Saturday, December 15, 2007

Back in Another Time

The other day I thought of Bill Kenny. Bill Kenny writes for the Marietta Journal. Bill Kenny has his eyes on all of Marietta and Cobb County. He knows its history well and all the latest of what is happening behind the scenes. He is on the editorial page with his reports just about every day. He calls himself “This Old Scribner”.

When he was a young reporter my father supervised a raid on what was then the largest still in the history or raiding stills. Bill went along to report. That Young Scribner got intoxicated by the fumes.

He was dating my 5th grade teacher Alberta (?) Shouse. They married right along then, and have been married since.

I went to Waterman Street Grammar School in Marietta. That year in the 5th grade a fellow student named Van pushed me against the fire escape and cut a big gash down the center of my forehead, from my hairline down my forehead to in between my eyes. Until my father could get there to rush me to the hospital Miss Shouse had me use her soft lap for a cushion to keep my head up. I was getting attention from her I only dreamed about…. It was enjoyable, even if it was painful and messy. Luckily, for me she kept an ice pack against my cut.

After it was all over with, with the scar and the stitches scars it looked something like a little railroad track running down my forehead – but most importantly, it looked something like Frankenstein’s Monster’s head. I was sporting something of a status symbol.

Later that same year in class one day Mrs. Shouse asked me if I wanted a pigeon and I said yes. She told me the night before a pigeon almost drowned at her boarding house when it rained so hard, she took the pigeon in and put it in a cardboard box and put holes in it. That afternoon she and I walked together through down town, up Cherokee Street to Forest Avenue to her boarding house.

She opened the box easily and we peeped in. The pigeon looked up at us. We quickly closed the box and I went on my way.

My parents wanted to know where I was going to keep it, I couldn’t keep it inside the house they said.

It just so happened, that the old house we lived in had a bathroom as a room on the back porch. Until we move there that was the only bathroom. My mother had her brother build us an new bathroom in part of the biggest bedroom.

I used the old bathroom as a clubhouse. I said that would be a good place to keep the pigeon. That night, I left it water and bread crumbs.

The next morning before school I slowly opened the door and looked around. I did not see the pigeon. I opened the door and stepped in and closed the door. No pigeons feathers were all over the place. Apparently, a rat or a cat found a way in and had a midnight snack.

A couple of years ago we were in line to vote at the Voter’s Registration Office and Bill game in. He looked very frail. Not as I remembered him. He seemed to appreciate people lined up voting.

Several years before that our son Rocky interviewed the Old Scribner for a project of his Journalism studies at UGA. Rocky said he was looked frail.

I understand Mrs. Shouse/Kenney is not doing too well these days. Time slips up on us all.

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