My current bout of nostalgia stems from reading Jeff Ford's The Shadow Year, which caused me to re-read Bradbury's Dandelion Wine, which caused me to re-visit the town of my youth and long for the missing sweetness of the place. The town of my youth has seemingly been ravaged by a tornado, but it apparently was just time that took down the trees, buildings, that scoured the streets, bleached the alleys, erased all traces of five-year-old's land marks, and left empty stretches of blocks "five by five," where once people thronged, and life happened.
Just above is a picture of a ship entering Trail Creek with the Hoosier Slide in the background (for larger image check out my scrapbook). The Hoosier Slide was gone long before I was born, all hauled away to make glass jars in places like Muncie, IN. You can see a small crowd of people at the top. Weddings were regularly performed there. It was a "Wonder of the World" once. Now I wonder where in the world those glass jars have gotten to? If there is any point to having the picture above, it's simply that it is easier to find a picture of the Hoosier Slide than of the street I lived on, or the landmarks I remember from the early fifties. 1955 is gone, vanished. Why should I be surprised?
I have been remembering when I was five years old actually, which is 1953. When I was five was the first time (and I suppose the last time I ever gave it serious consideration) I wanted to commit murder. I was not successful, but I had made an elaborate plan. It would have worked, but fortunately for me, the opportunity never occured, and I came to realize the wrongness of the whole idea. There is a former childhood bully-- I wonder if any of his pieces now reside (an appendix, a kidney) in a glass jar made from the Hoosier Slide?-- who has no idea how lucky he was to escape my vengeance. Not having even read Poe yet, I conceived of an engine of destruction I called "The Smush."
More on that later, perhaps?