Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"The Way it Was" by Abraham Lincoln

Editor's Note: I'm excited to have past DJ contributor Abraham Lincoln sending stories again. Check this one out, and click here to read some past entries...

When I lived in Gordon, Ohio, a long time ago I would get bored sitting around doing nothing and wondered what it would be like to see the rest of the world -- especially "out west" where I always wanted to be a cowboy. I dreamed a lot and did things just because I thought I could do it.

Sometimes I either dream or fall into a kind of stupor and seem to exist in a different time. I am able to see and hear whatever is around me. I also remember sitting up against an old oak tree at the speedway south of Greenville and remembered when I walked in and stood at the guard rail and imagined racing cars roaring around the dirt track. And I saw, as plain as day, one car hit the guard rail where I was standing, flew over me and landed on parked cars some 20 feet below where I stood. The south end of the old grandstand seemed to moan when it happened as if it knew the driver was going to either die or be seriously injured.

I was hunting once and walked down this long lane that went down a steep hill and over a small creek and up the hill on the other side. Down there in the middle at the lowest place I could hear what sounded like a million bees swarming in the dark woods on my left. I looked but it was so dense that I couldn't see a thing but something made the hair on the back of my neck curl up and I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I had a shotgun with me but whatever it was made me more afraid than my shotgun bothered it. I kept looking back and ended up walking way around that spot when I went back to get in my car. I never even saw a rabbit. I never heard of Sasquatch back then but maybe that's what it was.

I was sitting on a Greyhound bus on my way from Tucson, Arizona to Palm Springs, California where all the movie stars go to get away from Hollywood. I was told to go there if I ever had time by a lady from Massachusetts--a school teacher who took her summer vacations in Palm Springs. She said she made more money in tips than she made teaching for a whole year back home in Massachusetts and she was just a waitress at the Hotel Desert Air Parkway in Palm Springs. So when I had enough money saved, I bought a bus ticket and rode the bus from Tucson to Palm Springs and along the way, in several places, one could see the original stage coach road off to the side of the highway. In Palm Springs her and her giant glass water jugs in her bedroom filled with half dollars, quarters, rolled up bills and lots of loose change. She said they were too heavy to move and she wasn't worried about somebody walking out with a jug of her tips.

In those days I had no reason to live in the real world when I could live among the Stars in Palm Spring and taste the same cup of coffee they drank. I could eat a hotdog just like they were eating. I could set on the stone slab around the flowers right beside a star reading his mail from his post office box. I often wondered what it would be like to be a movie star and here I was living the same kind of life in their world on next to nothing and less than a dollar in my pocket.

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