May 2013

4 articles in May 2013

Hhe’s looking at me! He thinks I don’t know it, but I do!

‘I can see you, Charlie, I can see you!’

Those stupid, painted doll-like eyes staring out of that wooden head. Sneering at me. There was a time when I could ignore him. Drop him in his box at the end of the act and forget about him until the next performance. That was long ago when I first got started as a ventriloquist. Then it was ‘The amazing Eduardo’. That’s how the billing read. No mention of ‘Charlie’ … just me, Eduardo. But slowly he got in on the act.

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Tthe autumn months on the seacoast are the best time to sit on a bench and watch the people and their tales walk by. OK, I don’t ask everyone about their lives and their stories.

However, I have the type of imagination that gets sparked by a simple glance or an ignoring grin. This is also the perfect time to dig into some of the lives of the people who lived before me. Throughout the history of the town I adopted over 30 years there have been many citizens of strong character and work ethic. But, there have also been people who most would say were a bit strange.

Of course, I am not one to call anyone strange. The Reverend Ralph F. Lowe who was pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1896 had discovered memoirs written by his grandmother and some other members of his family. In it he tells the story of many of these citizens of York who were considered a bit different.

The memoir talks of a house that was occupied by “Skipper Bill” Allen and his sister Almira. The house was where York Street meets with Route One. Skipper Bill was a seaman who everyone thought should have been a captain of a ship had it not been for his unfortunate habit of drinking a bit too much. Throughout the anthology it was obvious that many of our early inhabitants drank a bit too much.

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Tthis is one of my favorite times of year but, then again, living on the Maine Coast, every time of year is my favorite. Spring specifically means a time when one works in their garden and in their yards. This is the time of year when I work to make my house as colorful as possible. To do this I must travel to one of my favorite nurseries to buy the flowers that will adorn my home.

I tried to leave, as early in the morning as I could, because I knew that everyone would want to do his or her planting during one of our few sunny days of the spring. A wonderfully pleasant woman who was working in one of the “hot-houses” met me: I wonder if they have to pass some sort of a ‘nice’ test in order to become a clerk at a nursery.

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Iiwish I could relax again. It’s not that I have a stress filled life. I just miss the time in my life when I had little on my mind with the exception of what I had planned for the evening or how I was going to feed myself the next day.

I guess this means I am missing my youth when I was not responsible for my own life. I placed that responsibility on my parents who always looked stressed. I am not alone with this problem. I read about hundreds of thousands of people taking medications in order to get through their day. These same people then take medications allowing them to sleep through the night.

Since I am terrified of any prescription drugs I would never allow myself the convenience of feeling better according to some bio-technological breakthrough that has something to do with one’s mind. Since I don’t understand my mind now changing it is simply not an option. So, what does one do to relax? I have been told exercising relaxes one’s mind and soul.

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