our wings, we simply continue to fly on a broomstick. We are flexible like that”.
- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.