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Gradually, then suddenly…

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography

His town

I imagine all towns and cities have one—that slightly eccentric, often misunderstood resident who doesn’t quite match society’s standard of “being all there.” When I was a young girl I remember being fascinated by a fellow who directed traffic with his umbrella at a very busy intersection. Day or night, rain or shine, Hugh always seemed to be at that intersection, dressed in his yellow slicker and rain boots with a rain hat that he tied under his chin. He was a short, stout little man who frantically waved his umbrella and verbally cursed at cars who insisted upon following the traffic signals rather than his verbal ones. I remember my mother telling me that Hugh had some mental problems. Rumor had it that he lived with his very rich elderly mother and she sent him down the street to direct traffic and leave her alone. I was an adult before I learned the truth. Hugh’s father left after he was born and his mother raised him alone in that mansion. When his mother died, Hugh lived in the house all by himself and spent his waking hours directing traffic. The neighbors probably kept an eye out for him and when he died, the community took up a collection and erected a statue of him at the same intersection where he tried to direct all that traffic.

During our visit to Washington, NC, we encountered this fine fellow who was greeting all the locals by name and was being greeted in return. To the casual observer, it was clear this fellow had somehow become the unofficial mayor-of-first-impressions. He, too, seemed to have his challenges, but who is to say who’s “all there” and who is not? As I become more and more disenchanted and disappointed with this world we live in, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps any of us are merely an umbrella or bicycle away from being that slightly eccentric resident that begins to react to the world differently. Perhaps it’s not a calculated move. Perhaps it’s gradually, then suddenly…


9 Comments on Gradually, then suddenly…

  1. I am sure we all have our eccentricities. My wife seems to spot a new one in me every month!
    LensScaper recently posted… Happy Birthday Bertie

    • Hi Andy. I took the photo but this was a post by my wife, Bonnie. I’m hoping she’ll contribute her viewpoint and writing skills here on occasion but haven’t gotten everything set up so she can sign on and reply as author to comments yet.

      I’m sure Bonnie could fill a small book with my own “oddities” and perhaps I’m quickly reaching that tipping point, moving from slowly to suddenly. :-)

  2. Well written, Bonnie. We had the “Yes” and “No” twins and Old Red. I think my disenchantment with this world has a lot to due with the changes in my and how I see this world. And, I agree, each city has one or two and some families. :-)
    Monte Stevens recently posted… On the Road

    • Hey, Monte. Bonnie and I both laughed at the thoughts of “Yes” and “No” twins. I’m still in the process of setting Bonnie up on this blog to hopefully contribute once in a while. I’m hoping she’ll be my muse as I’ve struggled lately finding any new words to post. Thanks for your comment! :-)

  3. Nice guest post by Bonnie!
    I often wonder if some of these folks are out there out of pure loneliness. Perhaps everyone else in their families has disappeared, and they turn into greeters at the gates out of a need for human contact.
    Mark recently posted… Cosmos

    • Hi Mark, yeah, everyone seems to know someone like Bonnie’s Hugh. Maybe by next guest post I can have Bonnie setup and familiar with WP so she can reply to comments. She does appreciate the comments here.

  4. I didn’t realise this was a guest post and when I read: “When I was a young girl…” I thought: Well hello! Either Earl made a big typo or he’s trying to tell us something.

    Anyway, an excellent read and a perfect photo to accompany it. You two make a great team.
    Cedric Canard recently posted… I would leave some souvenir

    • Cedric, yeah, that perceived reveal wouldn’t be like coming out of the closet but more like jumping from the barn loft! Rest assured, I’ve never been a girl that I’m aware of. :-)

      Thanks for the kind words…we both appreciate them.

  5. When I first started reading Bonnie’s post, I thought that you’d gone a tad wonky when I read: “When I was a young girl …”, then I checked the post author and put down the phone. ;)

    Great story, Bonnie. I look forward to more of your guest posts!
    Paul recently posted… All buses to Dolores Hidalgo are second class

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