Friday, July 29, 2016

My long, strange trip

What a long, strange trip it's been since last we met.

Let's see if I can still do this.

I'm not going to rehash where I've been. Those who care can find that here on page A-3. This post is more about the present and the future.

Taking baby steps like I am, I thought the thing to do was scribble some when I can. I can't promise it will be every day for awhile. Maybe not every week. But I'm going to try.

So many surprises sustain me. Conversation. Coffee. Books. Beauty.

 My friend Rheta has a porch -- an honest-to-goodness porch -- on which people sit and talk and eat and drink and laugh and cry. I've said for years that air conditioning, while I'm thankful for it, ruined the South. Everybody went into the icebox and stopped talking -- to their neighbors and, half the time, to each other.

Remember those scenes in "To Kill A Mockingbird"? Scout and Atticus swinging on the front porch, sounds of a summer night sweetening the soundtrack? I got to hear such a thing a couple of months ago, and I was rejuvenated.

I always joked that the title of my memoir (how pretentious is that idea??!!) would be something about an introverted extrovert. While I need my solitude, I gather my strength from others. Oh, how I've missed seeing so many of you, swapping stories and such.

It got lonely being in this place by myself. I couldn't read or write or watch TV, so radio kept me company, just like it did when I was little. Jack Benny and Jean Shepherd and Johnny Dollar joined me after sunset, lights turned low. That's the best time to listen to the radio, you know. Not for music. I couldn't listen to that anyway. I'm talking about real radio, the so-called golden era, the theater of the mind, Norman Corwin called it.

So I'd listen to Fred Allen or Ethel and Albert, who later became "The Couple Next Door," and baseball and Bing Crosby. Just like before, it was yesterday once more.

And you know something? I never have gotten back to watching television regularly. I've barely missed it. What little convention coverage I could keep down (from both parties now, don't get angry; I'm just a purple guy in a political era dominated by deep hues of red and blue) on the radio. The other night I drifted off to dream listening to Tom Snyder talk to Darren McGavin.
Guess that's enough for now. I'm just glad to be able to stand in the sun again. Don't ever take anything for granted -- especially not your health.

Well, I gotta go. Jack and Rochester are joshing one another, and I'm sure Shep will have something to say. He always did.

Hopefully, in the coming days and weeks, I will too. 


Blogger Webman said...

Glad to see you back writing a bit again. The comment about air conditioning ruining the south is very appropriate...we don't sit on porches anymore. But I do keep two chairs under a tall maple tree beside the road and occasionally a friend out walking will take advantage of it to sit with me and chat for few minutes...and my neighbor across the way may spend an hour outside -- yes, outside -- just talking. The chairs are always an open invitation.

12:21 AM  
Blogger Jamey McCroskey said...

I can't tell you how delighted I am that you are writing again and that your strength and health are returning! I try continue to keep up with you on Facebook the rare times I am on. And I have prayed for you as you cross my mind from time to time. I love your comment about the AC ruining the South! It is so true! So many times I wish I could go back even to when I was a kid living with my grandparents with no AC breaking beans and shucking corn on the car port just talking for hours! And we always checked on our neighbors and helped them out anytime they had a need! Most television is mindless in my opinion, and I wouldn't even have one if it were up to me. Anyway, thanks again for the blog. It definitely did my heart good this morning, like medicine for the soul! Love you, friend, and keep it up! Looking forward to what the future holds for you and grateful for you sharing what's in that beautiful mind of yours! Hopefully my comment blesses you as much as you have blessed me!

11:20 AM  
Blogger Chuck said...

That's great, Jake, I'm glad you can fully enjoy life again.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Jake Mabe said...

As I told ya, you made my day, Jamey. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! :)

4:12 PM  
Blogger Jake Mabe said...

Thanks, Chuck! I'm not 100 percent yet, but I'm well on my way. It feels good!

4:12 PM  
Blogger Jake Mabe said...

Thanks so much for your note and your cogent comments. Here's to those chairs being occupied often and you getting to enjoy the priceless gift of good conversation.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Jake Mabe said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Brian Hornback said...

Am happy to read it

5:32 PM  
Blogger Donnie Ellis said...

It put a smile on my face when I saw you were back in business. I have checked "Pull up a chair" every day to see if you felt like you were ready. So proud of you and the progress you have made. I pray for your continued success over this thing that had you whipped for awhile. There were many prayers lifted up on your behalf. You are a real treasure and a lot of why Halls Has It. Even though I no longer live in Knoxville I check the Shopper online every Tuesday night to keep up with the goings on in Halls and see what Jake has to say. You have become a household name in the Halls Community. I have said this to you before and I will say it again - I hope you live long enough to write my obituary.

8:23 AM  

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