Saturday, November 1, 2014


With one last protest against winter’s arrival, the temperature here in northern Kentucky soared to the lower eighties Thursday and then, overnight, Halloween knocked on our door with a drizzly, cold rain, not enough to ice things up, but reducing evening festivities to indoor celebration. We never get trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood, but it’s hard to imagine anyone being outside for long in such weather. There are too many other venues out there nowadays: malls trying to attract business, churches with pre-eve invitations to the community, individual parties. It will take more than Mother Nature and religious accusations of devil worship to eliminate humanity’s dance with the holiday. The elementary school where I worked the last twelve years within Special-Education always allows the kids to “suit-up” for a march around the bus loop or the gymnasium, location determined by the above; and this old man drove over yesterday afternoon to visit. The parking lot was jammed, as was to be expected with so many parents there for the event. My old room was waiting for their turn to join the parade. Isaac met me in the hallway with a hug; Louie smiled and was all ready to boogie; Allen still had that mischievous look in both his eyes and his grin, but wouldn’t make contact. The two women assistants now assigned to the unit had the whole area more tidied than my young Catholic friend and I had ever managed! It’s amazing what femininity can bring to the male perspective in so far as eliminating our tendency to make a mess. My stay lasted less than an hour, my departure necessitated by a requirement for my car to be removed from the circle out front. Dismissal was drawing nigh. Do I miss the job? Yes! But not enough to return. It’s friends that you maintain in your heart, memories of doing calendar with Denise, monitoring the constant quarrels between Jack and Julian, those last daily thirty minutes or so talking with Mr. M. When you leave, that all goes with you. Summer classes, administrative red tape, and all those negative aspects that also went with the job get left behind, no more than a season of my life, a costume of sorts once worn for over a decade. What are you doing now that you’ve retired from the railroad? I’m working with special children and great people who give of themselves unto others. Whoops! I’m enjoying time with my wife, ballgames and Ninth Grade literature with the grandchildren, the next step as it comes to an old man. The guise is a little different. No need for Chili Fritos to share at snack time. Just me, my books, the computer, and occasional outreach ministry. No complaints. What’s left of the journey is in His hands; His light dispels the darkness……..


  1. Mr. Jim, We sure do miss you here. I miss our afternoon "talks," and the kids miss your presence, especially, your songs. Glad you and your wife are enjoying your time together.

    1. You've got a good crew there, Kevin. I couldn't have picked them better myself!. And the guy "in charge", I believe, was God-picked was the very beginning. We don't have to abandon "talks". This blog, e-mails, and an occasional cup of coffee somewhere is yet open unto us. Friends remain friends......