My sister and I visited the historical society in our old hometown yesterday, and of course I picked up a few books. One was an enormous "the old days" book from the town where we lived when I was a preschooler, the kind half-filled with family histories and what all the granchildren are up to, but still interesting, since I remember a lot of the names and even some of the people.
Flipping through it, they kept referring to "Red Eye Twp," which I know is short for "Township," but my red eye insisted on seeing it as "Twerp." I guess that's what I was when I used to live there.
Of course, this type of book leaves out a lot of information. For example, there's a family history section on one of my dad's old coworkers, whose kids I played with a lot when I was little. It blah-blahs about his work, his church activities, and so on, never once mentioning his single most identifying feature, which is that he's the guy who was missing an arm. A supposedly historical record that doesn't mention that he lost his arm in an accident (much less how) seems somewhat...insufficient. And since he went on to lead a successful life, it's not like it's anything to be ashamed of.
Once, I was at their house, playing with the kids, and he was in the driveway working on the car. He walked around from the car and Yowza! I suddenly noticed that his arm was gone. Of course it had been gone for years, so he didn't appear troubled in any way. I think it's because, well, I was little and not too aware of things, and also it was summer, so he was probably wearing a short-sleeved shirt. Anyway, I thought his arm had just fallen off right then, but it wasn't bothering him, so I couldn't say anything. (Thank goodness for that: it would have been a new low in the annals in tact). After he went in the house, I kept circling around the car, thinking, did he misplace it back here?
I don't think I even knew a person could lose body parts before that. Kinda funny, considering the movies in my collection. Fortunately, I never did find any stray limbs lying around.
Hey, this could be my contribution to Memories of the Good Old Days!
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