It Was A Rural Village In The American MidWest

The town where I grew up was small and in 1938 when I was born there were only somewhere around 800 people in the entire town – – and there was a sign at the edge of town – – at the “Corporation Line” that attested to the fact, “Population 800.”

Few people ever locked their doors in our town because everyone knew everyone else and everyone trusted everyone else.  There was only one policeman in the entire village because the only real crimes that ever seemed to occur were occasional drunks raising a little hell downtown at a bar or somewhere.  You might hear the police siren on the single cruiser go off because of a domestic quarrel but it was rare.

The telephone system was a “Party Line” with maybe a dozen telephones attached to a single line and when someone called someone else all the phones on the party line would ring at the same time but people were courteous enough to let the two people doing the talking go about their conversations . . . most of the time that is.  It was entirely possible to “Listen In” to party line conversations and I guess some of the town gossips did a lot of it because news traveled fast in Mason.

Our town had three grocery stores all owned by individual proprietors and in most of them you could “Run a bill” and this meant that you could “Charge” things on credit and then pay the bill off at the end of every month or every week or whatever you had worked out with the store owner.  It was very convenient for customers but I am wondering if it was at all always convenient for the store owners.  But it was the accepted practice in our town and everyone adhered to the same routine more or less except for the one merchant who insisted on cash and who went out of business because people stopped trading there.

There was a “Volunteer” fire department which meant that the members of the Fire Department were “On Call” in case of a fire or other emergency.  Whenever the fire siren would go off all the “Volunteers” would drop whatever they were doing and rush to the fire house and get the old fire engine out and up and running and rush off to the fire to try to douse it.  The “Volunteers” were very quick and usually saved most of the structures they were called to protect.  Their other job seemed to be to put out the many grass fires in local farmers’ fields and once in a while the town dump would ignite from spontaneous combustion and the fire department would have to go pour water on it also.  When the dump was on fire the entire town was covered with this awful-smelling pall for days on end – – until a rain would come and deal with it.

Every street in the downtown area was lined with stately old maple trees and walking down main street was very shady and cool and nice – – and trees do give off a pleasant scent.

Oh there is so much more to tell and I hope to be able to tell a lot of it as time goes on because it was kind of nice to live in that small town where the living was laid back but often hard.  There were many memories . . . some great and some not so great and I do hope to share as many as I can right here for whoever might be interested in nostalgic old stuff.

What am I talking about?  I am old myself, for crying out loud.

Later folks!

Those Amazing Little Toaster Pastries!

Once in a while I do like those little toaster pastries that come in the tinfoil pouches and that seem to come in a myriad of flavors – – everything from ( believe it or not ) “Chocolate” to Strawberry – Blueberry and on and on. Continue reading

Why I Am Grateful To Live In America

I am happy to live in America because the worst of what could happen under the proper conditions hasn’t started happening yet – – and I hope it never does happen! Continue reading

Your Cell Phone May Be Broadcasting Your Location To Strangers!

I was astonished to read that there are devices that can literally trick cellphones into revealing their exact location at any given time and can be used by law enforcement agencies to track the movements of whomever they want. Continue reading

To touch and taste the Divine in us, with us and all around us!

Helen Keller once is reputed to have remarked, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” Continue reading

What are you going to do?

Grandpa always said they built the fence around the cemetery to keep the dead folks in.

It didn’t always work out that way.

Sometimes on summer nights when people walked along the darkened streets of their little town because there were no street lights back then, they could sometimes hear a soft moaning  coming from behind the large trees that lined the streets and if you looked real close at the trees, you could sometimes see dark, shadowy forms with no faces darting back and forth.

As I lay in bed at night, I could often hear the faint whispers of somebody – – or something – – coming from inside the walls of our drafty old house.  It is said that Old Mrs. M***** had died there screaming and that she had never really left the premises.  It became so bad that none of my friends would ever spend the night with me.  Even the cat wouldn’t stay in the room where I had my bed and the room was always a few degrees colder than the rest of the house – – – even on the hottest summer days.

One night as I was trying to drift off to sleep I felt something brush my face in the pitch darkness.

I strained to see and suddenly there was a dark, shadowy figure bending over me.  I could feel its breath on my face.

I sat bolt upright in bed and watched as the figure – – darker than the surrounding darkness – – slowly began to back away and fade . . . dissolving into the surrounding night.

I lay there petrified from the experience and all I could hear was the beating of my heart and the ticking of the old clock on the mantle.

It only happened once but once was enough.

That was a long time ago.

A really long time ago.