My brain is froze. Much as in a doze. Right down to my toes. Where it goes I never knows.
This time of year often brings Clyde to mind. He was my uncle. He was all of 4 years older than me. We grew up together. I lived with my grandparents much of the time since both my folks worked. I would stay there Monday through Friday and at home on the weekends. Naturally Clyde was my hero since we spent so much time together.
Unfortuantely he passed away in 1996. I lost the equivalent of a brother that day. His birthday was in November. That is why he comes to my mind during this time of the year. He played a lot of tricks on me over the years. That was fine. Since I'm an only child he gave me the sense of what growing up with a brother would be. I write of him occasionally to remember those good times. The memories are fading these days so I have to say that to my best they are all true give or take a lie or two.
They were innocent times. We had an idyllic childhood in that we were allowed to have one. There was no interference of what is considered real life today. We had fairy tales and natural adventures in the real landscape of Riverland Terrace a small community tucked away on James Island in the eastern seaboard town of Charleston, SC.
We walked the area without fear of abduction. We would have been mystified as to the deinition of abduction. Children walked the roads picking blackberries for pies. The doors at home were never locked. The milkman delivered milk in glass bottles to the door and at some houses walked in to place those bottles in the fridge. There was no fear or anxiety over children being left alone, other than the mischief the children could conjure up.
As I said, I write of him on occasion. This is not one of them. Because my brain seems to be on hold refusing to allow the mischeif moments to surface. We never did anything horrible. We may have tipped the scales into a Dennis the Menace overture but nothing stronger.
He did have me tie a towel around my neck to see if I could fly off the garage's roof. I was too chicken to believe him. He tried to get me to slide across slimy boards criss crossing a pond on the golf course. His hint that there was an alligator in the pond kept me on dry land.
He taught me shady jokes which I was foolish enough to tell my mother. She had words with him. He taught me to cuss making sure I only did that when away from home. I learned a lot from him over the years.
He taught me to whistle like a bird. That is one thing I happily remember though it is difficult to whistle without a tune. So I don't breathe melody to the top ten of today. My tunes are of the pop variety of the 40's, 50's and 60's. When singers stopped recounting their love in song the melody took flight and has yet to return. Perhaps as the pendulum swings back music will arc back with it.
He and I were one of three who could warble whistle. His is silenced. My other uncle, Charles, rarely toots a tune. I tried to teach my kids the ins and outs of the warble but what they learned soon was lost from lack of practice. As I said, it is impossible to whistle the "music" of today. No tune, no melody with three words jammed together to a repetative chord. There is no poetry with deeper meaning. There is no substance. There is nothing to hang a whistle on.
On occasion, however, a tune from the days Clyde and I explored Riverland Terrace and the golf course pops out without my being conscious of it. It happens when I reminisce on those days. Like Andy Griffith walking to the pond with his fishing pole over his shoulder we would wander the neighborhood harmonizing. I miss him.