Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cold on the Shore!

And it's going to get colder! As I advance in age, cold weather bothers me more and more. Still, though, no real snow in the forecast. When I was a kid in the 60's, it snowed every winter. I remember snows so deep that they drifted over the doors and it was like living in an igloo. We only had woodstoves for heat in those days and my mother and grandmother kept them stoked all day and banked them for the evening. Without a hot water heater, they would heat up a big pot of hot water on the stove for bathing. When I think back to those days, it amazes me how we got along so well with so little when my friends all had telephones, color televisions, flush toilets and hot water on demand.
As I have said in my books, though, I never felt poor. It was always warm (and in the summer too warm with no air conditioning. I didn't know what AC was like until around 1986, now I can't live without it), I always had plenty of food to eat and clothes to wear (though not always trendy). I had to develop other skills to overcome the advantages other kids had in order to keep up, so I wrote and drew constantly from about age 13 on up, when I wasn't reading. My art teacher in college, Mr.s Louise Everton, described me as having a "tar bucket mind". In other words, most of what I learned stuck. It had to. My encyclopedias at home were 1956 vintage, the year I was born! By the time I got them in 1967, they were hopelessly out of date, but I loved them, especially a set of Richard's Topica Encyclopedias with wonderful color pictures of famous paintings, animals, minerals and best of all, Chesley Bonesteel paintings of the planets.
Anyway, what's going on today? The war in Gaza drags on. This time the Israelis bombed the UN compound full of food for the refugees. Was this an accident or did Hamas fighters deliberately fire rockets using the proximity of the compound as a safe zone? Israel has accused the Hamas leadership of cowering in bunkers under hospitals and schools, places the Israelis would not bomb. Are they smart or cowards? In the military, this is known as asymmetrical warfare: a large and sophisticated force versus and smaller, less techincally able force that relies on wits and unconventional tactics to hold off the other side.
Last thought. Book buying in Salisbury may get harder real soon. Henrietta Moore, of Henrietta's attic, one of the two remaining used book stores in the city, is looking to retire and needs a buyer. She has been a good friend of mine and carries all my books in her shop. She is the best promoter of local authors there is. Market Street seems interested in used books only and your other choices are Salvation Army and Goodwill. Speaking of Goodwill. We used to grocery shop there when it was the Colonial Store. I used to walk down the block to Salisbury Drugs, in the section where Illusions is now, more or less. They had a great selection of paperbacks and comics. I remember the clerk there was a nice man who had lost several joints on his fingers on one hand. He didn't let that slow him down and fixed a watch band for me one time. You miss service like that. OK, time to go. Come visit Your Humble Scribe again.

No comments:

Post a Comment