... Life In A Northern Town
... Life In A Northern Town
Small places in a big world. Big worlds in small places.
Perfect Bound Softcover
Print Type:
Life in a Northern Town takes the reader on a trip down Nostalgia Lane and veers off, at times, to move in and out of all its nooks and crannies, creeks and fields, metes and bounds, longitudes and latitudes to discover—and be saturated in—the joy of its peripheral travels. The author lingers for mere minutes at a time before moving on to a continuous tour where the rich textured anecdotes dynamically coat the broad paintings that capture your attention with sometimes poignant and sentimental, but mostly inherently entertaining grains along the way. Another turn, another divergent, but amusing surprise. He presents that box of chocolates with him in a roulette-shaped interior with an inordinate amount of selections that offer a variety of innards and consistencies, a number of them with an extraordinary supply of nuts. All are delectable in their own right. So enjoy them while you’re looking around at all that stuff. Intentional is it’s sectional . . . perfect bathroom—reading friendly passages that allow for less commitment and advantage of that variable pace, not to mention a 100 proof shot of delight. PG Family–Friendly Approved.
{From "Locker Rooms and Showers"} Probably the only time we realized there was some sort of phenomenon involved , here, was when we would pull the towels down and they would not bend . The pipes were but , maybe , four inches in diameter. At some point , the crustiness would set in so much that when it was time to lug it down , it could only be done so by lifting it up high off the pipes… and then down. It retained the 'U" shape ; albeit , a long and skinny one. You know how you shake out a dusty rug ? Well, that's the way it had to be done with our towels if you'd want a chance to sand paper some layers of skin off. That, there , was another status quo…steroid exfoliation . What would be the alternative ? Take the towel home to mom ? Nah ..too much trouble. That, and the oneness of it all. {From "Gratiot Location"} The world works like this. There is a global dimension where infinity reaches to infinity and only God knows how far that is. That's another non ending decimal of a story. Wield it down and zone in past the many galaxies that we can fathom. Now hit our solar system and hone in on the earth, then North America, then the state of Michigan, then the Upper Peninsula , what a city is , what a town is , what a village is and as you close in, consider how Sammy Johns described a site in his “Chevy Van” lyrics when you finally get to the point where “you could throw a rock from end to end". There lies the decimal. Gratiot Location was like a sub location of a Location, making it feasible to - with a decent arm - perhaps, throw that rock end to end and then half way into the next location. Way back behind the lumber yard , there , were shacks and sub - shacks that were made up of various and rusty mobile homes mixed with ply and water logged particle board…. {From "Chaffed Skin And Getting Used To The Water"} Eventually, the torture of all that torture would be too much. The option , as unappealing as any normal person would agree, was the lesser of two very freezing evil evils. It required one to place the mind any place other than what was there in front of you and dash as fast as it’s necessary to keep you from breaking at the edge of that doom to stop yourself from the insanity. You continue on there and make it in as far as you can before the resistance is too high and too strong for you and it trips you up into the torment. Wait… you’re not done. As soon as you surface, you will realize that you haven’t ….gotten used to the water, just yet. Your body still has layers of ignorance to it and is confused about such sudden contrast. (“It’s still 98.6 in some places, here, Jackie”) There is no time nor do you have the wherewithal to splash yourself in strategic places at just the perfect duration, intensity and frequency to hold any advantage against your dreaded other choice. “Duh ! When will you learn !?!?!?! “ . You idiot epidermis, you ? ! This is the time when it is appropriate to chastise the non living. Dive in again and right away , you do. The option has no pluralities, implied . Dive in again ! If you have time for breath,and/or you can control the muscle spasms, you‘re very lucky. And so it goes. It’s a lot faster than the first option. “Totally mental !” as we used to say when we really didn’t realize at the time that it actually was. {From "Who Let The Cat Out ? Whoo ! Whoo!"} In his haste Dad grabbed onto the feline who was slipping and sliding in and out his grasp and, unfortunately, in her goop , as well. Ahhh , he made it to the hallway, was his initial thought which was replete with the obligatory rubber runner on the floor. Knowing the cat would be a challenge, Mom passed him up and was there ahead of him to lend moral support and physical assistance, if necessary. It was. Soon after, another thought would hit him. In that same sloppy haste when Mom had hurriedly gone ahead to open the second outside door, it left dad on his own to temporarily manage the pet. In his alacrity he ended up quickly shutting the antiquated door behind to ensure that Shadow did not slip through the splattering mung in his arms and squiggle back into the house to equivocally proliferate the interior with his meals and mice. Needless to say, there they were--Mom and Dad in the shed with the automatic lock imprisoning them from their own warm domicile. Dad was in the skimpy stuff. You know, those white "Old Man's Shirts" (tank top you-can-see-to-the-skin kinda undershirt). Mom was in her dress nighty and not ready for prime time. What to do? Go to a neighbor and have them call? Yeah, and who is going to want to see the semi-naked pastor out on their porch late at night like that amidst the snow squalls? That, or who would want to see the semi-naked pastor out on their porch without taking the opportunity to tell someone what they saw? It would take but just that one other innocent person in the small town, and then propagate the story to another in order for it to reap and grow exponentially; maybe even instantaneously, into legendary potential.
Jack Hart lived the richest life in the poorest community, found the warmest of days in the coldest of seasons, experienced the healing of comedy under the sting of misfortune, and, in all, discovered the favors and unexpected pleasures bestowed from big worlds in small places.


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