Letters to Holly

Friday, March 4

Spooky Ooky

Though Amazon, which I have realized is the world's bazaar, I have received two books that shaped my young brains.Now, remember that the '70s turned the supernatural into as valid an outlet for curiosity and speculation as any then-current events. As prevalent as today's reality shows, stories about weird encounters abounded. Bigfoot was Osama Bin Laden. The Bermuda Triangle was yesterday's Snooki. New Age mysticism and fringe psychology made anything seem possible, and aliens and vanishings powered conspiracies reaching everyone from Elvis to the world before Jesus. Consider Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Many approached it as a documentary. Those weird Batboy stories in the Weekly World News? Yeah, that was the 1970s, except the evening news did the reporting. And then there as In Search Of ... and Project UFO.

While scifi remained verdant as ever, the mainstream interest in scifi movies and TV shows stemmed from a semi-earnest hope that the filmmakers were onto something. The inclusion of the Force in Star Wars wasn't just a handy plot device; it was an acknowledgment of psychic events allegedly happening all about us. Late-night talk shows frequently featured Uri Geller, a supposed telekinetic and psychic. He was considered legit. His "powers" were a matter of constant debate.

So my little mind had no cynicism about such matters. Ghosts, the Loch Ness monster, aliens -- all as real as Lite Brites. When I found the above books in the Blackstock Elementary School library, I read them repeatedly, desperate to commit to memory documentations and suppositions that I took as gospel. I hadn't seen the books since I left the school. Until very recently. I found the ghost book at the local library, and it inspired me to see if I could buy used copies. New editions had no appeal. I wanted books that once moved through libraries. Luckily, you can buy almost anything from Amazon.

In a nice melange of Your Family and mine, I discovered only upon opening the shipping envelope that the ghost book came from Edwards Air Force Base. That gives it a slight patina of credibility. It's a government copy.

I considered that I was trying to mold the deputy into a new version of me, but I dismissed that. No, these books are for me, and he's welcome to them with no obligation of going as bonkers for them as I did.

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I stayed home Thursday to help Your Sister. She had a school appointment in the afternoon at the same time she was supposed to take My Mom and the boy to the weekly family-center visit. She was scrambling to polish her resume, and I could tell Wednesday night that she needed back-up. I took Mom and him to the family center for my first visit. It's a free activity center for kids, and the regulars and employees knew him. He doesn't seem to recognize them yet. Mom brought a heaping pile of photos to show Your Sister, many dating before me.

He is going to the doctor Friday morning to see about this stomach bug he seems to have developed. It's a horror show in his diapers, and he's refusing solid food. He's downing milk as normal, hopefully keeping him hydrated.

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I started inking, and it's fraught with peril at every turn. I move slowly for now. In a few pages, I'll have the hang of it again.

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