BC Awareness



I wore a cotton skirt with pockets because it was hot and I needed the pockets for shells. Doug had asked me to come out to the gun range in the boondocks to shoot skeet. Ever since my Daddy put a shotgun in my hand at seven or eight, I shot bottles and cans and targets and finally clay pigeons for fun. Daddy wouldn’t take a girl hunting, only my brother.

So Doug and I met at the rustic hamburger shack they had at the range. It was about to fall down and had orange trumpet vines tangled over the porch. It was dark and smelled like French fries. I loved it. Delmer walked in just as we were stacking our plastic baskets by the trash barrel. He was as you might imagine any big old country guy to be. I’m short so everyone looks big to me, but Delmer was really big—everywhere. His beard was kind of a ratty red brown. He had on a neat plaid shirt and jeans. He looked comfortable. He was in his thirties, like we were, and very polite and nice because, after all, he was meeting Doug’s girlfriend. He and Doug, although unlikely friends, seemed to get along. Doug, over educated for the town, had come here to get some experience before moving back to Atlanta. He embraced the local habits partly out of boredom and partly because he was so out of his element. He’d not been interested in shooting before. Delmer was a guy who worked on trucks; owned his own garage. He was never leaving this place and didn’t mind that.

I grew up in a family that had a gun case in the den and an M-1 carbine, loaded, in an upstairs bedroom. We knew what to touch and how to handle all kinds of weapons from the time we were old enough to get in trouble handling them. I didn’t see any big deal about this until much later in life when it became apparent to me that “girls” were not supposed to be familiar with weapons. Anyway, Delmer brought an extra old shotgun for me to shoot. It’d seen better days and the stock was a little long for me, but here we went, all three of us, out to shoot the clay pigeons tossed on command from the high house and the low house on the skeet range.


Memories of D.C. on January 20. 2009

Aside from the really bitter cold last Tuesday, I will remember the faces and the outfits. There were those in too thin jackets (mostly teenagers) and grand ladies in mink coats. There were young twenty somethings in their ski jackets and jeans and those knitted hats with ear flaps and pom poms. They were black and white and Hispanic and Asian, men and women and a few kids. It was too cold for kids but we had a whole gaggle of them on our little patch of ground at the Mall.

One guy who stood behind us at the foot of the Washington Monument was (I'm guessing) a recent veteran. He identified the Joint Chiefs of Staff by name for his Dad when they came on the jumbo-tron as the VIPs were being seated. If I recognized someone I told Dianna and then someone would ask who is that, and the information would pass among us.




I am in the suspended time between being frightened and knowing whether I should be really frightened. The suspense is not killing me but it is interesting to see how all this is playing out over time. Last week, I was going for the routine yearly annoying but boring mammogram. This week I have been in day surgery, had a long wire inserted in a body part, been radiographed until I am sure I am glowing, though they assure me not, and finally been told to go home and wait for a telephone call tomorrow. A telephone call! Somehow I think that is pretty crude, but then what insurance company will pay for an office visit to "talk?"

So I am in the suspended time between being frightened and knowing whether I should be really frightened. Cancer is not something I really want to think about right now but here is the possibility and then again, there is the possibility I am over reacting, like I did when I left town before the impending hurricane last year. Nothing happened here because the darn thing turned and maybe this will be the same. Who knows?