Storybook Characters Endangered
Dr. Seuss, Mr. Potato Head, and Snow White sound off.
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 Category:  Biographical Non-Fiction
  Posted: November 1, 2019      Views: 83

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grumble more than ramble
"A resurrection" by LIJ Red

The fickle muse flipped ol' Red off and burned the wind. Or maybe broke it."Ain't hangin' 'round no druggies." she called back.

The sun popped out after dim days of rain that pounded the colored leaves off the trees and into the ground.

"That was a long October," Red muttered to his empty purse. "Lotsa month at the end of the money."

The Merc would not crank, as ever, and Red and Miko headed south in the adult (over 21) Mazda B2500.

Miko lay in the passenger seat, chin resting between forepaws, and growled. He hated this truck, it took Her away. He seemed to know She died where he was laying.

Red crossed the steep hill on Maddox Avenue to the BBT branch, where he cashed his tiny Circle A pension check.

High on the sunny western slope, behind a wall of natural stone, perched a freshly risen bright-feathered phoenix.

"Take a gander at that, Chucho," Red told the Chihuahua as they passed The Victory Christian Center, a private school.

Youngsters and newcomers would assume the loop of road was named for the school. The narrow blacktop was Victory Circle even when the "academy" was the old Superb Carpet Mill.

When he was maintenance floorwalker for Beaulieu, who leased the old building and operated Superb Carpets, he had stopped on Victory one morning on his way to work to move a roadkill possum to the shoulder grass, because he saw it twitch. The dead mother did not, the three mouse-sized babies in her pouch were still alive. This bothered the tense and harried Red more than it should.

Knowing possums, he later realized the three probably cannibalized mumsey and went on to terrorize many a chicken coop.

He thought now of the old mill, with battered metal walls and warped steel columns and cracked concrete floors, abandoned when Beaulieu "Streamlined its Manufacturing."

"Don't you know the deacons set their satchel down making that place look passable?" Red asked Miko, who growled some more.

On their way back from the bank to the White Columns diner, Red admired the fresh yellow paint and large sign with scrolling digits and shook his head.

Beaulieu's lease retained the empty shell and they sent Red back from Murray Fabrics, where he was transferred, to light the space heaters and protect the sprinkler pipes from a hard freeze.

The scavenger/contractor sent to take out the ancient Singer carpet coater also took the copper wire and conduit, all he could reach. A major power run was needed to put the big heat pump for the office complex back in service. Red reported the problem. The ball was dropped-or not-and the pipes froze and busted above the suspended ceiling and it all came a-tumbling down.

Red's last sight of the to-be Victory Center had been fallen gridwork, wet crumbled tiles, empty beer bottles and a prodigious upchucking squatters had left in the front hall. That was twelve years agone.

An excellent site, and now an impressive establishment. Even a fortuitous name. Victory.

Miko growled backup as Red croaked out a song this view brought to his grey stuff.

I saw the way-worn traveler,
in tattered garments clad,
climbing up the mountain,
he moved like he was sad
his back was heavy laden
his strength was almost gone
he cried out as he traveled,
"Deliverance will come!
and I'll have palms of victory
wear crown of glory
yes, palms of victory
I shall bear!"

Author Notes
Sorry, the only photo of the old mill I had scanned was the one I photoshopped.
Ignore Polly and the lizard.
Lyrics from the old "Wayworn Traveler" spiritual, as I recall 'em.
Red and Miko, his dead wife's dog, are the equivalent of 75, and a bit --eccentric.
For the finished rejuvenation of old Superb, Google North Georgia Christian Academy.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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