The mail has piled up. Time for a little question and answer session, I’d say. Let’s begin.
Did you get your Mom moved?
Yes, and my shins have the bruises to prove it.
Meaning she went kicking and screaming. Mostly kicking. And let me tell you she’s got a pretty powerful left foot for an 85-year-old. Of course, my brother P.D. got the worst of it because he was standing on that side when we dragged her out of the house, but she tried to make a field goal out of me, too.
Please. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It’s a bad idea to take anything I say seriously. The truth is Mom is happy in her new environs, a nice mobile home in a senior community, and she was happy to make the move. Also, my shins are healing nicely. I can’t really speak for my brother’s. Next question?
How’s the new job at the Indiana Historical Society?
I quit. Got mad and walked out the first day.
Oh, come on. See above under “Don’t take me seriously.”
So you didn’t quit?
Heck no. I’m having a ball. I get to dress up in a fancy costume and pretend to be in 1816 Corydon drafting the first state constitution. I work with really good actors who, unlike me, actually know what they’re doing. I get to talk to all kinds of people. I get to eat lunch in a nice cafeteria if I want to. And I get paid to do it, except for the eating lunch part. Trust me, this is a good gig.
What’s the most difficult part of the job?
The traffic on the way home. I swear, there are thousands of people who simply should not be allowed behind the wheel of an automobile, and they all seem to be on the streets of Indianapolis at the same time every afternoon.
We all go through that. I mean what’s the most difficult part of pretending to be a historical character.
Oh, that. I’d have to say it’s people who come into the space and refuse to play along with us. It makes you wonder why they chose to visit an interactive history exhibit to begin with. Either that or ones like the guy the other day who insisted – INSISTED – that Ohio in 1816 was part of the Indiana Territory, despite the fact that Ohio had been a state some 13 years by that point. Even as he left he was shouting, “I was under the impression that Ohio was in the Indiana Territory!” And this guy was a history teacher.
Just don’t get the “not to be taken seriously thing,” do you? Next?
I don’t have a question. I just wanted to express my sympathy for you being the father of a 13-year-old daughter.
Thank you. That means a lot to me. It isn’t easy. In fact, I wrote a poem about the experience:
The slamming doors,
The rolling eyes,
The stamping feet,
The heavy sighs.
That’s life with a
Thirteen year old.
This too shall pass,
Or so I’m told.
You sound like my daughter. Yes. Hey, what do you want? I’m an historical character with a cranky mother, not a poet. And remember not to take me too seriously. I sure don’t.