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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chapter Two The Flame


Working with Nick every day you would think it would just be a simple matter of asking him about the apartment. He’s managed to keep his secret because of his family at the newspaper. Wow! That’s the ultimate test of loyalty. If my nosiness gets back to him, I doubt he’ll perceive it in the manner that I intend. What have I gotten myself into? I don’t want to undermine Nick’s faith. He has been a father figure to me. I do not wish any harm, yet curiosity consumes me, with every clue I find. Seems to me the way to forget would be to tear the apartment down, severing all ties. He could not do that. Allowing the apartment to remain, time stands still. It’s a monument of the love he once had and still carries, “The Flame”. 

Nick reminds me of the actor Jimmy Stewart. Nick and Julie grew up neighbors.  Attended the same school, same church, always together, celebrating birthdays, family events. Their parents dreamed that one day they would marry and when it actually came to pass, they were overjoyed.

Nick studied journalism at Indiana State. He would laugh, saying that Julie’s forte was in nothing accredited. Social activities were her major.

After graduation Nick was groomed by his father, Ralph to take over the family business. A few years later Nick became the publisher of the family owned newspaper THE OBSERVER. Running the newspaper was what Nick had been raised to do. One of his earliest memories was of sitting on papa’s lap and looking at a big desk. Nick used the old desk for several years but needed more space than what the old antique gave him.

Nicks secretary-bookkeeper was trained by his father’s secretary so the transition went smoothly as the new generation took control. Ruth Goins came to work for the newspaper after graduation, having worked through the vocational department of the high school. A program designed to give high school seniors real work experience and a shot at landing a job through school. Ruth proved to be a gifted student and a prime example of the success of the program. Ruth was a few tears younger than Nick but was a perfect secretary for him. 

Friday night, Keith and I meet at Zona’s for a couple drinks and discuss the apartment. I explain the feeling of warmth and the dust outlines that were visible only a few seconds. Keith comments “Looks as though the apartment is going to reveal its secrets to you. You will have to have patience along with persistence. The apartment has waited a long time. It has waited for you. That explains the preoccupation you have with the locked door. Everybody else just ignores it but not you. I am however intrigued with the dust formations. How do you explain them, did you fall asleep?”

“I was daydreaming but I assure you that I was not sleeping. I opened my eyes and there they were. Sunlight was shining beautifully. It was so magnificent I could see the dust specks glowing. There were millions possibly billions of specks highlighted perfectly by the sunlight. As if cued they instantaneously came together and I saw two human forms directly across the table from me.

Having thought about what happened, I think of it as a quick introduction, not intended to frighten me. Quite the opposite; gave a tiny glimpse of what lies ahead. When walking through the door into the apartment I enter a different world. I sense a presence, as if there is still life there. I am a seeker to observe and close the book to this story. It is too early to make sense but that is what I feel. You probably think I have gone crazy”.

“Not at all Bob, you are immersed in the story the way I once was. I was jealous, completely in awe of the love he possessed. I’d lay awake aching for just a fraction of the love that my good friend had. You can talk to me Bob. We can meet here at Zona’s every Friday or whenever you feel the need. You have done an excellent job of feeling the story. It has made an impression on you. You must keep objectivity. While in the apartment let your senses run rampant. When you leave, return to reality. You must keep them separate. Do you understand Bob?”

“I’m a bit confused Keith, you’re the one that told me to relax and feel the story.”

“That’s right, but I can see the apartment has become an obsession. I’m on your side. When we become too close we lose objectivity. Never in a million years would I have believed you would become as close as what you have. Heaven sakes man, you are seeing visions out of dust. Do you not see that as strange? Please, my friend, it’s possible forces that we do not understand are guiding you. It might be a once in a lifetime opportunity. I merely wish it to be a good one. Our first discussion was to feel the story. Now do what you have been trained to do. Write an accurate detailed story and let your heart enhance, not control.”

We finished our drinks and went our separate ways. Driving home I thought about what Keith said. Has the apartment become an obsession? While lying in bed, I replay what has happened. I was certainly preoccupied by the door and I did walk up the steps on many occasions. The first visit saw me overwhelmed. The second visit I was relaxed, leaving with a warm heart. I understand Keith’s concern; however the third visit will set the tone. I will go back with a better understanding. What happened to the mysterious lady of Nick’s?

I open the door intending to search the living room. I brought a flashlight and stand still for a moment to be at ease before turning the flashlight on. I make a complete sweep of the living room. Behind the door where the hallway begins is a small writing desk and chair. They were not visible before because they were behind the door where it was completely dark. To the left of the door are a chair, end table and lamp. A large window with torn curtains is on the north side. A stand with a record player is beside the couch, and another end table with matching lamp. Before the hallway begins is a stand with an old rotary dial phone just like my grandparent’s. I walk over to the record player and open the lid. I push the switch; the needle moves over and aligns itself. Several scratches are heard and music begins. Electricity still flows in the old girl.” Old girl” seems more personal than “the apartment”. The old 45 record is Sea of Love. Fascinated by my discovery, I reach for the light switch and the bulb comes to life. I’m shocked from what just happened. The black lamp with the shade hanging down on one side highlighted the R. C. A. Victor record player. The record stopped and the needle aligned itself and shut off. I sit down at the writing desk and look across the room at the other lamp. Within seconds I pull the switch and presto just like magic. A life magazine lays on one end table and there was a thin phone book under the old rotary phone. On the desk is an 8x10 picture. Eureka! I quickly grab for it, it must be the lady’s family. People sometimes write information on the back. I carefully slide the black and white picture out of the wooden frame. It reads Mom and Dad, 20 year anniversary. I had hoped for more but it is a start. I search the desk but found no more clues. I turn the two lamps off before leaving the room.

I walk into the kitchen and sit down in my chair close my eyes, take a deep breath. I am completely relaxed and allow my mind to drift anywhere it wants. I see the living room in its glory days, with fresh wallpaper and new curtains. Birthday enters my thoughts. I see a gold heart shaped locket on a chain. At that instant I hear a pigeon cooing. I open my eyes and see the dust form into two silhouettes, I see a man and to the left a woman. I’m not dreaming and it is not my imagination. Poof, they’re gone. If the pigeon had not cooed would I have missed them? Certainly an interesting question. That seems to be the purpose after all, to draw my attention at that exact instant. I doubt anything will top that, enough for today. I leave with a smile on my face and a feeling of satisfaction at my discoveries of today. I lock the door and put the key in the desk. I see a chair that looks as though it belongs with the desk, it has a high back with wooden slats, I place it with the desk and sit down, feels good! I run my hand along the desk top feeling as though it was alive, why I did that I’m not sure.  

My drive home was exhilarating as I thought of the record player, lights coming to life, the locket , the picture and of course the dust formations. I can see why archeology work is satisfying. Brush away layers and find the big discovery.

I slept well and dreamed I’m a young boy sitting on the couch in the apartment coloring a heart shaped locket.

During the week I think about the apartment but I do not dwell on it. I do my job and look forward to talking to Keith on Friday.

Keith and I talk about work for a few minutes and then I tell him that electricity still flows through the old girl. He laughs and emphasizes “unbelievable!”

“Did you say old girl? Somehow it seems right, blood still flowing through her veins, her pulse. It makes sense but unexpected. What made you try the electricity?” I explained how I impulsively hit the switch and the old record player jumped to life. We have a good laugh at that. I describe in detail the living room and the photograph. Keith listens intently not stopping me once. ‘It’s a shame the back of the photo did not yield more but the clues will piece themselves together as in a puzzle”, Keith adds. Hesitantly I tell him about the dust forming. Emphatically Keith tells me “my friend you have stepped into the twilight zone. This story only gets better. All those years electricity flows through her. A heartbeat only you can sense. You travel as one the rest of the journey. Man, I now find myself jealous of you, my boy! This could be the most important story of your life. Appears to me, it is your destiny. I must admit to being confused with the dust formations. Keep up the good work Bob. I’m not worried about you anymore. You seem to be in good hands, or should I say, that you seem to be in good with the old girl. You must follow the path wherever it leads. Enjoy the trip and anytime you want to talk feel free to call me. I will talk to Ruth. We teasingly make remarks about the lady and Nick that makes me believe that she knows everything. She is Nick’s secretary and acts like his sister; so protective. If she is as tight lipped as she is tight with her books I won’t learn much. Ruth and I have worked here our whole lives. I have been to her home countless times for Sunday dinner. Through the years we have attended social activities together. She’s not bad looking, needs to let her hair down and loosen up. She always seems uptight and business like. Hell, if she would loosen up she might be a whirlwind. I will ask her to join us here at Zona’s. Once I took her to a wedding and the reception afterwards. We drank some wine and she started acting friendly, giggling, touching me in a sensual way. I thought it’s probably the wine getting to her, believing she didn’t drink very ofte; threw me off balance. I have never seen her act like that before. We were two lonely bodies with animalistic instincts rising to the surface. I was getting, you know, and I snapped out of it. I consoled myself thinking it’s the wine. I would never take advantage of her. Later I questioned whether she making a pass at me but the next week at work it was business as usual, Ruth the bookkeeper. We have remained friends and no intimacy has ever happened. Sorry Bob I got off track, but I wondered a few times had I pursued that moment further what might have happened. If it would of blossomed or destroyed our friendship. Hell I have never understood women. I am doomed to be a lonely old man. Anyway I will speak to her”

After buying another drink I said goodnight. The heart shape locket was on my mind. I would thoroughly examine the desk tomorrow looking for hidden compartments. Talking to Keith gives me confidence and support. Discussing what I see and feel while in the apartment convinces me its reality and not my imagination playing. 

Any important issue of the day replay themselves while I am trying to go to sleep. Sometimes it is a blessing and sometimes it is a curse. I’m not obsessed with the apartment but I do daydream about it. While momentarily I might have a loss of concentration, I find myself energized. I have a good night’s sleep soundly and wake up renewed. A heart shaped locket, an angel on the top of a Christmas tree and the initials A. C. M. are replaying like a stuck record in my mind as I wake up.

It’s Saturday and my mother wants to see me after work. I explain that I have some important work to do at the office first. My mom seemed concerned about me last Sunday. Her exact words “you seem more relaxed and happier.” Teasingly she asked, “Do you have a new girlfriend?” Smiling back at her I say “It’s an old girl mom.” If she only knew; wanting to tell her all about my adventures but it was not the time and she would probably say, “Bobbie you have such an active imagination.” Dad was never one for conversation, he just chows down and returns to the television, leaving me and mom to talk about anything. Her motherly advice is, find a good girl and have children. Get out have fun, relax, don’t take work home with you. Kissing me goodbye she said, “All work and no play, my Bobbie will get no rolling in the hay.” Mothers! She is the only person to still call me Bobbie and wants me to have sex. Of course she has her own ulterior motive, she wants a grandbaby. What a mom.

I sit down at the roll top desk with one overhead light shining directly above me. I think, this old desk has been around a long time. If only it would talk. I say out loud if you have anything you wish to reveal please do so and help me in my journey to find out about the old girl upstairs. Laughing at myself, here I am asking Mr. Desk for help. I slowly, search the middle drawer and the four large bottom ones. Keith advised me to look for a hidden section, small drawers, small compartments, odd shaped. Apparently when Mr. Desk was made there was a purpose for them. They only add to the mystery now. In the back and middle are six wooden dividers that appear to slide in and out to make different size sections. I’m playing around and never expecting anything to happen, more out of boredom than searching. After removing all six dividers I was pushing one back in when the divider refused to slide back. Oh no, I’ve broken something. I bend over and get a better look. Something has fallen down I get the flashlight as an adrenalin rush causes my heart to speed up. A cigar box has falling from a hidden spot just like Keith told me. I remove the box and place it directly in front of me. I’m hesitant to open it even though I did ask the desk and apparently it heard me. Laughing at myself, it’s just a cigar box nothing peculiar about that, however where I found it was. I relax and return to somewhat normal sense, hopefully getting the full amount of oxygen to the brain. I replace the six dividers back where they go. It seems more fitting to open the box in the kitchen.

I unlock the door and turn one lamp on and start the R. C. A. Victor. Sea of Love plays as I turn the other lamp on and sit down at the small desk. I repeat exactly what I did last week, a ritual so to speak, hopefully to become one with the apartment. After the record player shuts off, I close the lid and turn the two lamps off. I go to my favorite chair in the kitchen. The cigar box has not left my hand since I found it, afraid it might magically disappear. Comfortable in my chair’ it’s time to open the cigar box. Slowly I open the lid nervously excited. Inside the cigar box is another box. It’s a red jewelry box. I place it carefully on the table and stare at it for a moment. It was taking all the strength that I had to raise the lid of the jewelry box. Cold chills run down my back. I freeze, my eyes gaze upon a gold heart shape locket. I can’t breathe. My arms will not obey, I cannot make myself move. Time stops as I look at the gold heart shape locket. Suddenly as if magic, my whole body becomes warm and I’m no longer frozen. I place the locket between the place settings. Instinctively I knew that was to be done. Within seconds the dust forms into a man and a woman. A bluish white light circles the forms and the locket. The two forms are fuller, brighter more pronounced than before. The woman has dark hair, poof!!! The forms disappear. I stare in disbelief for some time, before returning to normal. I pick the locket up and it has more brilliance than before as though it was freshly cleaned. It was wonderfully warm and a gentle like spark goes through my fingers. I sit back down and turn it over numerous times. The locket opened; apparently I touched the latch in my excitement. Inside is a black and white picture, of Nick’s lady. I stare at a small but visible photograph of a beauty. Penetrating eyes, beautiful smile. I cannot look away from her. I must be daydreaming so I smack my face hard, ouch, it’s real. With great care I put the locket back in the red jewelry case. I notice some stationary folded up under the packing material. Ever so delicately I unfold the green stationary it reads,









I LOVED YOU YESTERDAY                            Yours Forever Angel

What a beautiful name. I did dream of an angel on top of a Christmas tree. I inspect every letter to savor the moment. This Angel has beautiful handwriting. I remember Keith saying, the lady had to have been an angel because while they were together, Nick soared the heavens. I read the note countless times. After what happened today, I could not place the shiny heart shaped locket back into the confines of the old desk. It had been held captive long enough. It now captivates me. The love it represents must be cherished. I place the stationary back in the red jewelry box and lay it between the place settings. I uncoil the chain holding the locket and place it in a heart formation on the table, surrounding the case with Angel’s letter. This only appears fitting because their bond is the apartment. I feel privileged to be part of this story. I only hope that I, as a young reporter, can do justice to the heartwarming story as it is presented to me.

The love that Nicholas and Angel share is a love across time.
                                                                                                                             End chapter two “INTRODUCTION”
Robert S. Garrity         

Friday, December 30, 2011


Do you know what my favorite time of the day is boys and girls? No not lunch time! No not time to get off work! Now! Because I'm free, to be me! I have no agenda, nothing to sell. It's not Sunday morning and I'm not in the pulpit! Whatever is on my mind I say it, why? I need to practice typing and thinking. I have started a hobby really late in life. No not thinking! That's the problem I've always thought too damn much! That's my problem! All the thinking in the world does no good. Thinking gives me migraine headaches! I must have a release, so a friend of mine recognizing my dilemma gets me into my madness deeper! What a pal! What a pal! He cannot tolerate listening to me anymore, so he wants me to spread my illness around the globe. There is mad cow disease, bird flu, cancer, heart disease etc.

He wants me to start a new mental illness, Glennitus!  He's a smart old fart! Them big Pharmas have cornered the mental illness market creating new disorders and making new meds. You can't fight pills with pills like fire with fire! Damn! We all know by now there is only so much money in the world and The Federal Reserve prints it! We must have vision to try alternative madness. My name is Glen View and that's where I come in.

I have been a mental illness medicine sampler test subject for a long time and I have fought and conquered all them billions of pill men armies! I'm the first of a new strain of non-addictive free choice lunatic! My goal is to unhook the silly craziness that they have kept bottled up! (hahaha) And a word they don't comprehend, it's "free" baby! Right know I can read your mind! You're saying to yourself. "This is one !@#$ed up man!" My answer to that is "right on brothers and sisters of the world!" You think you can fight them SOB'S that have destroyed our world with Intellectual Brainiacs that have gone to Ivy League Colleges! Damn! Them are the ones that have created the world of modern take as many drugs a day as what your insurance will cover!

I'm the new Super Blog Dummy and I'm here to cleanse your brain of drug induced, political, news media overload, before it's too late! We are Ooonnee! We the world must think together as ONE! One of spirit mind and soul! We must get these drug induced devils out of our heads! They want us not thinking! But rather thinking through our asses as they lead us to temptation with them devil drugs and them smooth talking Ivy League Debaters that debate and debate and debate and never say anything! Yeah we so full of them devil drugs we actually believe Polluterticians!

Ask any man on the street, since they can't pay their mortgage anymore! Ask them "who you think is going to win the next Presidential election?" I guarantee you they'll say "a Republican or a Democrat." Nope it'll be a DUMOCRAT or a REPUKETICIAN!" How can I be so sure of myself? I say "look at the past 50 years or so!"

People, people, people!!! Look at the complete destroying of America in just the last 20 years or so!!! Just focus on one thing, our debt!!! Do you think Billy Bob Nascar did it! How about I. M. NERD! They're too busy drinking beer, hollering yee-haw and creating robots and new cellphones to destroy the I, Q. OF THEIR UNBORN CHILDREN!

I completely understand the dilemma you're facing right now. Your saying to yourself "this Glen View feller is plum !@#$ing crazy! Yep! I take that as a compliment! You ain't going to win with money against the powerful enemy we face! You ain't going to win with intelligence or military cause they own that! You got to out flank them with Glennitus and if you have read this post I'm attempting to reboot your brain so we can out Glen View them with my !@#$%^&*!@#$%^&!!! AH, HA, HA, HA, HA.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What's In Store For 2012!

Golly, gee-whiz, boys and girls how you doing out there in Blogdom? I'm alive and filled with a passion! You ain't seen nothing yet! 2011 was a warm up for 2012. I have so many things I wish to write about I could write eight hours a day! Damn there's only one thing that gets in my way! Actually two, life and work. Dag gone it! Damn it! You know if it wasn't for those two things I would be REAL happy. Work is well, WORK you know! Well let me explain a mite. I like to work actually! I know I'm crazy but hear this old man out! (Whoopsey! Read this old man out! That doesn't have the ring to it does it?) Anyhow, what I was saying before my brain interrupted me was, even as an old tired man, I like to push myself a little bit and get them damn endorphins going! Damn it's getting late I hope that's what I meant to say! (hahaha) You know whenever them cavemen would need to outrun some of them prehistoric critters! There body would create more adrenalin and they would out run one of them big sabre tooth tigers. You see I love when them little endorphin things mooove thru me body! I look at it as cleansing my clogged arteries! Oh yeah! Like rooter-rooter only instead of a clogged sewer drain filled with, well you know! It be keeping them arteries running free! Yee-haw! That be the only kind of boost this old man gets anymore.

I take a lot of blood pressure medicine! "How much do I take?" I'm sure glad someone in Norway asked that question! Thank you very much and thank you for reading my silliness! Damn! Damn! Damn! I confused myself, now where was I? Oh! Oh! Oh!

My own Doctorman was scratching his head and tells me! "You take enough medicine to put down a mule!"

That struck me really funny! I let out a belly laugh and said, "I reckon I'm a stubborn old Jackass then!" I take the maximum amount of some of the best blood pressure medicine that money can buy!

I say Doc here's what I think! "I do real good in my normal environment with my doggie and such. It's times like visiting the Doctor, (haha) and such that sends my blood go pressure up."

I continue and attempt to make my point! "I must work the graveyard shift at my age and that's not good for the blood pressure! I have always been a high strung individual and that don't help! Those two are bad enough but now you add in what I'm about to tell you! I must work with some of the craziest !@#$%^&*!@#$%^&S.O.B's you have ever seen!" He looks at me with a smirky grin on his face like he doesn't believe me! I wanted to slap that !@#$ing grin off his face!

 I said, "what I need is something to take only when I go to work to calm me down, a light sedative."

He tells me, "you already getting that plus more in the medicines you take!"

I tell him, "It's not enough for the ones I must deal with!"      

I'm warming to write some stories next year that you ain't going to believe. Fact or fiction! Only I will know and should make for some good laughs, if I can do them the justice they deserve. Truth is stranger than fiction and I am to prove it! The story I wrote The Fork Lift Man was true with a touch of me thrown in. There is an recent occurrence with him that's so outrageous I'll have to write it next year. I have many, many characters to write about where I work. Remember I work the graveyard shift! That alone sets up the story. Whow-za!

Anyhow I'm going to post chapter 2 of my short story The Flame this weekend with the next chapter tentatively scheduled for the weekend after. This story is what started the madness I lovingly call Glen View. I have countless short stories I wish to write, some lie dormant just waiting for the time.

In learning myself to type and write I inadvertently have played around with my innermost thoughts and ramblings at the end of my day. What I tell you is true, I take my nightly meds and play around saying whatever is on my mind. I personally have had a blast with these not planned let'er rip post! I hope you have also! Thank you very much for visiting my humble site, goodnight my friends no matter where you roam! Glen  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Years Resolution and Michael Jordan Shoes!

I'm making my New Year's resolution early! I Mr. Glen View am going to stop caring! Yep you heard me right! I don't care! How's that! Yippee! I'm free! I got that monkey off my back! So now I can concentrate on other things more important in life.


N. B. A. is under way again. Goodee! Now we can watch millionaires play with a basketball, rather than a football or a baseball. I'm soo excited! Whoopee! Speaking of basketball, what the !@#$ is the deal with people and these retro Michael Jordan shoes? Standing in lines all night, riots and such! Do these knuckleheads think these shoes are going to improve your basketball skills? Are they going to make you cool like M. J.? Are they going to give you more charisma with the ladies? Are they goint to improve your I. Q.? God I hope so! Are you young adults asking your Momma big bucks for these super shoes when she works two jobs to put a roof over your head? You really think them M. J. shoes gonna make you fly like him, when your brothers throw your ass off the roof? You put them shoes on and walk down the side streets of Chicago and we'll see how fast them M. J. RETRO shoes can make you run! I really doubt it will be faster than a speeding bullet! What are you gonna do with them if you make it home alive with them shoes? Put them red retro running high flying super shoes on with your best hooded sweatshirt and walk around the apartment bouncing your head off the door jambs because you can't take your eyes off them M. J. superman shoes. Do you think all the knots on your head from hitting them door jambs are gonna turn into brains? I don't think so, sorry! So you got them M. J. shoes and you tell all your bro's in your neighborhood. You hold them in bed so they don't jump away! Yeah! Them be Michael Jordan shoes if you leave them be, they might jump, scoot, fly away or decide to play baseball or go play golf! You can't sleep from fear they'll leave you! You no longer go to school, you can't leave the apartment. If you wear them to school, you'll be mugged, possibly killed over them red retro M. J. shoes! You wander around bouncing off doors from looking at them! You can't eat, can't sleep! Damn my feet sure look good in them M. J. shoes though! Weeks go by, there are so many bumps on your head you no longer feel pain as you bounce from one door to the next. Your Momma is so worried about you she tries to take them devils away countless times. Since you never sleep you see her approaching and snarl like a wild animal. Finally it comes to an end. You make a slight miscalculation, instead of going through a door way, you go through the window and you live on the fourth floor! Oopsey! By the time you hit the cement a riot breaks out as people see them red retro M. J. shoes flying through the air! Not up, up, and away for a dunk, but down, down to party's over!

You leave your body and float away. You end up in a line waiting for your evaluation of life. The majority of men in line aren't wearing shoes! Wow!

I don't understand anymore and I don't care!!!  Goodnight wherever ye be!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Reflection,Timepieces, Death

I'm sitting here, in deep reflection, on Christmas morn. It's 3 am, I have most unusual sleep patterns from the crazy hours I must work. This is both good and bad! My thoughts are now snail like. Believe me when I say that's a much sought after blessing for me! All my life, my mind has run like an out of sync watch, moving much too fast, headed for a early blow out of the main gear! I've tried unsuccessfully to run normal time. (Believe me when I say I've tried!!!) Envious of normal timepieces and in particular the slow easy timepieces! I'm convinced years are added because of their slower running gears! Happy go lucky, not hurrying! An unknown, un-needed, un-necessary and un-understandable to the slow moving timepieces! (I hope you haven't missed my point on the un-wanted too fast part here!)

The quality of the pieces that go into the manufacturing of fine timepieces is the secret! I'm not talking the modern electronic computer pieces. I'm talking the lost art of fine Swiss movements. Only the best, every minuscule component made with craftsmanship. (Pride and love, beautiful words, don't you think!) Expertly assembled with magnification attention to details! Assembled in a contaminant free environment. These contaminants hold the secret! Giving the ideal manufacturing assembly the best chance for a long healthy smooth existence. Better still, adding extra time beyond the average life!

Wow! We're not really talking about timepieces here are we? Why is reflection necessary? We reflect to improve our frailties in life striving to do better! Of course! Why is it that we seem to never succeed in doing, what we most want! Please tell me! I have searched for the answer as long as I can remember! I'm tired and worn out! I feel like my heart's going to explode trying to accomplish the one thing I wish for, more than anything "peace!" No matter what I do, I do with all my heart! My strength leads to my weakness! In everything I try, I give all! Not just physical but with my heart, mind and soul! Example, I get upset to this day with individuals that give only a fraction! I question how can they live with themselves, giving less than their best? I cannot tolerate laziness in a working environment! As a child I always gave my best at all endeavors. You see this is where I get into trouble! My give it all attitude doesn't work well with some! I'm not in management and laziness drives me crazy! (Now you understand why I'm nuts and my blog is called Glen View!) One of my favorite scenes in the movie Lonesome Dove, is where Tommy Lee Jone's character Captain Call says, "I cannot tolerate rudeness in a man!" I suppose we all have our moments! (If we care, don't we!) What makes me strive do my best, is what keeps me going at times! The flip side is, I cannot tolerate laziness!

People only giving partially of themselves is beyond my comprehension! I lack the capability physically as I age but my mind gives all! (Why do I feel the need to apologize for that!!!) My mind continues to learn and expand while my body dies! My heart's deeply saddened! I'm going to tell you something that happened Christmas Eve this year. A true yet sadly troubling experience for me!!!

I'm out doing some last minute Christmas shopping and headed over to my Mother's for a spell, time is 3 pm. I have been having some trouble with my automobile/van; however I must do some errands. My van dies at the busiest intersection in my community and refuses to start! Picture this, Christmas Eve, a man (me) that has white hair and a white beard pushing single handily a Van thru the busiest intersection in my city! No one offers a hand! By the time this old Santa who has an enlarged aorta gets the van into the parking lot of a convenience store, I can't breathe! I gasp for air believing this is it! My heart's pounding out of my chest, I have weakness in my legs and dizziness! I'm about to pass out! I think, I'm gonna die on Christmas Eve, alone in a convenience store parking lot! I've always envisioned passing away peacefully in my sleep. That would be the best way to go, or slowly disappearing with love ones holding my hand, feeling their love as I fade. Dying in the parking lot of a convenience store was never thought of! The last page in my life's about to conclude as people scurry all around me. What seems forever! My body's in shock, as I lose body control! At that moment, I find strength pull myself out of van, somewhere! I steady myself on the door thinking fight! Fight! I have no idea how long all this is taking! Thoughts race through my mind! I'm not going to die here like this, I tell myself! Not on Christmas Eve in bright sunshine! I'm burning up, as my body is completely off kilter! I throw off my coat and force myself to take deep breaths! I'm pass out dizzy as I steady myself with the door! I see shadows all around me! I laugh people scurrying, talking on their cellphones, oblivious to Santa dying around them! My chest's on fire, feels double in size, as tight as a drum! My breathing slows and becomes deeper, my heart begins to slow down, my dizziness retreats! Many hours later as I'm taking a nap, I ponder upon this real nightmare, I'm extremely saddened! Has my small world been reduced to this? People talking on their cellphones so immersed with meaningless chatter to fill their gratification of nothingness that they cannot see something happening in real time right in front of them! Sadly with a heavy heart, I vote Yes!

 I cry for the loss of friends this holiday season and with the impact of what I came close too! I suppose this last year I've been  preparing myself for the inevitable with family illness, my own problems and recent deaths to someone my exact age that I worked with and my loyal best friend. Perhaps I've become to soft and lost touch with the times I must live in. I plead guilty! Maybe I dream of forgotten times or perhaps other dimensions! Quite possibly I belong somewhere else other than here! I do not know or understand! I reckon I'm a dreamer! For that I'm eternally grateful! I'd rather go through life sensing a purpose and giving my all, whether I'm right or wrong!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Grandpa's Chevrolet, Saves Christmas!

Approximately 25 years ago the week of Christmas was giving us record cold temperatures. The high's was only zero! The normal high's for mid December are mid thirties and twenty five for the low. An arctic blast's sweeps down freezing the midwest, producing record low temperatures even for January! Life goes on, if your automobile and furnace can withstand the pressure that it requires of them! (Brrrrr!) Many cannot! My Olds Cutlass has been able to cope with 12 to 15 degree "below zero" at night. We received several inches of snow before the record sub-zero onslaught! (Once again Brrrr!) This snowpack adds to the difficulties of driving and helps to keep the temperature lower. There most certainly will be a white Christmas this year! The best selling items this Christmas are coats, boots, gloves, insulated underwear, automotive batteries. Them poor tow truck drivers stay frozen! (How about another Brrr on that!) The only way to make sure your automobile is going to start was to keep it in a heated garage! If you're one of the lucky ones! All the Automotive Shops are full a hodgepodge of all makes, waiting for the gas lines to thaw. Yep! Gas was turning to gel right in the lines! Yep! That's not good, not good at all!

So I'm setting the tone for this story. The week before Christmas was brutal, but the worst was yet to come on Christmas Eve! It was the worst of my now 60 years. This was mid-eighties. Twenty five below zero predicted for Christmas Eve! All them mice are snug in their beds, of that I have no doubt! But! But! But! Christmas Eve is special!!! We get together with family! No record cold going to stop any one who's automobile is running! Phone calls are made and baby Christmas Eve is still on! We get our presents ready and put on many layers of clothing! I go outside to start my Cutlass and it doesn't fire a lick! It's dead! So I try my pick-up truck, nope! It's also dead! "Oh Holy Night"! (It's a Christmas story so I'm trying to use nice language!) I go inside completely distraught singing Christmas Carols under me breath! (Yeah right! Remember I'm being nice!) So I'm mighty blue! "Oh well there's nothing I can do"! I have a really long shot left!

A couple years before this brutally cold unheard of winter I bought a 64 Chevrolet Impala. The kind with a three speed shift on the column. (Huh! A lot of you probably don't know what that means! You shift the gears behind the steering wheel like they did during the days of old baby! hahaha) (Sorry I was just having a little fun with you!) Any way! I purchased this big white automobile real cheap because it had a water pump out. The man I bought it from told me it was his grandpa's car. I need something to drive to work and this fit into my budget you see! It was a good old automobile with really nice interior. The interior was blue and fancy smancy, the way they made them back then, with plenty of chrome, beautiful! Upholstery was still perfect. The body was rusting from the salt put on the roads in the winter. It serves me nicely for a couple years, a good old automobile for sure!

Do you see where I'm headed! It's Christmas Eve with the wind howling and 12 below zero. My truck and Cutlass won't start and I'm about to go try a 20 year old rusted out grandpa's car, that hasn't been fired up in at least a couple months! I figure my odds are about as good as a snow ball's chance in hell! (HAHAHA) The 64 Chevrolet sit's beside my garage with about 8 inches of snow covering it and stuck in snow drifts! I put the key in grandpa pumping the exclerator about five times while saying a prayer, laughing at myself for even trying this! That sucker fires up the first time and stays running, never misses a lick, like it was in Miami Beach! I could not believe it! I go inside the house with the good news and get the broom and snow shovel to dig grandpa out! That old fart! So Christmas Eve is on!!! "Hi-ho! Hi-ho! It's off to work I go"! I'm singing I'm soo happy!!!  I dig grandpa out with a zest and sing Christmas Carols! I check grandpa and he's warming up right nice for me and my Missy! I fill the backseat with presents and brush off every snowflake, I'm so happy! About a half hour later we're off to the family get together on Christmas Eve. Whoopee! When temperatures get extremely cold the old timer's put cardboard in front of the radiator to help the radiator to produce warmer air to the heater, yes sir we need that! Grandpa was purring like a cat lying in front of the fireplace on the coldest day of winter, which it was! Grandpa drives like a Cadillac and we're as warm as two bugs in a rug for a long winter's nap! The family get together seemed better than ever, might be the obstacles that everyone has to go though to make it! No Siberian artic coldfront going to stop the Christmas spirit! No sir!

By now it's getting close to midnight. I fire grandpa back up. We go riding around looking at Christmas lights. Wow! We're the only ones out, eveyone must be asleep waiting for the big guy in the red suit! We have the city to ourself! Everyone else is smart enough to be safely at home with the record of 24 below zero upon us! It's nice to be young and adventuresome, or silly, or maybe it was meant to be! A special moment never to be forgotten! There's one place we always ride around because of the beautiful displays. There's two identical lakes called "The Lagoons". Well something truly special is about to be seen! Since bitterly cold air (Brrrr) has been around these small lakes are frozen and guess what? Someone has placed a Christmas tree in the middle of the lake, lite up in all it's glory! Houses surround this lake and people are ice skating on Christmas day! We stop grandpa where we could have a good look and it was unbelievable!

I have gone from the lowest of low's, to euphoria that only Christmas can produce!

WE MAY GROW OLDER AND A LOT OF THINGS CHANGE; HOWEVER THAT SPECIAL CHILDLIKE  AMAZEMENT CAN COME BACK! WHEN IT DOES, IT SEEMS A MIRACLE, AT LEAST FOR A WHILE!    Merry Christmas to all and to all sleep tight! (Brrrrrrrr!!!) Your good buddy Glen here at Glen View. By the way this story is 100% true!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Robert Garrett is an over 50 Truck Driver who works while the world sleeps. Preferring the peacefulness of the late evening to early morning where there is less traffic. The world slows down and that suits him fine. Most of his life has been spent in the hurry up and wait world. There, it seems, your heart always beats fast and every beat brings you ever closer to an early closure. High blood pressure thrives amid those feelings that have become normal in today’s manmade hectic schedules. Where it takes 5 minutes to find what you need at the store and 10 minutes in the speedy checkout line.

Bob comes to these hours quite by accident, filling in for a friend who needed a helping hand due to illness. Coincidentally, it was when The Comet Hale Bop was visible. Had he not been working at night he would probably not have taken the time to view the night sky. Bob did and became hooked. Every night he takes the time to gaze at the most magnificent sight. This Comet touches him to the core. He feels renewed. He and the universe are now one.
Bob’s friend recovers but, since Bob’s new passion for life continues he decides to stay on the night shift. Every night is new and exciting. He has learned how to relax and appreciate the little things that used to go unnoticed. Animals are everywhere but you must train yourself to look beyond the tunnel vision. They lie at the edge of the high beams. Coyotes and Foxes are the smartest. Possums are the slowest. Deer scare you the most because some appear to understand and wait while others jump right in your path.
Each season brings unique characteristics. Spring breaks free of the winter doldrums. Summer is warm nights with your windows down smelling the corn. Fall brings the first frost and Holiday feelings. Winter is snow cold and everyone’s favorite, Christmastime and the spirit of the season.
One night close to Christmas Bob made his early morning run as usual. Suddenly the radio springs to life causing poor old Bob to jump in the seat. Oh Holy Night was playing. Usually Bob listens to talk radio; however nothing that night held his interest. He was driving along, deep in thought, enjoying the simplicity of the nightly drive in ways he could not do when working days. Bob was caught up in the moment as it was his favorite version by John Berry. A young girl’s voice says “Just for you Bob Garrett.” He thinks to himself “Holly Night!” He immediately pulls off the two lane highway and walks around his truck trying to regain his composure. He leans on the fender opposite the highway and stares into the heavens at the beautiful moonless night. The stars seem to shine brighter than ever. He feels so small, warmth and peace spreads through his body.
It is 3 A M. Lights begin popping on one at a time out of the darkness; Christmas lights. They are stretched around 3 trees and continue up a hill highlighting a small house and going up to the roof where a beautiful golden star shines. In front of the house a young blonde haired girl with big blue eyes is visible as if a spot light was shining on her. This young girl was perhaps 200 feet away yet Bob could see her mouth move as she says “Merry Christmas Bob, may God bless.” It was the voice off the radio. His knees buckle from underneath him. He tries to regain his balance as he sits down on the running board of his truck. He shakes his head and looks up at the night sky; one star is shining brighter than the others. Bob begins crying as he stares steadily at the one star. He looks back to where the house was, but it had vanished. He stares in disbelief. Totally shaken, he gets back into his truck. He starts and backs the truck up. There is a lane and he maneuvers his truck so that lights shine directly where the house stood only moments ago. There was absolutely nothing but a field of corn stubble where the field had been harvested.
The next morning, Bob wakes up convinced it was a dream. He never has experienced such a vivid dream with so much emotional content. That night at work Randy his dispatcher asks
“Are you feeling okay Bob? You did not speak or acknowledge me in any manner as you left this morning.”
“Yes I’m fine, thanks for asking though” Bob answers.
He begins his regular route and focuses on the job at hand, blocking out what Randy said. Bob tries everything to keep his mind off the dream. Even his favorite late night talk show with a subject he normally would be totally interested in could not keep his mind occupied for long.
Later at home as he sleeps, the dream fills his mind once more. That same day in his own vehicle, he retraces his route of the night he experienced the unusual sighting, unable to convince himself it was only a dream. He finds the lane where he pulled his truck into to get a good look only to see an empty cornfield once again. He spots large tire tracks. A feeling of relief followed by confusion runs almost simultaneously through his body as cold chills sweep through his body.
Saturday night he tries to rest but only sleeps for brief periods of time. His dreams are filled with bits and pieces of the little blonde haired girl. He remembers there is a church close to where the house should have been that night he saw the lights. It is a large red brick church with a graveyard as all the older churches seem to have. He drives to the church, why he wasn’t sure, it was simply something he had to do.
There are no cars in the parking lot. Bob gets out of his car and is drawn to the small graveyard. He slowly walks around and stops at a small tombstone with a star and an angel on it. Between an Angel and a Star it simply read “Gloria”. Bob was deep in thought and full of emotions attempting to make sense of his situation. He hears a voice say “Can I help you?” Bob was took a back believing he was all alone and glad that the voice was coming from behind, rather than well, you understand. After the other night anything seemed possible!
“Hi I’m the Pastor here, can I be of assistance to you?” Handshakes and pleasantries are exchanged.
Bob begins, “Perhaps you can, may I please tell you about a most peculiar incident from the other night.” that continues to baffle me? The Pastor motions “Let’s go inside where we will be more comfortable, there is a bit of chill in the air.” After seeing the small headstone and the Pastor he knows he is about to find out the secret he is looking for.
They take a seat in the front. It is your typical old fashion country church, immaculately kept, probably looks the same as it did when it was built.
“Please proceed” the Pastor says. Bob tells the Pastor the story with all of his emotions, nothing was spared. Both Bob and the Pastor had tears in their eyes as Bob concludes.
The Pastor says “That is a truly amazing story. Now I have much to tell you about your vision. Pastor Michael whom I just replaced retired and told me about a most precious child and that child is the one you speak of. Pastor Michael went in to great length about Gloria. He could not remember her last name and I believe that to be unimportant because everyone years ago knew her by her first name. That is how her father wished her to be remembered on her stone with simply an angel and a star. Her father believed that she was an Angel here on earth and surely is now a star in the heavens. Pastor Michael told me one day I would be questioned about Gloria. Seems he repeated the story countless times during the Holidays to strangers just as you in the same situation. You, Bob, are my first but; it will be a great pleasure to tell the story of Gloria to you.
Gloria was an ailing, little blonde haired, blue eyed girl that lived just down the road many years ago. Born with a bad heart, she lived to be 12 years old. Gloria and her family attended church here and people say she always had a smile. You could see her frail body was in pain but, you would never see it in her face; she was always smiling. She was the star of the Christmas play every year and always brought the people to their feet crying. She played the baby Jesus. Her favorite Christmas carol was Oh Holy Night; Bob felt warm from within. She touched everyone’s heart. Some say she was who she played in the Christmas play.
Gloria’s passion during the holidays was the church play and looking at the beautiful lights her father strung for her. Her father bundled her up in so many blankets she could barely move to keep her warm and they would sit in the car down the driveway so Gloria could enjoy her beautiful lights. He would sit with her until she fell asleep, only then would he carry her and put her to bed. She was unable to do much and he would not rob her of one of her few enjoyments. Gloria never complained and always smiled; that alone was what motivated her father and anyone she met.
Gloria’s last Christmas was out of this world. A frail Gloria carried in by her father. She was determined to play the baby Jesus one last time. Just her presence brought the church to an unprecedented level of excitement. The congregation was on their feet before the play began. Energy of the universe filled the country church. When the play began a golden light circled Gloria; she was glowing. The blonde haired, blue eye Angel was inside everyone’s heart. The spirit took control of the church. A golden light from heaven flowed through her
Gloria stepped out of the manger scene and the congregation witnessed a 12 year old Angel as she would look in heaven. This is what she would look like if her body had not been ravaged. Not one dry eye in the crowd, not one fussy child. Gloria led the church in her favorite Christmas song, Oh Holy Night. Gloria sings and it sounds as though 1,000 Angels were her choir. Everyone sways to the spirit with their arms stretched high above their heads, the power of the universe was being felt by all in this Church on Christmas Eve, a beautiful Angel singing, showing no signs of illness.
Suddenly a bright golden light shot through the roof of the church and hovered above Gloria. It penetrated her body and circled throughout the congregation and back through the roof. Gloria was in Heaven.
The tears were tears of joy, not sadness as they witnessed her going home.
Pastor Michael says a prayer and shakes Bob’s hand.
Every year the story of Gloria is repeated and I suspect it always will!



Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Flame Chapter One: Time Chair

The lock opens on the forbidden door; no turning back. My heart beats out of control as cold chills run the length of my spine. Hinges groan as a blast of air catches me off guard and slams the door shut. OK, fear out prioritizes curiosity anytime as I change my mind about entering. 

My fascination with the door starts with the first day of my new after school job, I was 16 years old. I was on a tour of the newspaper and told to ignore the six steps and the door that seem out of place on the top floor of this building on Main Street. That is the one word you should never say to a young man on a mission wanting to be a newspaper man “IGNORE”. Curiosity now consumes me. My initiation to the newspaper business came on the first day, I was told to clean the ink trays; needless to say I was covered with ink. My mom and dad enjoy an unexpected laugh at my expense. My boss Nicholas Joseph Sonnatello explained to me that I must learn all jobs here at the Observer if I wish to be a newspaper man. He began to teach me hands on, from the bottom up, just as his father taught him. Not once have I regretted my decision, I bleed ink, not blood. I am now employed, full-time after graduating from Indiana State University. I have been employed six years, working part-time during high school and college. Nick gave me a full time position, with one stipulation. He could not afford what the larger newspapers could; however if I would work a few extra hours on Saturday doing various chores, that always seem to pop up he would match their offer. I gladly accept the position of reporter, assistant pressman and gopher.  Truth is I did not want to work anywhere else. It is a family atmosphere, at the Observer and I love what the name implies “THE OBSERVER”.

My name is Robert S. Garrity, “Bob”, my Grandmother nicknamed me “Sneak” when I was a toddler, later changed to “Seek” by my Mom and Dad. I always had more than my share of curiosity and sneakiness as my Grandmother called it. My actual middle name is Stanley so I just go by S., (WOULDN’T YOU!)      

There was never a problem ignoring the forbidden door while the building was buzzing with people, but it plays with me when I am here alone on Saturdays. I hear “Bob” soft and sweet in a womanly tone, it seems as though it is coming from the top of the six steps. It’s impossible to walk anywhere near the door, without sensing the drawling power it has on me. Countless times, I have walked to the top of the six steps and turned the doorknob, expecting it to open. I find myself dreaming about it. The door opens and I see myself in a mirror.

 One day I was snooping around in the storeroom, I am a young reporter with the nickname Seek, so curiosity must be expected. Underneath a canvas tarp, I find an old roll-top desk. It was a huge desk with endless amounts of drawers and cubby holes across the entire back side.  I meticulously examine the old antique, and “HELLO”. There is a key. Could this be the key to the “THE FORBIDDEN DOOR?” Soon I will find out.

I choose the next Saturday to test the key. It will be midday with plenty of light for the fearless reporter. I go about my chores filled with anticipation. I’m now standing at the bottom of the steps. The door seems to be toying with me. I visualize the steps as they might appear in an Alfred Hitchcock movie, growing larger with every step that I make. I shake my head as though something might be wrong with my eyesight and force myself to take another step. I am overwhelmed with apprehension and anticipation at the same time. I place the key in my right hand and try to insert it into the lock. Cautiously I turn the key and the door opens. I take a deep breath and step inside. I now stand one step inside. Musty stale air overwhelms my senses. I’m standing motionless to allow my vision time to adjust. Slivers of light are making their way through hundreds of tiny holes in the drapery. It’s a living room with couch, end table with a lamp, table with a radio, record player, telephone and chair.

Light shines from a hallway on my right. I walk into the light. The door slams scaring the bageegees out of me. I think I’m either brave or stupid; no both seem appropriate. A small dimly lit bathroom is to my left, fifties in appearance. A bedroom is at the end of the hallway with fifties d├ęcor. A door to the outside is in the bedroom, rather odd place. The light draws me like a moth into the flame. I turn right and look directly into sunlight. Two oversize windows allow sunlight to penetrate every inch of the kitchen. I’m submersed back to another time. I’ve gone from fear of opening the door to the darkness of the living room to the light in the kitchen. The few steps I’ve traveled have given me the strangest experience of my life. The kitchen is fully equipped. General Electric range and refrigerator just like my grandmother’s; the countertop is equipped with appliances, all of the same era. A table with four chairs sits in the middle and it has place settings for two. The table has huge chrome legs with chrome trim on the sides and grayish white top. The four chairs have oversize chrome legs that match the table with a generous amount of red padding on the seat and back, very comfortable in appearance. They represent the modern look of that era, ancient in appearance by the look of today.

I stand motionless and take a deep breath, excitement builds. I gaze out the window and focus on the Wabash River on the horizon. I now see why the windows are so spacious; a beautiful view from the tallest building in town. Such contrast from the darkness of the north view. The south is simply breathtaking. My imagination is in control, too much to take in, enough for today. I retreat touching nothing but the doorknob. I lock the door and return the key to the desk. It’s seems as though I have taken a trip back in time, it was amazing. While in the apartment my imagination ran rampant, out pacing reality. After seeing behind the door my quest begins. I must remain calm in the apartment allowing my inquisitive nature to compliment my education and above all else I must be in control of my senses. First priority is to find out who once used the desk in the storeroom.

Nick’s secretary/ bookkeeper Ruth Goins has worked here since high school. She must know. I bet she is as tight lipped about Nick as she is with his money.  I decide to question my first boss here at the newspaper, Keith Larrison, the pressman who has been here almost as long as Ruth Goins. Keith and Ruth probably know each other well having worked here all these years. Keith knows and or can find out information that should help me. He should be able to discuss the past with Ruth rather than a young nosy reporter. I must not allow anymore doors to stand in my way. Keith’s talk always ends up back to his Navy days. Keeping him focused will be the trick. I’ll take my lunch with him and maneuver him into answering my questions. I could only listen to so many navy stories so I ask him straight out. “Do you know anything about the apartment upstairs?”  He roars with laughter. “That old apartment has the young reporter curious. I’d ignore it. If anyone wanted you to know it would not be locked now would it?”  Why is it so important to you? I have been her thirty years and I don’t know; someone has a secret, let it be. If you don’t have enough to keep you busy, bring your white shirt down here and I’ll show you what works about. Have you forgotten your first day here when you went home covered in ink? Is that why you have been listening to me talk? And here I thought you enjoyed my company. You could at least invite me to Zona’s for a beer. A few drinks most certainly would loosen my tongue. Meet me at six and promise that our conversation will not be abused and maybe this old pressman can remember something”.

I’m seated when Keith walks in. He’s wearing jeans and a white tee shirt; looks much different. His biceps are stretching the sleeves of his shirt. He looks like Mr. Clean on the cleanser commercials with his bald head and overall resemblance. He is larger than life with his muscular physique. I have always seen him in his work coveralls and he appeared large built not muscular. Funny how things change according to the perspective at which you view them.

Keith spots me and makes hand motions meaning order me a beer while he walks around talking to everyone and patting some on the back. He gives Zona, (the owner) a big bear hug actually picking her up off the floor. She smacks him playfully. He is extremely friendly, apparently he comes here often. A beer is waiting for him as he finally sits down. I smile while telling him I thought he was running for political office.

“Very funny” he laughs. ”What I’m about to tell you is fact along with my intuition. My friend, I am going to tell you about the very thing that is eating away at you, the door on the third floor.” 

After the Navy I come to work here at The Observer.  After working here a few years Nick builds that apartment up there. He is now running the newspaper after his father retired. Nick works long hours and has a rather long drive home, it made sense. Sometime later I notice a dark haired woman, getting out of a‘53 Mercury. Normally I would never take my eyes off a looker like the lady but hell kid a man has his priorities. I see the Mercury parked out back sometimes when I take break. I think she works close by or is visiting someone. That certainly was the case; I put the lady and Nick together. Whenever that mercury was out back Nick was the happiest man alive, his smile lit up the room. Never did I see them together, it made sense.  Sometimes after dinking a few beers I would drive by the apartment and there was that Mercury. Hell, it appeared to me that Nick had everything. He marries his high school sweet heart who is rich. He inherited the family business and has a mistress. Truth is I was jealous. I would play Hank Williams on the Wurlitzer and cry in my beer. Nick appeared to have fairy tale love. Sadly all things come to an end. Around the spring of 60 I quit seeing that Mercury. Nick’s passion was gone. He ran a successful business but no more pats on the back, jokes or small talk. Looking in his eyes you could see the void. My good friend, he had for a period of time what all of us wish for our whole life. The real deal Bob, “LOVE”. There is an old saying it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I certainly don’t buy that. I’ve never seen another love like Nick’s. I believe his heart has ached every day since the lady left. What is sad, I never knew her name. I think she must have been an Angel because while she was around, Nick walked on clouds. I doubt he has entered the apartment since her departure. Out of respect, no one here at the paper speaks of it. I trust you will do the same. I am convinced there is one person here at the paper that knows all about his relationship and that would be Ruth. She watches out for Nick like a mother hen would her chicks”.

Keith asks me to describe the apartment. I describe what I saw of the living area, bath and bedroom and how lack of light prevented further inspection. I explained how large the kitchen was and the ample supply of light the large windows produced. Also how there was two place settings. I explain how I felt overwhelmed unable to investigate. I invite him to join me next time, he declines. He wants me to give him all the details here at Zonas.  The apartment was once a special place known only to a few. He doesn’t want to give up his fairy tale version until he knows the truth. Keith gives me some advice.  “Listen to what your heart tells you in the apartment. It’s impossible to live somewhere without leaving a part of you. Your college education has taught you how to construct a story. Did you cover compassion and understanding in any of your classes? The fifties is representative of simpler days yet the ‘53 Mercury was a classy, powerful automobile of its time. The lady was well dressed and probably well educated. Nick and her share a timeless love, long candlelight dinners, holding hands, looking at the candle light flicker in others eyes. A look so penetrating you could see the soul of one another. The flame glows forever because the fuel that feeds the flame will not stop until the last heartbeat. Do you understand Bob, “THE FLAME.” The bedroom consummates the physical pleasure but it is the giving of your heart and soul to another, to the depth you never thought possible, when two become one”. A tear rolls down his face. I’ve never seen this side of him before, I’m speechless.  Neither one of us say a word as we finish our drink. I’m so lonesome I could cry is playing on the Wurlitzer. Hank Williams recorded that song a long time ago. Another era cries out. I shake Keith’s hand, “Thank you I’ll see you Monday”. He smiles but was lost in a fairy tale world we all wish for but only a few find.

On my drive home I think about what Keith said. His heart was deeply touched by a lady he saw only a few times. His imagination filled in the blanks that he spoke of tonight and I am in awe of his emotional rendition.   My mission is to not treat this story as an investigation. Unlike the way I would handle a news story. I will let the story take its own path. I’m under no dead-line. I’ll use all the patience the story demands. The apartment has been there for a long time, we’ve only just begun.

I quickly finish my chores on Saturday and retrieve the key from the desk and enter my new world. Unlike the first visit, I now understand my mission. I unlock the door and step inside, allowing the door to close behind me. My eyes shut as I feel the room. It smells of staleness from all those years of being sealed up. Upon opening my eyes, light from the kitchen once again reels me in. Instinctively I sit down at the table opposite the place settings. I relax and become comfortable in my chair placing my hands behind my head and take a panoramic view of the room. Time and sunlight have taken its toll; the wallpaper is dried out and sagging. The south side contains two large windows showing kitchen utensils on the curtains. On the west houses a refrigerator, range and sink. The north side is a large pantry. The last side of the kitchen has a counter with a blender, cookie jar, toaster, metal bread box, utensils and such, all covered in dust. The woodwork once white is yellow. Eerily the appliances look the same, aged. Thoroughly reminiscent of the whole room, too much light and time have done it in.

I am at ease and let my mind drift off to my childhood. I no longer smell stale air. I smell aroma of home cooking, licking icing out of a bowl. Birthdays and Sunday dinners all served with love and family togetherness. Mother helping me with homework, doing puzzles, playing games and of course dad falling asleep in front of the T. V. and snoring. Mom and I always laugh about that. All of these smells and scenes flash through my mind.

I feel sunshine on my body while I warm up to the apartment. I open my eyes and see millions of dust specks bounce off sunlight as it shines into the kitchen. My eyes play tricks as two forms appear directly across from me. Years of dust particles have blended together showing the outline of a man, and to his left a woman. The sun recedes and the forms disappear. I’m bewildered at what just happened. It was certainly unexpected but not the least bit frightening. My mind play played a trick on me. That is the only thing that makes sense. I leave the apartment peaceful; rather different emotion than last week.

I have unlocked the forbidden door and daydreamed in an oddly yet seemingly familiar chair. My first visit saw me in a state of nervous euphoria. Today was completely opposite. I have opened a present that has been a long time coming to me. It’s now within my grasp and I intend to enjoy it to the fullest. After opening the door I want the secret it holds. I cannot help but think that I play a vital part in the mystery. It has waited for this young reporter.







End chapter one “TIME CHAIR”

ROBERT S. GARRITY           

A Greenhouse Christmas & More!

Me and my Missy went to dinner at a beautiful, magical one of a kind place around here! A greenhouse that's transformed into a restaurant for the first time this year. New owners with vision open this new eatery in the summer for lunch. They decide to open the doors for Friday and Saturday night for the Christmas season. It's still a working greenhouse. They've taken one section off the plastic enclosed actual greenhouse off the gift shop, I would guess approximately 100 x 70 feet. It has the outdoor look inside, filled with numerous amounts of Christmas trees, poinsettas a large water pond in the middle. Outdoor patio furniture with those umbrella covers above the tables, decorated fantastically with picket fences and outdoor decorations. I can't describe it to do it justice, it was Christmas outside on a winter's day! I've had a rough time getting into the Christmas spirit but this place did it for me! Aches and pains, unexpected extremely expensive auto repair bill has tried to ruin my Christmas spirit! After the special one of a time magical Christmas dinner we ride around looking at Christmas lights savoring the beauty of the season and a full belly of prime rib! It don't get any better! Fourteen hours before this special occasion I was lying in bed with my back hurting, thinking I'm old and over the hill! I go from agony to ectasy in a matter of hours. There is no way we can truly enjoy the simple highs without the lows!

One can't help to be humbled and be somewhat corny this time of the year can we? If we allow ourselves to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and commercialism of the season it can ruin our spirits! Usually I have to work every holiday and that includes Christmas. The business I'm in requires 365 days a year and if the holiday falls on my regular scheduled day it's work as usual. This year Christmas falls on my day off and I'm grateful. I don't go to church often but will be attending this Christmas. Christmas seems to of lost lustre as I grow older but still I sense the reality and the feel. How can one not?

The phrase "less is more" use to mean absolutely nothing to me or just plain sounded stupid! As I age I understand! When young, Christmas was magical! I somehow believe that one Christmas present thoughtfully given was cherished more years ago! Today it seems it's all about a lot of gifts and money spent! I have a gut feeling this year is going to be one of my best! Why? It's about the spirit, the stories the reason for the season and all that corny childhood imagination that still lives in all of us! It's there, find it once again and enjoy to its fullest1 That's my wish for one and all!!!  MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM Glen.

ALERT  SOME DIFFICULTY EXPERIENCED IN RETRIEVING AND REWORKING MY SHORT STORY "THE FLAME". I will only be able to post part of it. I will give you a good sampling and understanding of the story and make it several post. We don't always get what we want, now do we? But we can make the most and be happy with what we have, can't we? Later today or first thing tomorrow "The Flame". I can't wait I'll give you the first paragraph.

          The lock opens on the forbidden door; no turning back. My heart beats out of control as cold chills run the length of my spine. Hinges groan grudgingly as a blast of air catches me off guard and slams the door shut! "OKAY" Fear out prioritizes curiosity anytime, as I change my mind about entering. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Gift For You!

T. G. I. F. and it's the weekend before Christmas! Yahoo! Unless you're a Scroogey individual. What's on your mind today? I thought I would turn the table on you! Well let me see surely there is something going on in me head. I be tired, Friday's my hardest work day and this here old man's back has been bothering him lately. I hurt my sciatic nerve back in 07 and it ain't been the same since. If I take a double dose of Aleve I get relief but damn the more I take the more I need! Ya'll out there reckon that's the point! Yep! I think so!

I'mma gonna post someting special on Sunday the 18th. Actually tomorrow. It's the story the started all this madness I been doing, learning to type and all. This story "The Flame" is based on an actual place I viewed in 98. This apartment above a smalltown newspaper looks like someone walked out about 40 years before my visit and the apartment has been locked up. I was touched by the kitchen in ways I only understand many years later. So it's important to remember this apartment was real and everything that I write about is from the impression of 10 minutes in the apartmnt and my imagination. What makes this story so special to me is! I don't know anything about writing, don't know how to type nor how to use a computer. In April of 04 I can't sleep and the basic story line plays out in my head. I have to write it! I hand write the first chapter, over and over, trying to teach myself how to write! I try typing the story on a used computer in 08 I get frustrated and give up. I continue writing by hand it's become an obsession! I try again in 09 and type the first couple chapters. The computer crashes I lose everything, I'm heartbroken! I say !@#$ it! My buddy Timster encourages me in the spring of 10, going out of his way to start this blog for me. (What a pal!) The flame becomes brighter! So I buy a new computer and I peck away slowly with renewed passion! No it hasn't been easy! I've found it to be the most challenging yet rewarding thing I've done in my 60 years of life!

I need to practice so I start typing whatever pops into my head after taking my night time meds and the madness that follows has been Glen View as I search to find my way!