Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ernie Thomas's Gloves

 This pair of wool gloves was knitted eighty or so years ago by Ernie Thomas, famous in my family, but dead before i was born:   a lumber jack, camp carpenter, and trapper, who (with his son Harlan, a Harisville area school teacher whom I actually did meet at my father’s funeral)  had, along with  my Grandfather) built a camp in the late nineteen twenties on the island people used to call Failing’s Island but we call Loon Island, close to  the North Shore of Lake Bonaparte. The camp has a big central fireplace to which they connected a big box stove for heating during the hunting and trapping seasons.
     One winter in the thirties or forties, Ernie Thomas fell through the ice as he was returning from running a trap line in the Bonaparte outlet to Mud Lake.  His body was never recovered.
 But we have the mittens and, for some reason, the moths have spared them completely.  Georgia says it is because we have not put them away.  I never use them.  Don’t want to wear them out. If we ever find Ernie Thomas, he will need them.

William's Way of Appearing

I will illustrate this post with an inappropriate photo because ... you will understand why:

       One dim morning as I came down from the loft, I thought I saw one of our yard cats curled up  on the deck just in front of the sliding door:  it was about cat size and grey-brown, but when I slid the door open, the cat did not jump up to get out of the way or into the house, as you would expect a cat to do;  it just lay there like a giant turd. Because that is what it was. A tightly curled, well-formed  sausage-cat of poop …   implying an animal big enough to eat a German Shepard.
           But I was  more or less  sure there was no such animal, at least not in my  neighborhood.  I was sure that the giant turd was  the work of my imaginary brother William. 
 Who else would go from yard to yard collecting dog shit, just to make a joke?
     So, by this sign  I knew William was back around again and that I would be seeing him soon, though not soon enough to clean the shit off the porch. The last I knew …I don’t know how long back … he was on the west coast wrangling animals, mostly  chickens, for those  period dramas where the streets are dirt and  ducks and chickens all in f flurry.
      I wonder what became of the Hollywood gig, or if his email about that was just another pile of shit.  Guess we will all find out when he shows his face here presently.     The Giant Turd happened two or three days ago.