"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Ghosts and legends

The last time they were all together, from left, Terrence Miller (you can see how sick he is in his eyes); Lewis Watts, Cuba John Miller Clark Reasor, Rex Thweatt, Michael Henry and Champ--oldest to youngest. Only Mike is now alive.  Photo from a long time ago in Whitesboro, Tex.,  by Terry.
It's been a week and day of ghosts for me, traveling to see Mike in Walsenburg, Co. It's located on the "Highway of Legends" as they call it in southeast Colorado, and it occurs to me that legends are ghosts.

So today I begin cleaning out the garage, sorting through old boxes  and filling two trash bins. but there is so much you can't throw away--lots of Dad's drawings; letters from grandmother to her sons and from them to her; family history charts; photos of the boys at different stages of their lives; mementos of my own life and children. Lots of things from Mike, after I cleaned out his Santa Fe apartment last year, moving him to a veteran's home. It's sad there is no place but the garage for them, but.... I don't want to dwell in the past, nor to ignore it, and it's good to jog memories, good and bad, hopes and loves and regrets. But. After four hours, I've had about all the ghosts I can handle for one day.

Much more to do--mailing photos to my kids and brother, sorting through the stuff, trying to put it together and tell the stories, the legends of these five boys from the red-dirt poor Comanche, Oklahoma, who all escaped it and the Depression.

But Mike's words to me yesterday stuck with me on the front porch of the veterans home, where he's captive of a wheel chair because he can't walk, the world traveler, now 89. "Terry, enjoy every day you live."

Lots of thoughts and ghosts on the way home, thankfully stopping to play with grand kids and visit daughter and son in law in Amarillo. I traveled 85 years in just a few hours. Mike in the morning, and grandson Max, 4, in the evening.

But today was a good day to start stirring the ghosts, but only a little. Someday someone will be going through my things like I did today. You can't escape the ghosts.

1 comment:

  1. Some ghosts are wonderful! Excellent, as always, Terry - poignant and affecting. Sending all my good wishes your way.

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