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A Journey Through Time

August 25th, 2014 at 1:04 am

What year is it?

Nineteen fifty four. 

Photo Courtesy of Texas A&M University Archives



I’ve never seen you like this before.  Why did you appear to me like you did in all those other dreams, with your hair combed down, old cloths, almost like a ragman from a childhood nightmare?

Look inside of yourself…look in the mirror.  I appeared to you as an image of both yourself and me.  Look at the features you drew in all of the drawings of me.  Don’t they kind of match up and combine the both of us?

Yes. I can see the resemblance of both of us in these drawings, now.  As I live spirit, so do you. But…the eyes are completely yours, for my eyes could never hold that depth of love, horror, madness, amusement all at the same time, yet with such a far off gaze as if though you were miles away. 

I was sent to be your nightmare.  Every bad quality I could have ever had come with that conjure.

I like you better this way.  I feel like I’ve connected with your soul and who you really were-not some dark image from the shadows.

I like you better this way—seeing things for what they were without all of the hype and foolishness.

Why are we here?

I’m taking you on a journey to long ago.  I don’t know how else to explain things to you except to show you how it was back then.  Take my hand.

I’m not wearing any shoes….

You won’t need them.

  I’ve fallen on the ground, looking up at you, as always, the sunlight around your head like a yellow halo, soulful eyes looking down at me.  In a place of beauty and grace, I can sense every essence of it; a place where many souls have passed over, a place of eternal memories where wars were learned and many had been sent to fight. 

 This building, I think, has been here the longest.  It burned, and this one was built in the early 1900s. 

The air is cleaner; everything is quiet and peaceful in this time. 

It looks peaceful…wait until night.  Things get rowdy.

What’s that old car coming up the drive?

Willys-Knight.  An old car from the early Thirties.  It won’t be long before they have that wrecked and under a tree.

I have to laugh out loud…why do you say that?

Because it just wouldn’t be the same without at least having one wrecked car propped up under a tree around here.  I have a feeling that one’s seen its day.  One of these guys will have a few nips out the bottle and that car will be done for. 

Where are we now?

The library. It’s a good place to get away from it all.  And there’s some dames inside at the desk to look at.  Not for you to look at, I guess.

Photo Courtesy of Texas A&M Archives

I’m jealous.

Don’t be…we’re in heaven, in 1954, and y’all can be Daddy’s angels.

As long as I can be your only angel for this hour, I’ll be content.

I have things to show you, so come inside.

Before we go, I have to ask you something.  I have to know. Why did you bring me here, and what are we doing?

I told you.  I have things I wanted to share with you—it’s a gift, for both you and me.  I didn’t stay alive long enough to be able to come back and look at it all.  It was something I needed to do.  You get to learn something along the journey.  I think you’ll like it.

Why did you choose me?

You listen.

I feel so close to you. You’ve been a lover, a father, a friend, a teacher. 

Maybe I feel close to you, too.  Think about it. 

General Reference

Photo Courtesy of Texas A&M Archives


Who’s that man sitting at the table over there?  He looks familiar.

That’s Double A.  He’s the one I asked you to print a picture of and set it up by mine.  Remember?  He joined us a couple of years ago and works here.

That’s funny.

Why do you think it’s funny?

Not that I’m laughing or find it to my amusement—I mean it ‘in an odd way’ that he should be working here.  I suppose he would be off doing something else in the spirit world.


We’re all marked by events that stay on our souls and we come back to them when we’re in spirit.  He came back here to finish helping people find things they were looking for.


This looks like a math book you’re going to show me.  And you know I’m not that good at it, so you’re giving me that deep gritty laugh like you do. 


How can I not laugh at someone who doesn’t know how to do a math problem without her calculator? We didn’t have those back then, mi guera.  Try doing it in your head.  You can.


You have more faith in my abilities than I do.  I’d like it better if you drew Bosco cartoons for me.


We’ll leave that out for now.  How about a history lesson instead?—we’ll read about the water fountain they put up at The Grove a few years ago. 

What’s The Grove?

It’s a place where they have dances and games.

Did you play in any games?

No reindeer games for me.  You know your place around here.  I think you understand what I mean.

Yes.  I know what it means to stay in your place—or at least stay out of places where maybe you’re not welcome.


A memorial was put up for Drake out by The Grove.  He was a big guy—important guy.  He was killed in World War II.  His folks set up the water fountain and the memorial in his name.  Here’s the picture. 


Photo Courtesy of Texas A&M University Archives

Did you know him?

No, but I take a lot of drinks out of that fountain. It’s something I remember, that I wanted to show you. 

I love all of the things you show me.  I can’t help notice you always have this ring on. 

It means a lot to me.  Not everyone could get one—not everyone could finish.  It never came easy. 

I’ll wear it for you, for as long as I live, and I’ll give it to the collection someday.  As I’ve said, because I live, so shall you. I will be your voice of things gone by, I’ll share it with others so they too, can remember.

It’s more than I could have ever hoped for. They tried to silence us both, bound me to my grave, tried to take you out right over it.

You saved me, and therefore, I will stand in for you and the souls of this place and recall their memories as best I can.  I don’t know sometimes how to put it all into words because so much of what you share is pictures and feelings.  It’s difficult for me to capture the essence of what passes between us, what has passed between us all of these years. 

You’re a lady of many words, and I’m sure you’ll find them when the time comes.


Now I know why you used to tell me “Howdy.” I thought you were playing with me, but you were giving me a hint.


I didn’t want to tell you.  I didn’t think you were ready to know everything at that time.  I know you.  You like a mystery, so I keep you coming along like a bird after a row of bread crumbs.


You’re hard and course, spirit, but I love you in spite of it.  I’ve never loved anything else, and that’s the God’s truth. 


Yes, you have, but I chased them all away because I’m selfish that way, sorry to say.  I wanted to keep you like a little angel---


--and I’m thankful for it, because I know what perils could have awaited me and I’d much rather sit on the docks watching all the other boats go by in the sun than sail the stormy sea.  Maybe I too, am selfish, for I never let you go.


I never leave you.


Life was so beautiful here in this time--the people were elegant and graceful. 


It wasn’t what you dream it to be—not always.  It was hard, and it was a hard square for me in these days, even after I came home from the war.  It changed me, scarred me forever.  I don’t think I told anyone that.  My mother lost other children—she blamed papa and his Spanish blood.  I never thought that was so.  I think life was a lot harder in those days, and to stay alive took a lot more work.


The light is flashing over my shoulder again.  I have to go, my love.  I kiss your lips and your beautiful hands and await the next time we share these memories.  I have no one to share you with, so I will share you with the world.

Tags: A story with Dialogue Only is to a writer what playing only on the white keys is to a pianist.