Here I sit on the stool in front of my laptop with the sole intention of writing another column. And I don’t have the faintest idea of what it’s going to be about.
I spent half of last night mentally scouting the past, the present and the future — if, indeed, we have a future.
If I hadn’t made an early-on promise not to include politics in this weekly offering I would not only have tons of column material, I also could write a weekly novel to go with it.
So where do I go from here?
How about a small community in Hancock County called Pellville?
That was where my mom was born and raised, and where one of my grandmothers lived and welcomed occasional visits from a loving grandson.
And it was her son and my favorite uncle, Millard, who provided those visits.
Don’t ask me how Uncle Millard would drive to Owensboro on a given Sunday in his Model A Ford Roadster, pick up Mom and six youngsters, haul them to his farm in Hancock County for Sunday dinner and then transport them back home.
A Ford Roadster was designed for only four people and that was a stretch of monumental proportions.
And where did I sit on such trips? How about in the rumble seat on my brother’s lap, That was considerably less than an enjoyable ride.
Regardless, the visits were great, especially the pony rides and climbing into the farm’s loft and jumping out onto piled up bales of hay.
Then came those times many years later when there were no relatives left in Hancock County and I went in search of the farm, the farmhouse and the barn. I could always find the right road but the house and barn were nowhere to be found.
Was I on the wrong road? Could I no longer see the familiar home? Did that part of my younger life just up and disappear?
The answers would be painful.
Earlier this year I received a call from a Hancock County man I did not know but one who knew of my grandmother and uncle. He also knew of my efforts to find the old family homeplace.
“That house and barn were torn down some 15 years ago,” he advised.”That’s why you didn’t recognize the place when you passed it those several times.”
I appreciated the call but the message was less than welcome. While a long time out of my life, the sights and sounds and memories remained vivid and I wanted to see them at least one last time. But that would never be.
Goodbye Granny. Goodbye Uncle Millard. Goodbye to a part of life that can never again be relived.