Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our Loss of Innocence

There's something that is in my past that I only think of from time to time. Well, now, anyway. It was a horrible thing that happened in my little, happy, safe area.

For a long while, the only time it ever crossed my mind was back in the day when I would head to Narrows, the town where my dear Mamaw (died 1991) lived. Because it was "on the way."

But this past week, when I did Paw Duty and ended up at his house after unloading groceries, yes, coming right into Granny and Paw's to read the day's paper as I always do (and I mean, it's B'field, that usually takes 5 minutes), it was all brought back to me.

Because Paw Duty was on Sunday this week, and the Memorial Day Weekend version of the Telegraph (or the "Tell-a-Lie," as it's lovingly called around here) did a major story on the event.

It was 1978. I was a senior in high school.

And the headlines of the Memorial Day Weekend that year screamed, "Two Local Youths Murdered."

There were two B'field young folks. They'd met for a Sunday night date and headed down Rt 61, which is known to us all as Wolf Creek.

It's a beautiful drive. A winding road along that very Wolf Creek, with points on the road where one can pull off and experience a lovely place, full of nature. Small beaches, that creek, and endless greenery.

Which is what these two young lovers did.

However. Another young boy and his girlfriend, who were simply driving home from their own date, drove by a fire on Rt 61.

They thought it was simply a case of kids setting a fire in the trash bins on the picnic areas of Rt 61. But they decided to investigate. And what they found.

The fire was not a trash bin, but a pickup. The boy of the couple investigated, and found that the truck on fire also held a man in its bed, burned, with a bullet in his head.

They went to a local residence to call police. Who came with the fire department, and while whey were trying to put out the fire of the truck by getting buckets of water from the nearby creek - they discovered in the creek - a girl draped over a log with her face in the creek.

Our local happy loving couple.

I can tell you, because it was what I knew at that time. The girl was a former cheerleader for a local high school, big in civil studies, was a new enrolee at Marshall University. The boy was loved by all who knew him, was a page in the House of Representatives in our own Congress, and was also a Marshall University student.

I can actually remember the girl of the couple being a cheerleader for our rival (B'field, WV) school. I saw her cheer at basketball games.

They were our best and brightest. And now they were murdered, with no clues as to why.

And so they were gone. And the investigations began.

There were two or three persons they honed in on, now all dead, of course, but there was never a person they were sure of. No indictments ever came.

As it stands now, the murder is considered a "cold case."

All I can say at this point is that their sad murders were a total loss of innocence in our lives here.

Before this happened, no doors were locked. House or car. No one ever thought anyone might break into a house, to steal, vandalize, harm. No one thought their persons might be at risk for people wanting to kill. That ended overnight.

Then we all became wary of anyone on the streets who might approach us. No hitchhikers were picked up. No strangers were welcomed into homes. No more taking off with friends without a care in the world.

We became like the rest of the Big, Bad World.

Sad, but understandable.

The saddest addendum, though, is that no one has ever been indicted for the crime. No closure. I can only hope some reality TV factory could pick it up and at least give us a lead.

It would be nice if life's mysteries got wrapped up and solved and little bows tied around them.

It was the end of my innocence, and a lot of other folks in this town.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Picture Sunday Addendum!

Hey! Remember the other night when I told you I had pictures from the DeepFatFriar but couldn't upload them? Well, I got smart and found a way!

OK. So the DFF is doing some home improvement. His current driveway was a caution.

So he bought a buttload full of gravel to work on his driveway.

There were no gulleys or ditches to keep the rain from washing him out.

And now, here's what his driveway looks like, after a lot of wheebarrowing and working and placing of gravel. And gulleying.

And yes, there is video of the rain, but before that, look at a better picture of his labyrinth than I took.

And now, finally, check out this rain. Ick. We've all been having rain like this around here.

So there. Addendum!

An addition! Look at the picture of the gravel, and tell me what DFF's license plate means! No prizes, just kudos from DFF and me!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

(Fractured) Picture Sunday

Oh, my God, yes, here it is, a Picture Sunday! (Yes, I'm surprised, too.)

After many weeks of boredom and Paw Duty, I finally got a weekend away to head to B'burg for practice. Practice? Yes, practice.

You see, after his triumph last year with the "Two to Nine" recital, Mr M has decided to outdo himself. With his this year's "Two to Eleven" recital. Yes, a recital ending with eleven clarinets, just count them, I know you won't. And though I was the first to be wrong in telling him the Nine Clarinet recital wouldn't work, I am very happy in being the first to tell him the Eleven Clarinet recital won't work. I was wrong then, hope I'm wrong now.

And I have to say, the trip to B'burg Saturday, in the sun, with Milo in tow, was lovely. What a nice drive.

And so I attended my first recital rehearsal. It was pleasant. Nine clarinet players playing various numbers and getting to know each other. You know, most clarinet players are very nice and personable. It was quite the social event.

However. However!

I have been called upon to play the bass clarinet on two numbers. This would be a normal happening, except for one thing.

I don't know how to play the bass clarinet!

I mean, the bass clarinet has the same clarinet fingerings, but then again, it's not the same. Huge mouthpiece, fingers way removed from a regular clarinet.... Well, I can't explain, but it's just different.

Imagine my surprise when I was called upon on that first piece, to play a high B and high C, and I did! I thought I was in high cotton, but after that it was mainly squeaks and ugliness, and now I'm all hinky.

But Mr M lent me his bass to take home and work on. Which I will. However, he told me about how delicate the bass clarinet is, and how it can be damaged just putting the joints in place or storing. I played it a bit today, and then decided on my own method of storing.

A fleece blanket can only be good.

Well. So much for clarinets.

I've been waiting for two weeks to head east as well so I could stop by and visit the DeepFatFriar.

As you may or may not know, the DFF lives at Poderosa Central. Of course, I'm the Poderosa, Mr M is Poderosa East, and there in between.... DFF has his home which he has agreed should become Poderosa Central.

And he's been doing some work there!

And this is where our Picture Sunday becomes a Fractured Picture Sunday. Because DFF gave me some pictures and video that I can't upload and therefore regale you with.

But he's working on his land! He is working to make it a lovely place!

He's working on his driveway to make it lovely. He's digging gulleys and the whole thing, and sadly, he gave me pictures and video (of a flooding rain on his driveway which was amazing), that I don't seem to be able to load and show you.

I mean, he's been wheelbarrowing loads of gravel and everything else to make it work. And it IS working, though I can't show you, because the disc of pictures and video he he gave me that won't load.

Yes, he had the experience, as all of us here in the south valleys did, where those rains came and said rains washed his driveway basically away. And sadly, I can't show you that either, because the amazing video he shot won't load.

There were many shots of rain and gravel!


Our Friend DFF isn't just working on his driveway!

He's also working on his yard, and that I can show you. Because I was there today today to take a picture with my own camera.

And well, I have to say... driveways and floods and the rest, this is the picture of the day.

See, DFF was doing some mowing, and decided to become creative. And he mowed a labyrinth right into his yard. And I was lucky enough to capture it.

Yes, there is the labyrinth, with DFF and Milo right in the middle of it. I think it's magnificent. I hope you do, too.

Maybe by the time he gets his driveway finished, I'll find a way to upload the video of his flooded drive.

Or not.

It's a fractured Picture Sunday. But not really. The labyrinth is worth it all.

Happy week.