"The Wondering Jew"
Nov. 30, 2004 - 22:10 MST
THE WONDERING JEW
Floating In The Fog
Sheesh, two and a half hours into and trying to get my entry posted only to have my password requested again. My entry long gone it appears. Frustrating to say the least. Tomorrow I will try to reconstitute my thoughts and make that particular subject take form in an entry.
The speaker ascends to the dais, looks to the audience and notices the sheaf of papers for his speech are all blank. He says, "Uh, er, hum, spontaneous speech by me is a bit difficult but if you will bear with me, I'll give it a shot."
When I was about sixteen a man who worked in the same complex where Mom's Western Union branch office was became a friend of our family. He would come and eat with us and afterward he and Dad would proceed to pick apart the doings of the world and place their judicious decision of what it would take to solve the problems existing then.
I would sit quietly, to the side, listening and only occasionally asking for clarification on a point mentioned. I would follow along without trying to stick my oar in. Not characteristic of me I would say, but that is how it was.
He had taught school up in our back country during the worst of our depression and had many things to tell about that. One thing he related was finding out that the pancake sandwiches one child carried only had lard for a filling, and that is the way it was for many of the kids. So many things about that time he told which showed the kids determination to survive and earn their way into the world. If he visited on a Friday or Saturday evening, then the next day I was able to ask Dad about things I hadn't understood the evening before. I learned a bit, I did.
This young man had a cabin up by Buffalo Creek, southwest of Denver. I had the good fortune to go with him up there twice. Once in warm weather, what a nice place it was. One thing about it was that although it was a log cabin, it had a huge picture window looking out on the wild scenery, the little road into the cabin was not in sight, nor were fences either.
Behind the cabin was a cliff of decaying Pikes Peak Granite which lured me in my dreams the first night there. The next day, after breakfast I told him I was going to clamber around the rocks and he said, "Be careful." Yeah riiight. I was careful going up the chimney of rock and after gaining quite a bit of altitude I came upon a rock stuck in the chimney and above that there was nothing I could grab onto. Very carefully I stepped forward on that knife edge of rock and looked down, just as my friend John came out of the cabin. I hollered at him and he didn't hear me. So I stepped a bit further out and held on to a knob of rock which was handy, leaned over and hollered again. He heard me that time and as he looked up, the knob I was holding broke off.
Awkward as I was, I managed to flail around and stay on the rock. I had come so close to falling a couple of hundred feet that I broke out in a sweat, trembles and you know what all. Gathering my composure after a bit of a breathing spell, I made my way downn realizing how stupid I was going up alone, how stupid to hang on to rotting rock and just how very lucky I was to be talking about it. John told me, "You gave the greatest imitation of a windmill having fits on the rock up there. Sure glad I didn't have to scoop you up and carry the body back, dumb shit."
I went up there with him one more time, late in the year. We left the blacktop and went onto the dirt road, in a snowstorm. Managed to get to the cabin alright, just before dark. Went in and I went our and got enough wood from the stack to last the night while he built a fire in the fireplace and woodstove. By the time we had eaten and neatened up it was time for us to hang it up for the night. Slept the sleep of the angels too.
In the morning he got up earlier than I did and got the cabin warm. I fell out and pulled clothes on and walked to the table for a cup of coffee. Glanced out and saw the big fluffy white stuff coming down in abundance, falling straight down it was.
We spent the day at a table by the picture window and watched the snow fall making a picture post card scene of everything. Deathly quiet, giving a feeling that a person could hear the snowflakes hitting the snow that was already there. We played cards and talked, looking often out the window.
The next day another trip to the woodpile was in order, we had a nice breakfast, played more cards as the snow fell, we had lunch and he mentioned that he had to be at work tomorrow and we had better leave while we could. So we did the necessary clean up work and made our way to his car. Still snowing softly, snow higher than I thought we could manage but he started the engine.
Gently and carefully he eased his car out, and almost by the Braille system found the road and got onto it. From there on I rode as a white knuckled passenger as I had tried to help my cousin in town out of a place where his car had slid into a curb, hoping that nothing like that would happen in this instance while remembering how cold and miserable that effort was.
Until we reached the place where the blacktop began it was slither, slip and slide, skewed at times too. But he got us through. On the blacktop it wasn't so bad, there was snow on the road, fairly well packed and navigable at low speed.
Getting to the black top in a white world it was almost like Floating In A Fog . . . . . . . .0 comments so far