Only One Day

Discussion in 'Sound Off' started by spinner, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. spinner

    spinner Staff Member


    As a young pup I was left to explore and
    to make my way on my own a lot. My
    sisters were quite a handful for my
    mother to keep track of. They ranged
    from age 3 to age 17. They were
    toddlers and young women. All
    of the problems of youth wrapped
    up in one single parent family. My
    mother had been recently been left
    a widow at age 39 with 6 children.

    At times I almost felt like a
    leaf in the wind. I was making
    lots of decisions alone without
    any adult supervision. Many
    of my choices were quite poor
    looking back in retrospect. I am
    actually quite lucky to still be on
    this earth with some of
    the foolish choices I made.

    Not all of my choices were foolish.
    It was late fall and trout season
    was closed so I was limited in the
    things I could do.

    When I got bored I thought of
    things that could make me money.
    I decided to search the path from
    the high school to the downtown
    area and look in the ditch along
    the path and pick up pop bottles.
    In those days you could get .02 cents
    a bottle and usually
    one trip on this path gave me
    at least 50 pop bottles. It doesn't
    seem much now but a DOLLAR was
    a big deal to me back then.

    I started on main street and worked
    towards the high school. The pop
    bottle spelunking was going quite
    well and I had to go
    home quickly and get a bag
    because there were just too
    many to carry. The ditch was
    a veritable gold mine this day
    and I was weighed down heavily
    with at least 60 pop bottles on the
    end of my journey.

    I was already
    thinking about what I was going
    to spend my HUGE pay day on.
    I had the bag hung over my
    shoulder and was walking back
    to the grocery store to cash in
    my treasure and I saw
    two high school students
    dressed really oddly walking
    towards the High School.

    Me being the curious type I asked
    what was up with the
    costumes. The two girls said
    they were going to be in a play
    called "Brigadoon" at the
    High School later that night and
    they were heading
    there to do their final dress
    rehearsal. They asked me if
    I wanted to come watch them practice
    their lines. I immediately said "NO";
    I thought it wasn't manly enough
    for me to be interested in. I was also
    in hurry to cash in my bottles and
    get some candy or a new fishing lure. I met
    four other more of the cast on the way
    to to the store. They were also walking
    to the High School decked out in costume.
    These were guys and it really looked like
    they were getting into their parts. They
    were practicing their lines as they walked.
    I was on a mission so I went onward to
    the grocery store.

    I cashed in my grand
    total of 70 pop bottles and asked the
    clerk at the store what the play was
    about. She gave me the short version
    of the play. It was about a magical place.
    It was about going back in time to
    a simpler way of life. The place only
    appeared once every 100 years.
    The name of the play was "Brigadoon."
    I checked out at the store. I bought
    no candy today; I bought a spinner to trout
    fish with in Spring. It was getting dark
    so I decided to go home for supper.

    The house was full with activity and the
    table was already set. My sisters were
    helping my mom with supper and I was
    really dirty from all the ditch diving.
    My mom sent me to the bathroom to
    shower and put clean clothing on. I
    protested but I always listened to my mom.
    The rest of the family was already seated
    when I returned. I sat down and ate supper.
    The topic of the play at the High School
    came up and my mother gave me a few
    more details about the play. It sounded
    really interesting and I thought what
    the heck. My mom made me take a
    shower and put on clean clothes.
    Why waste it, I thought. I had a quarter
    left from ditch diving and that is what it
    would cost to get in the play. Off I went to the play.

    The opening of the play had a couple
    hunters wandering in the mist and
    they seemed quite lost. The special effects
    in 1968 were amazing. They must have
    used some dry ice or something similar.
    The stage was engulfed in mist. At 11 years
    old I internalized much of what I saw
    and heard. These hunters became people
    in my life. One of them was my Dad and
    he was lost and couldn't find his way
    home from hunting in northern Wisconsin.

    Though my Dad had died about a year
    ago while deer hunting, I still had this
    weird fantasy that he didn't really die
    and that he would appear at home one day.
    I was swept away by the story of play from
    the moment I saw the lost hunters. I
    watched the play on the edge of my seat
    the entire time. I was glad that it was
    dark in the gym because I was
    fighting back tears quite often. I
    loved that play and is my all time favorite.
    However, I didn't like the ending
    of the story, because you would have
    to wait another hundred years for
    Brigadoon to reappear.

    The play touched me because it
    talked about simpler times and
    going back in to your past. I
    remember all of the things my Dad
    taught me about the outdoors.

    I had my own little Brigadoon every
    time I went to the trout stream. I was
    where my Dad seemed the happiest
    and I could imagine him being with
    me on every outing. Every wildflower
    he had identified for me and had
    shown me the magic of the outdoors.
    All of the smells and sounds of the
    outdoors take me back.

    I can still see him smile when he
    showed me the Impatiens balsamina wildflower.
    My face must have showed astonishment
    and awe when he had me touch that orange
    odd looking flower . I can remember him
    making sure that I was really close so I
    could see the flower and the pod
    area exploded and shot seeds raining
    down on me. I can not go by a Touch Me Not
    flower in the fall without getting close to
    it and to see my father's smile each time
    I touch those magical flowers.

    Many children are bitter and lose
    their path when their father or
    mother die when they are young.
    I chose to embrace and remember
    all of the wonders of the outdoors
    and see my father in each outing
    in the wildflowers and every aspect
    of the outdoors in my own and
    very private Brigadoon.

    I see my father's smile in every
    wildflower I see.