The passing of the Zodiac

Hi everyone,

Last week Sandy and I drove to Camdenton, Missouri and sold property we’d owned there for forty years. The City bought it to build a community center. Glenstone Block Company operated a supply yard there from 1977 until I sold the company in 2008. Since then the office building has been vacant. Today it looks seedy and rundown, the inevitable effect on buildings and people alike when they no longer have a purpose and the light goes out.20161004_094643_resized Next door to the office was a bowling alley, Zodiac Lanes, owned and operated by Don Barrett. When Highway 5 North was bypassed a few years ago, businesses up and down the street began to suffer from loss of traffic. The Zodiac, after decades of providing good times and memories for its patrons, finally fell victim too.

As part of the sale, The Zodiac was torn down. By Don himself. His wife Viki and other family members pitched in to help him through the long, bittersweet ordeal of destroying the building where he had spent much of his adult life. The bowling lanes are gone now. All that’s left is a smooth vacant lot. I hope that people don’t forget the Zodiac and what it stood for.20161004_094406_resized The other day when I stood there taking these pictures, I felt a profound feeling of sadness for what once was and will never be again.

The Chili Bowl Story

Hi everyone,

My thanks to J. Patrick Lewis for his splendid poem yesterday and to Sandy Asher for leading off this month’s WRITERS AT WORK topic, “Putting Online Challenges to Work for You.”

Don’t forget that the Word of the Month Poetry Challenge word is BOWL. Thanks to Don Barrett for suggesting it. I’ll try for an original bowl poem soon but for now here’s one from THE ALLIGATOR IN THE CLOSET. I’ve posted it before but it has been a while. Sandy and I have the remaining four small, round chili bowls from long ago when Sandy’s family owned a grocery store and cafe in Fair Play, Missouri. These bowls must have a thousand stories. I tried to capture some of them.

THE CHILI BOWL STORY
David L. Harrison

This bowl came from a diner
In a village called Fair Play
Where people went for chili
When winter came to stay.

Bundled in their jackets,
Tracking in the snow,
They must have greeted neighbors
More than eighty years ago.

I bet they traded gossip
And talked of winter still
And lingered over chili
To cut the bitter chill.

Spoons would click and clatter
While people laughed away
Enjoying one another
On a cold and wintry day.

The diner’s gone forever,
Shuttered up at last,
But when we use this chili bowl
I think about the past.

I think of all the stories
That we will never know
Of the hearty folk in Fair Play
A long long time ago.

Sunday Poets

Hi everyone,

In case your missed Don Barrett’s Word of the Month poem yesterday, here it is again, with his permission. It seems a fitting poem for today, the times, and the great sadness we’re feeling. Thanks, Don.

GOD BLESS AND MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL
Don Barrett

SO MUCH SORROW
SO MUCH SAD.
MOMMY AND DADDY
HAVE WE BEEN BAD ?
NOISE SHOUTING FROM EVERYWHERE.
NO MORE SOUND IT’S VERY CLEAR.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED YOU ARE SO SAD.
NOW WE SEE A LIGHT SO BRIGHT.
GOD HAS TAKEN US FROM DARK TO LIGHT.
WE ARE OKAY WE HOPE YOU ARE TOO.
WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH DON’T BE SO BLUE.
WE WILL BE TOGETHER AGAIN , IN GOD’S
OWN TIME.
WE JUST DO NOT KNOW WHEN.