I’m downtown with RCB. Are you?
This is a serialized short fiction piece that we, The Rocket City Bloggers, are collaboratively writing for our Downtown with the RCB Event in January, 2014.
The Man Named Ray Leyden, Part II
A shoe that was laying on the ground, literally having been stepped out of by the hurried lady with her arms wrapped around a giant box heading toward the steps of the al.com building.
“Oh, my!” she said as she whipped around, realizing what had happened. She immediately started laughing and heading toward Ray.
“I can’t believe I lost my shoe. What in the world! I’m so sorry.” she said as she continued to laugh with a tinge of exacerbation. She slipped the shoe back on and made eye contact with Ray. “Are you going to the Rocket City Bloggers event?” she asked. “I am. I can’t wait. It was so fun last time. Everyone is so interesting. You should come.”
“I am headed that way in just a bit.” he said. “I just need to make a quick stop first.”
“Awesome. I’ll look for you and we’ll do formal introductions, trade blog names and I’ll make sure you meet everyone.” She took off up the steps.
Ray wished he’d gotten her name, but resolved to make her acquaintance properly once inside. He watched her go in and join the others before he picked up his pace down the steps into Big Spring Park.
Blogging. Could he do it? What could he possibly blog about?
Once down into the park beside the canal, Ray started thinking about the past again – his own past as a teenager right here in Big Spring Park. It was the summer of ’75, right about the time he started writing in his own journal. He was just out of high school and still wanted to throw a blanket on the grass and hang out with his fellow HHS graduates. No, they weren’t really a bunch of hippies, but passersby downtown might have thought those kids in the park were up to no good. If you kept on through the park, you got to spy on the new Von Braun Civic Center that had just opened. The VBCC, as it was called, had just finished a whole bunch of Elvis Presley concerts that still had downtown Huntsville buzzing. Even Ray’s girlfriend at the time Sandy Allen had gone, even though she wouldn’t admit it to the whole group.
“I would never go to an Elvis concert,” Sandy would say. “Come on Ray. Drive us over to the Dead Children’s Playground.”
Then the group of childhood friends, some headed for college in the fall, others like Ray, going to work instead, would load up in his Monte Carlo and head over to the backside of Maple Hill Cemetery to the little park where they would no doubt get run off and end up back here in downtown. Those were the carefree days of the 70’s in Huntsville where the immediate past was all about blasting rockets into space and the present looked bright as the lights of __________________.
To be continued in our next installment over at Tina Leach-Williams place: Tinaleach.com
Come meet the Rocket City Bloggers on January 16 starting at 5:30. We’ll be in the al.com building hanging out with Downtown Huntsville Inc. We’ll have food from The Eaves and drinks from The Brew Stooges. Door prizes and networking opportunities will keep things lively. See you there!
Queue theme music!
I was just sitting here thinking I should jot down some of the wonderful things that happened in 2013. Please won’t you indulge me!
- I turned 40. Whew, got that out of the way.
- My oldest son started kindergarten.
- My youngest son started talking (he turned 2 this year). We now see what it’s really like to be a family of 4 individuals with 4 opinions and 4 ways of doing things!
- I had my first root canal.
- Completed renovation of laundry room.
- Couple of great family/friend vacations and weekend getaways.
- We got a new cat. Indy has been a wonderful little ball of love. So happy to have him.
- Books: Started reading The Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Fell in love with John Green and especially TFIOS.
- Movies: Loved the Star Trek sequel. Of all of the cool movies this past year, that was the one I was most stoked about and still am.
- Stage: Got to see the incredibly talented Zachary Quinton in The Glass Menagerie. His co-starts were equally as brilliant, but I am, and will always remain, in awe of ZQ. Also got to see Kinky Boots and LOVED it. Took in several non-NYC shows in Nashville, most memorable being American Idiot.
- Music: I ain’t gonna lie, it was a Mumford & Sons year for me. And I will admit to listening to Gotye one hundred too many times. Excited for the return of Pearl Jam.
- Concerts: Matchbox Twenty and Goo Goo Dolls FTW. Also thoroughly enjoyed seeing David Sedaris live.
Not a complete list of what I’ve gotten myself into, but a few things I wanted to list out as memorable. I certainly didn’t achieve all of my goals, didn’t volunteer in the manner that I typically do, but I made good memories with people that I love and that’s what really counts.
I am in a good and happy place. I hope to stay happy.
Maybe there will be some surprises in store for me in 2014. I am certainly going to be toasting to major changes coming my way when I tip my glass of bubbly sparkling grapejuice.
Thank you for visiting this past year. I hope you, Gentle Reader, have a wonderful 2014 as well.