MARY HAZEL'S WRITING
Stories and More
BLOG ENTRY FOR GAIN'S YESTERDAYS
GAIN UPTON PLANTING ORANGE TREES FT. OGDEN, FLORIDA
SOME TIME BETWEEN 2000 AND 2005
PHOTOGRAPH BY MARY HAZEL UPTON
We spent the last five winters of Gain's life between 2000 and 2005 in Florida. Gain continued to plant trees and other plants and to improve the property we bought in Ft. Ogden. This photo shows him planting one of the two orange trees he bought for the yard. The trees already had oranges on them. He was very proud of the oranges and left them on the tree, hoping for more later on. He didn't live to see the trees have anymore oranges, but hopefully someone else is enjoying the fruit now. He didn't like grapefruit, but I do, so I enjoyed fresh grapefruit each winter from a tree that someone else had planted.
THE CALENDAR OF THE TREES
MARY HAZEL UPTON
The wind blows all the time here in Wheeling, Indiana. It blows through the trees, rustling their leaves, and the leaves talk in a thousand different voices. The voices are different for different trees and in different seasons. There are a few people that the trees talk to. Those people listen to and can understand the language of the trees. The trees talk to them because they know that those people love the trees.
In the spring the pines wake up. All winter they have been sleeping, but now their branches grow taller everyday, standing like bright green candles, above the darker old branches. The wind blows through the pines, and they sing of new beginnings.
The poplar leaves are never still. The hot light of summer reflects off them in light and dark. Even on the most breathless summer noons they talk. They say that summer will never end, that winter was only a half forgotten nightmare, and that life is good.
The maples rule the autumn, lording it over the less bright trees. October winds blow through their dry leaves. Whisper quiet they fall from the trees in great drifts of orange and gold and scarlet. “Now is the time for the harvest,” they say, “time to reap what has been sown.”
Winter winds rattle the branches of the old elms. They creak and rattle in the long nights with a sound like the settling of a long abandoned house. Winter days they are black skeletons against a pale sky, beautiful in their stark simplicity. “We are merely resting, gathering our strength for another spring,” they tell anyone who will listen.
The seasons fly by and the leaves fall like the torn off pages of a calendar. But the trees themselves remain and endure, renewing themselves with new leaves each year like pages of a brand new calendar. The trees whisper of eternity. That is the message that they tell the ones who love them and who listen to them.
This was written on March 27, 1991 for my beloved husband, Gain Upton, who loves the trees. It was written for his birthday of April 10, 1991.
GAIN'S PINES AT WHEELING, INDIANA NOVEMBER 20, 1987
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
BLOG POST FOR MARIETTE'S MAGIC TYPEWRITER PAGE
APRIL 15, 2016 FRIDAY
ASHLAND PARK ALONG OHIO RIVER CLARKSVILLE, INDIANA
I took this photo on October 29, 2015
TAKE A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE
MARY HAZEL UPTON
Memory Lane. The words conjure up images of a country road lined with ancient trees, the kind of country road pictured on old-fashioned calendar pages. It may be summer, autumn, spring, or even winter, but it is the kind of picture that makes you feel as if once long ago you walked on that road. You long to step into the picture for just one more walk.
We all have our own real memory lanes, made even more beautiful by being seen through the fond haze of long ago time. It is often said that nothing, not even time, can rob us of our memories, that even if we lose all else, they still endure. Even memories fade, though, growing dim like old photographs. Eventually as the years pass, only the special days remain in our minds. So much else is lost.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could have some kind of magical time machine to allow us to return to Memory Lane to walk beneath those ancient trees again whenever we wished? Well, there is such a time machine. It's called a journal. With its aid you can save not only your special memories, but everyday ones too. You can return to times past whenever you like.
There is a difference between a journal and a diary. A diary is private, concentrating more on personal thoughts than events. It is something you may or may not want to share with anyone else. A journal is more a straightforward recording of events. The journal that you will be shown how to keep in this article is meant to be shared with others. As the years go by, it will become more and more precious to you and your loved ones.
The first stumbling block most people run up against when they think about keeping a journal is a belief that they can't write well enough. "Oh, I'm not a writer." "I can't write." "I wouldn't know what to say." You don't have to be a professional writer, or even a good speller to keep a journal. Remember, this is your book. You are writing it only for yourself. Anyway, part of the charm and authenticity of a journal is that it reflects the personality and lifestyle, rough spots and all, of the writer. To preserve this charm, don't rewrite what you've written to make it "proper". Write directly in your book. If you make a mistake, cross it out or erase it and go on writing. Don't worry too much about what or how much to write. Just do the best you can, and you may be surprised at how your writing gradually improves.
The first thing you may realize when you start keeping a journal is that it is impossible to record everything that has happened to you, even on a day that nothing much seems to have happened. Select only the most important events, or ones you particularly want to remember, to record in your journal. Your journal will also be more interesting if you concentrate on particular details, the weather, what you wore to a party, what flowers were in bloom in your garden on a particular day. These details will help bring back the memory of a long ago day more completely when you reread your entries. Your journal is also a good place to save important information such as a trip to the doctor and what medicine was prescribed for a member of your family, or the date purchased and pertinent information about a new car. My journal is the only place I can be sure such information will be permanently preserved and not eventually discarded. Of course, dark days must be recorded as well as bright, but think twice before writing down details of family quarrels, etc. If you must "let off steam" this way, a diary is the place to do it, not a journal.
Journals come in all sizes and shapes. For the first time journalist, those hardbound Daily-aide books with one page for each day make good journals. Just disregard the listings for time of day, intended for those using them as appointment books. The cute lock and key diaries are fine if you can find a one year one. The five year ones really don't give you enough space to write. Loose leaf notebooks or spiral bound notebooks make inexpensive personalized journals, and the length of your entries can be varied more easily. There are also no blank pages left in them if you decide to skip writing one day.
The best time to write in your journal is at the end of the day, just before bedtime. The next best time is the next morning, before you start your day's work. Try not to skip days. If you do, catching up the journal will be a burdensome task, and you may forget a lot of what you wanted to save. However, as you keep a journal day after day, it is amazing how your memory improves. It becomes possible to catch up several days worth of entries if you have to.
The simplest kind of journal to keep is the daily journal we've just discussed. There are many other kinds of journals, though. The types are limited only by your own imagination. You may want to keep one or more of them instead of, or in addition to, your daily journal. Just be careful not to "bite off more than you can chew". A vacation journal can be written in only on vacations, or on vacations to a special place that you return to year after year. A special occasion journal can be written in only on special occasions such as Christmas, birthdays, etc. When these journals are kept in loose leaf notebooks, you can paste special photos in the journal also, creating a photo-journal. Another idea is to let members of your family help with the entries. If they don't enjoy writing, let them dictate their entries for you to write down. Then be sure to designate the writer of that particular entry.
Once your journals start accumulating, you will be able to travel back to any day in the past whenever you wish. Set aside some time to share your journals with your family too by reading aloud from them. Let each member of your family pick a particular day to "return to", or perhaps see what you were doing three Fourth Of July's ago.
A journal gives you perspective too. As you travel back to the past, going deeper and deeper into your own yesterdays, you will realize that bad times never last forever. After the rain, the sun always shines again. You will learn to occasionally leave your busy today behind to walk under those ancient trees of Memory Lane. And you will know you have time to pause for just a moment to feel the slow, stately march of the seasons and of time, and to feel the wind of eternity on your face. Who knows? Perhaps someday, a hundred years from now, someone, who hasn't been born yet, will find your journal in an old house, read it, and wish they could have known you?
Written in 1990.
AUTUMN TREE ON ADAM & McKINLEY STREETS IN CLARKSVILLE, INDIANA
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
There was no date on this very old photograph in one of Mama's books of flower photos. She often went for walks in the neighborhood to take photos. The car in the photo looks old, so guys who can look at cars and tell you the exact make and model would be able to approximately date this photo.
DAISIES ON RANDOLPH AVENUE IN CLARKSVILLE, INDIANA
I took this photo on October 16, 2015. The flowers were growing at the edge of the fence in someone's yard near Greenacres Grade School. I was on my way home after taking Hammerhead, my adopted Daddy, home from breakfast that morning, and I stopped and took the photo of the daisies and some other flowers.
BLOG POST FOR MARIETTE'S NIGHTMARE HOUSE PAGE
APRIL 15, 2016 FRIDAY POST FOR STORY IN PROGRESS
MARY HAZEL UPTON AND GAIN UPTON AT WHEELING, INDIANA APRIL 1979
PHOTOGRAPH BY HAZEL FERN HENSON
In this photograph Gain is shooting old cans. There was an old cistern on the property that had been used for trash. As we cleaned up trash we put it in the cistern, as the cistern was already ruined for use, and we had to have a well dug later. He is shooting holes in cans so they would sink. Later we had the cistern filled in.
FIELD OF COCKLE BURRS
It was two weeks before Thanksgiving, a week after Curt and Mariette had bought the old house, and two weeks after the early November blizzard when the old house had set shivering and alone, dreaming of the new owners who were soon to come to relieve its loneliness. With the freakishness of Indiana weather, it was now seventy degrees. Curt and Mariette were working without their coats. Mariette had packed a picnic lunch, and they had come over to spend the day cleaning up the property. They both soon realized it would take many more Saturdays before they would make a dent in the work to be done.
"We'd better just concentrate on burning trash today, Mariette, and maybe pull up some of these cockle burrs if we get time." Curt tried pulling up one of the dead cockle burrs that covered the whole back acre. It came up easily enough, and soon he and Mariette were pulling them up and stacking them in a pile for burning.
"Good thing we wore old clothes," Mariette laughed. Her faded pink t-shirt and jeans were covered with the prickly brown seeds of the burrs.
Curt paused in his work, and came over, and began pulling some of the burrs off Mariette's clothes.
"You're wasting your time until we get done." Mariette motioned toward the field that their hour's work had barely touched.
"Um, maybe you're not wasting your work after all," she giggled as Curt's hand touched her breast and lingered. She wasn't wearing any bra under her thin shirt. Mariette seldom wore a bra, and when she did, it was nothing but a scrap of lace with matching panties.
"Oh, here's a burr you missed." Mariette stuck another burr over the nipple area of her shirt and directed Curt's hand to it. Then she pretended to pluck nonexistent burrs from the front of his pants.
"Lewd person," Curt laughed, kissing her and pinching her nipple hard.
"Back to work now," he said at last. "We don't have time for this foolishness."
Mariette agree reluctantly. They were both soon separated and deep in the burr field. The project of burning trash had somehow been put on hold in favor of pulling up burrs. Behind them the old house watched.
As the afternoon wore on, a chilly wind sprang up, reminding them that it was November, not May. Mariette was deep in the burr field now. Although she could hear Curt working far away, she could imagine that she was alone on some alien planet where nothing but these dead brown prickly weeds grew. She gradually became aware of a low, eerie moaning sound. As the wind blew harder, the sound grew louder.
"Listen!" Curt was coming through the dry rustling burrs toward her now. He stood still, listening to hear from which direction the moaning sound was coming from.
"What is it, Curt? It sounds...ghostly." Mariette looked nervously at the old house.
The old house's broken window panes seemed like sightless eyes looking back, somehow seeing them in spite of its blindness. As they'd worked, the sky had gradually been covered with little dirty white clouds. Now the sky was almost covered, shutting out the sun and all but a patch or two of blue.
Curt shook his head and put one finger to his lips. He motioned for Mariette to follow him. His right hand went to his pocket and came out with the small pistol that he always carried. Indian file, they went back through the burrs, following the moaning noise to its source. The noise just kept getting louder as they got closer.
"It's an old gas tank!" Curt put the safety back on, and slipped the pistol back into his pocket.
Mariette came up beside him, and looked in amazement at the round tank, almost as tall as she was, back in the weed grown field.
"The wind's blowing through the top, making that moaning sound," Curt explained. He checked the tank. "It's empty. It's probably been here for years. Wonder what it's doing back here?"
Mariette shook her head. "I'd sure like to know the history of this place." She still thought the sound was eerie and disturbing even though she knew it didn't have any supernatural explanation.
Curt nodded. "I don't guess we ever will though."
They checked around and found a half dozen more of the "gas tank ghosts", as they affectionately dubbed them.
"Guess we'd better call it a day," Curt said at last.
Mariette reluctantly agreed. Even though their new home scared her somehow, she was beginning to love it too. She hated to go back to crowded noisy Auto City after a day of the peace and quiet in Carrollton Location. As they drove away she comforted herself with the thought that soon they would be living in the old house. It would be summer, and the old house would be restored to the grandeur of days long past.
As they drove away the old house watched them leave. And the pale ghost, who had been there so many years alone, felt joy. His joy was because of Mariette, who loved money like he did. He had been waiting for her all these years, and when he saw her, he knew she was the one. Now he would never be lonely again.
STORY TO BE CONTINUED ON THIS BLOG. THE NEXT CHAPTER WILL BE TITLED:
NIGHTMARE ONE: MARIETTE'S NIGHTMARE: DREAM OF NIGHTMARE HOUSE
BLOG ENTRY FOR MARY HAZEL'S LIBRARY PAGE
MARCH 19, 2016 SATURDAY
MULTIPLE IMAGES OF LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY SKYLINE
This photograph was taken by Hazel Fern Henson July 1978 with the new multiple image lens that she and Daddy had bought for their cameras. It was taken from the Clarksville, Indiana side of the river at the river park where we often went for picnics. This story was inspired by the photos she and Daddy took with the multiple image lens. Gain and I were visiting them that weekend, and they let me practice using the camera also. We all picnicked at the park that long ago day. I wrote the story a number of years after that, in 1997, I think. Gain is Brian in the story, and I am Daisy.
MULTIPLE IMAGES OF THE RUINED CITY OF TIME
“Look at this, Daisy!” Brian Davis held the old camera up for his girlfriend, Daisy Cooper, to see.
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean? They only want $3.00 for it. It comes with all these neat lenses. What can I lose?”
“I have a bad feeling about it.”
A cloud went over the sun. It had been a cloudless day when they’d start looking for yard sales.
“Let’s try it before it gets completely cloudy,” Brian urged.
At Riverside Park there is a spectacular view of the Ohio river and the tall skyscrapers of Louisville from the Midway side of the river.
“Take a look at this, Daisy! I put the multiple image lens on the camera.”
Daisy looked through the camera’s lens. In the center she saw Brian, a smiling young man of 22, with curly brown hair and blue eyes. Circled around him were repeated images of Brian, all smiling, all with curly hair. Behind him were the tall buildings of Louistown. They too were repeated behind each of the multiple images of Brian.
“Take a picture.”
Daisy shook her head.
“I’ll take one of you.” Brian looked through the camera’s lens, seeing multiple repeating images of 18 year old Daisy. Each image had the same short golden curls and was wearing the same faded, patched jeans. Behind each Daisy were multiple images of the buildings of Louistown.
As Brian snapped the camera’s shutter, Daisy disappeared.
“Daisy! Where are you?”
It was as if Daisy had disappeared into the multiple images of Louistown.
“This isn’t funny! Stop playing games, Daisy!” Brian’s voice had an edge of panic now.
He shook the camera, as if he could make it tell him where Daisy was. His finger slipped and pressed the camera’s shutter. Brian suddenly found himself standing in Louistown.
This wasn’t the Louistown he knew. These buildings had been abandoned for a long time. This was a ghost city, abandoned many years ago. The clouds were a thick white film over the sky.
“Daisy!” His voice echoed down the concrete canyons, making him shiver. The May day was no longer warm.
As he searched the empty streets, Brian kept thinking he saw glimpses of a girl with golden curls standing in a dark doorway, or disappearing down a deserted street. As he came closer, though, she disappeared.
Brian shifted the camera to his other hand. His finger hit the shutter again. He was back in Riverside Park, looking across the Ohio at present day Louistown. He took another photo of the multiple skyscrapers of Louistown. Immediately he was back in the silent city.
The city looked slightly different. He saw a dark man, dressed all in black, watching him. The shadowy figure disappeared when he looked at it directly.
Brian pressed the camera’s shutter. He was back in Riverside Park. Again, and he was back in the silent city. This time the buildings looked slightly blurred, like the extra multiple images of the buildings had looked through the camera’s multiple image lens. There were more images of the dark man. Briefly he thought he saw Daisy disappearing down an alley.
“Daisy! Wait! We’ve got to get out of here!”
His voice came back to him in broken echoes .He heard the dark man laughing. When he got to the alley Daisy was gone.
Brian pressed the camera’s shutter. Immediately he was back in Riverside Park. He was still alone. He pressed it again. The ruined city returned, a little more blurred. Was this the Louistown of the future, and if so, how far in the future? What terrible war or disaster had occurred?
Brian continued taking photographs. He stopped in future Louistown. There was only one more film left.
The buildings were really blurred now. The feeling of being watched was very strong. The dark men were everywhere. Daisy disappeared into a dark building, terror on her young face.
Brian cautiously started down the street. The dark men were watching him from every window and doorway. They all had curly brown hair, and were wearing black T-shirts and black pants. As he got closer he realized that the shadow men were all himself, all with blue eyes and curly hair, none of them smiling.
The buildings were breaking up into blurred multiple images. They were darker. Every time he’d returned to the future city, he’d broken the Law Of Time, that says it is impossible for anything to occupy any moment more than once. Breaking that law had created multiple images of himself and of the city.
Brian hurried deeper into the heart of the city. The further he went the more blurred the buildings became, until finally each building looked as if it had a halo of identical buildings around it. The dark men were everywhere. Some of them were following him. As he ran faster, so did they. Each image of the dark man seemed to be separating into many images.
Daisy was standing in the doorway of one of the empty buildings. The dark men were all around her, silently menacing her.
Brian didn’t hesitate. He ran through the crowd of dark men. He passed right through them. The unsmiling expression on their faces didn’t change.
Brian grabbed Daisy. The city was more blurred. There were more duplicates of the buildings than could fit into the available space. The extra buildings weren’t in the same space, though, only the same time. Soon the whole city would break up. Trying not to get dizzy, as the multiple image lens duplicated the buildings yet again, Brian took the last photograph.
“What happened?” Daisy asked, still clinging to him, as they stood in Riverside Park. There were no multiple images of anything here. Time had evidently passed normally here.
“I’m not sure." He tried to explain .“All I know is why those people were selling that camera.”
Brian threw the camera as hard as he could. They both watched it fall into the muddy river.
MARY HAZEL PHOTOGRAPHING GAIN WITH MULTIPLE IMAGE LENS JULY 14, 1978
This photograph was taken by Claude B. Henson on July 14, 1978 at the Clarksville river park. I have no way of knowing which photographs are his and which are Mama's, but usually he took black and white photos and she took color photos, so he gets credit for all the black and white ones and she gets credit for the color ones.