Saturday, January 3, 2015

Bring it on, 2015!

Contrary to popular opinion, Kepis are not comfortable
Tour guiding has been a bit slow so I’ve taken on a new gig downtown as an historical actor for one of the trolley companies. At times I feel a bit silly but the money is good and will get me through the upcoming winter season. As I begin to stretch and get comfortable in acting again for the first time in twenty something years, I find that I enjoy the job.
            It’s a bit of a kick to play someone and entertain. The longer I do this, the more I am reminded of my theatre days up in Young Harris and the blast I had but I am finding other aspects of my new job that I am enjoying even more.
            During my three hour shifts, I have a lot of down time as I wait for the next trolley to pull up so I can do my Civil War Soldier spiel. Some of the time is spent reading my kindle which I downloaded on to my new windows phone. The view is spectacular for the Savannah downtown. Many of the tourists will come up and we begin to chat which has been a blast. I’ve spoken to people from all around the country and many parts of Canada and even South Korea.

            Because I am camped out at the corner of where the Mansion meets Forsyth Park, the people watching is superb. So far, I’ve gotten to meet a lovely older couple who have two corgis they named Porgy and Bess. There is the crazy electric wheelchair lady who takes her Chihuahua out for a walk and during the last cold snap, she looked like a deranged Yukon Cornelius out searching for his silver and gold. I call this one guy the Griot. He’s an older African American gentleman whom always has a wooden walking stick. While he carries it though, the Griot never lets that stick turn vertical or touch the ground. The stick is laden with beaded bracelets and all sorts of decorative trinkets. I swear the Griot even has an old teething ring on there that looks just like the one my little sis had when she was a toddler.
            Yesterday, I was witness to something that brought back some very happy old memories which affected me in a good way for a change. As I sat, leaning against the Mansion’s wall, a young family approached. Mom and Dad were both young, probably in their early to mid-thirties. The parents were bundled up in some very nice designer wear.
            The Dad was pulling a red wagon which turned out to be a brand new Radio Flyer. The payload was an adorable two year little girl who had the biggest smile in the world. As they walked past me, that little girl acted like she was training to be on a beauty pageant float somewhere down the road. Dad would make deep trunk horn sounds which prompted that little girl to squeal in delight. I could not help but share in that joy.
            Out of the blue, an old memory shot into my skull like an electric charge. I’m about five years old in Savannah at my grandparents’ house. I am being pulled around in my Sears & Roebuck special edition red wagon by my Pop. As we go down the hall way into the living room, Pop bellows in that old Savannah dialect which is an amalgam of a refined Southern drawl with a large dash of Gee Chee.
            “Choo Choo! Dang a lang!!!!”
            I clap my hands as I laugh then shout, “Again, Pop!” to which my grandfather is more than happy to oblige. This goes on as we keep strolling through the five room house my grandparents bought back during the Depression.
            We’re on what will be our third and final lap as the bedroom door to where my parents are sleeping opens and the Big Guy stumbles out with a bit of an exasperated look.
 I forgot to mention that my grandfather was always an early riser, usually around 5am. My favorite part of these visits was always getting up with Pop and hanging out in the kitchen as he’d brew his coffee in one of those old metal percolators that would make the neatest bubbling sounds. We’d walk down and get the morning edition of the Savannah Morning News then go back and read it. Grandma wouldn’t get up until around seven so that gave Pop and I plenty of time to get into trouble together just like we just did with the Big Guy. As I look back, I realize the fun for Pop was twofold. He got to make a few amazing memories with his grandson while at the same time yanking his own son’s chain a bit.
             It’s been way too many years to recall the last time I had thought about being pulled around in that little red wagon but a smile stayed on my face for the rest of the day. By the time, that little family had crossed over Drayton and got into Forsyth Park, I knew I’d want to write about this.
As I was trying to figure out how I was going to lay it all down on paper, it got me to thinking about the New Year. Not going to lie to you, while 2014 had some very special moments, I was happy to see the door hit it in the ass on the way out. It’s been a bumpy road of late which I own up to some of my own doing but I’m ready to start 2015 off right.
            I hate New Year’s Resolutions nor have I ever really been able to keep anything significant. Years ago, I began a series of sarcastic ones like, finally give up heroin, bring back codpieces in men’s wardrobes, all while trying to gain membership into the Daughters of the Confederacy. Nor am I going to start them now.
          For a while, I debated on maybe I should focus on trying to be a better person but it just felt cliché. I kept coming back to that red wagon that both I and that little girl at the park got so much happiness from. So I decided that not only am I going to focus more on finding the joy that is my world around me but I also want to help be a source of that for others. How to go about such a thing, I have no idea but I know that working on my attitude will be a start.
           As I peer into the start of 2015, I am actually a little excited. I’m writing again which always helps me deal with all my crazy. There are some big things on the horizon for this year. My kids are healthy, beautiful, and doing great. My wife just keeps getting more and more gorgeous as she heads down her own career path of writing.
          I guess the trick is to remember that when everything comes crashing down, it’s not that hard to take a second and remember how awesome the world can be just like that little girl did in the back of that wagon and just smile like you are in your own parade.
          Last night before I went to bed, I was reading Facebook because I couldn't sleep. I rarely pay attention to most memes unless they are funny, dark or sarcastic but I came across one that caught my eye and resonated with me. 

           Maybe it's from all the Breaking Bad I've been watching with Kim but as I start out in this New Year, I keep hearing the following phrase said in my best Jesse Pinkman voice....
            "Choo Choo Dang a lang, bitches………"