Saturday, February 14, 2015

VALENTINE'S DAY 2015: "HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR SPOUSE?"...


THE OLD COUPLE...photo 2013 by Ed Krauss

            BOB AND ROSE MOORE met during Rose's employment with Rowley Publications, the Painesville Telegraph, through her friendship with Bob's sister Vivian.
     Vivian's bachelor brother Bob was introduced to her on a stormy winter evening in December 1959, when a group of Editorial Dept. employees gathered for a tobogganing party and winter cook-out.
      Concerned about his sister travelling alone on such a snowy night on Concord Township's then-unpaved roads, Bob had dropped his sister off to travel on with the rest of the group.
      His big mistake was dropping in to say hello. The chemistry was instant. From that point on, his bachelorhood was doomed.
      Bob and Rose were married the following September.
 
 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

FEBRUARY LOVE: A SWAN SONG...

   
     The affair began innocently enough, not in an oval office but right outside my window on an early-February morning a number of years ago.    
     There were witnesses, and a media representative (me!) was there to record it for posterity.
     On that frosty morning, a young swan set out boldly to walk the winding country road and explore a world beyond his home in our neighbor's pond.
     We heard the honking... not from the swan, but from motorists who tried to nudge the princely creature off the road to safety. Mister Swan was firm; the right-of-way was his, and he wasn't budging.
     He did respond at last to my husband's clumsy efforts to herd him from the road, across our yard, and (hopefully) over the creek and back to his home.
     The strategy might have been successful, had not the swan come face-to-face with the life-sized, realistic Canada-goose decoy that stood quietly at the walkway near our porch.
    Mister Swan was smitten with Miss Canada. He promptly changed his travel plans and launched right then and there into a courtship dance; Miss Canada ignored him.
     Love-struck, he marched around her, snuggled at her feet, did anything he could to win the lady's stony heart. She was not impressed, and he was not deterred; he wasn't going anywhere. He settled firmly down beside her and refused to move.
     At last his owner arrived. With a large carton, a net and a lot of patient effort, the unhappy Romeo--(His name was really Joey, and he was a treasured pet)--was boxed and carried back to his solitary bachelor existence at the neighbor's pond.
     In my journals on that February morning, as the Day of Valentines approached, I ended this true tale with the comment: "There may be another chapter."
     But there never was.

Monday, February 9, 2015

PEE WEE AND THE LION IN THE COURTHOUSE...

    In early days of the first half of my own personal century,  the world in which I walked was filled with hours of grammar school, and I was "Pee Wee"---a child of such short stature it took extra steps for me to reach my destinations.
    To make things worse, I had to trod a mile-and-a-half of weekday pavement to reach my school, and another mile-and-a-half to find my way back home again.
    I invented ways to keep my mental self above that near-ground level and to add excitement to that grudging daily journey. I balanced tight-rope style to walk on metal-rail fences. I delivered ringing speeches atop the city's curbside stepping-blocks that stood as relics from another era. I peered in storefront windows. I invented daring shortcut side-trips. I did a do-si-do around the bandstand in the city park...
    But my most imposing self-created everyday adventure was my ritual of homage to the Giant Marble Lion Fountain in the courthouse. Each day on my way home, I approached the side-door entry and set my stubby feet upon the stairs that traveled to the brass revolving doors. Then up more steps again I marched to that grand place that held the Giant Lion.
    I couldn't reach to drink the water; I didn't even once consider doing that. I simply stood before that marble masterpiece that dwarfed a child into an even smaller scope yet somehow gave importance to a girl who never feared to face that monumental object.
    And then I smartly turned and walked away, descending like a soldier down the many concrete steps that took me back to sidewalk level and led me home. This Giant Lion pilgrimage I saved for after-school, to crown my day.
     When I was grown and married, I often told my husband about that mighty fountain. I would describe its size and the power of its face, and once again I'd share the story of what that lion meant to me. 
     We looked for it each time we found ourselves in that old building, and we could never find it. I finally accepted it was gone, relinquished to the memory bank that stores those things our grownup world disposes of.
    Then one day we finished up some business in the courthhouse, and when we turned to leave we saw a friend and stopped to talk. We stepped aside into a minor niche for privacy, and as I turned I saw again that marble fountain of my youth! 
    It bore the same fine marble visage I remembered. The details were the same; yet from that vantage point my lion wasn't fearsome in the least. He was looking UP at me, and I was looking DOWN. I laughed.
    The object lesson, said my husband, might be: "You can't go home again." or "Everything is relative."  or "Memories of childhood cannot be trusted."
    He was only partly right. My lion hadn't shrunk or changed, but I had moved along and grown. The strength I'd seen in him was now a part of ME.
    "Welcome to our middle years," I whispered to him. "The  lions of our childhood have become our equals... and our friends!"

      ---from Rose Moore's journals--pROSE & POETRY---1980s