Sadly, I have not. I’ve been scared plenty of times, because I’m kind of a pussy, but have never experienced anything unexplainable.
Toney tells a story from when she was young and the entire family briefly moved to a farmhouse in Montana (I think). Please keep in mind that her mother is fully insane, and it’s hard to know why, exactly, they moved there. Toney says it was for a very short amount of time, maybe a month or less. And one night she woke up and saw an old woman, dressed like people in old photographs, ironing clothes. This scared her, of course, and she just pretended to be asleep. The next morning someone else in the family (can’t remember who) mentioned a weird dream they’d had about the same woman.
I have nothing like this. I do have a memory of a loud and brash woman wearing an outlandish hat, and over-the-top lipstick. I’ve asked my mother about it, but she has no idea what I’m talking about. I don’t have any reason to believe the woman was a ghost, but she’s mysterious. I have snippets of random memories from when I was very young, and that was one of them. There’s another when a little girl and I were drawing on a sidewalk with chalk, and some angry woman yelled at us for it. My mother remembers that episode, and finds it hard to believe I can remember it, because I was so young. But it’s not a story anyone had ever told. Why would they? As stories go, that one is pretty lame.
But I’ve never seen a ghost or a UFO or a bigfoot, or anything of the sort. I feel kinda left out, if you want to know the truth. I monkeyed around with a Ouija board as a kid, but apparently was unsuccessful in opening a portal to the other side. I think we tried to contact Babe Ruth but he was apparently too busy whoring, drinking and eating an inordinate number of hotdogs in the afterlife to waste time talking to a group of hillbilly children.
What do you have on this one? Anything? And if you’re like me, and gots nothing, please share your earliest memory. My mother’s mind was blown by mine.
Some random notes before I call it a day here:
- On January 1 I posted a second column at nonewjeffs.substack.com. I got it in my head that I wanted to try writing a regular humor column about aging. At first I thought I’d do it weekly, but realized I was setting myself up for failure. So… I’m doing it monthly. The first day of every month I’ll post a new column at the Substack page. I wanted something separate from the Surf Report, so it’s focused and specifically about some aspect of aging and nothing else. Here’s some additional info. Check it out if you’re interested. You can sign up to receive the columns via email, or just visit the site every month. Or you can just ignore it altogether. It’s completely up to you, needless to say.
- Would you watch a two-hour documentary about a band you know almost nothing about? I did, over the weekend, and it was great. I knew of the existence and apparent importance of Radio Birdman, from Australia, but wasn’t super-familiar with their music. I might’ve encountered a song here and there on compilations, but never owned any actual albums. But I’m a sucker for a good music documentary, and theirs was always appearing on lists of the best. It’s called Descent Into The Maelstrom, and features all living members interviewed separately. Fantastic! Not all of them like each other at this point, but they all participated. It’s a great movie, and I’ve been listening to their music at Spotify ever since I saw it. I think I’m going to watch it again, maybe tonight.
- And by the way… I watched it on the Night Flight streaming service. If you’re into the offbeat and strange, you’ll probably enjoy it. It’s relatively inexpensive too. They have a fantastic collection of 1980s low-budget slasher films, for instance. And all sorts of unusual things, like the Radio Birdman documentary. I love it. I’ve got the younger youngling hooked on it too.
- Apparently all four of us are going to make a quickie visit to the Tampa area in early March. This is pretty much a definite, not one of our patented half-assed ideas that never actually come to fruition. My parents are down there, and we want to visit them in Florida. It’s something we’ve talked about doing for years, and never got around to following through on. We also want to scout that area as a possible “retirement” locale. I put it in quotes because I’ll believe it when I see it. But Toney does a lot o’ research and is currently zeroed in on that part of the country. Any thoughts on Tampa and surrounding towns? Please share.
- Producer Zipp, who edits my podcast etc., also co-hosts the No Redeeming Qualities podcast. Through the years they’ve had songs created for the show, and have now compiled some of them into a great full-length album. Check it out here. Or listen to the whole thing via YouTube. Give it a shot! There’s some fun and eclectic stuff included. I think you’ll enjoy it. Check out the podcast too. It’s genuinely funny.
And I’m calling it a day, my friends. I’m off from work today, and am going out shortly for a Dairy Queen burger & fries, followed by calendar shopping. Oh, I take that shit seriously. I need three of them, and they have to be the RIGHT ones. Not just some boring collection of sunrise photos, or whatever. I have to pencil in several hours for this project, and today’s the day. I always wait until right after January 1, ’cause the selection is still pretty good and the prices have been slashed. I know what I’m doing…
I’ll see you guys again soon.
Have a great day!
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