Thursday, December 04, 2008

Uncle Cran gets bombed in Viola!

In case you, too, wish to get bombed in Viola...
(Image from Google)

Uncle Cran has sent us another one of his Adventures-in-the-Ozarks stories. This one's kind of lame . . . but so is Uncle Cran these days. Anyway, this story recounts the day that Uncle Cran got bombed in Viola -- a day to live in infamy. Let the story begin . . . after a couple of typical Cranfordian delays:
While recovering from my latest adventure, Steer Wrestling, which resulted in a victory for the steer and a broken femur and new titanium rod and ball inserted into my right hip socket, I have been doing a lot of reading. One book in particular, loaned by a neighbor, is a history of World War II. This 800+ page documentary brought back a memory of my sixth year, as a first grade student at Viola Elementary School, Viola, Arkansas. It made a tremendous impact on me at the time, but had faded somewhat in my memory through the years. I now recall the terror in my childish mind that day.
(From the movie Forrest Gump).
I have always been somewhat gullible, or should I say naive?, . . . which sounds better.

My father was injured, and subsequently died as a result of his logging injuries when I was two and a half years old, so I turned my instinct for a father figure toward my older siblings. I believed everything they told me, and as a result, they used to use that for some "fun" (for them, not me). For instance, one evening I had to go to bed early while they would sit up and play card games. About ten pm, they came up with the bright idea of waking me, and telling me it was time to get ready for school. Sure enough, I got up, put on my school clothes, washed my face and hands, combed my hair, sat down at the table, then innocently asked, "Where's my breakfast?" Then back to bed, hiding my tears and shame, with their laughter ringing in my ears.

Also, during those early days, listening to the grownups talking about the war, not really comprehending, I tried to make sense out of what was going on. They would talk about Pearl Harbor. My Aunt Bertha was married to Earl Harbour, and I supposed "Pearl" was a close relative. Big Brother Bradley used my naivette to his advantage on occastion.

But my biggest feat of such tendency was in the fall of 1945.

The fall of 1945 was my first day of school. We walked 1.75 miles to catch the bus, then a 5 mile ride to school. This made me so tired that I would go to sleep in class, and sleep through recess, until after a few weeks I toughened up and started to learn.

One day in late August, I was out on the playground with some other classmates. I recall we were on the southeast side of the campus playing, when I heard something in the sky. Looking up I saw an airplane, coming from the east and flying directly toward the school. As I watched, OBJECTS BEGAN FALLING FROM THE PLANE, WHIRLING DOWN TOWARD US!


Terrified, I ran as fast as my short legs would go, back toward my classroom.

My teacher said, "Cranford, where are you going?"


She said, "Honey, that's just one of our planes, and those are papers they are dropping."

Sure enough, it turned out to be a Piper Cub, flown by a man named Devoe Hanks, advertising that he was coming to Viola to put on an air show, and take people for rides the following weekend.

And the Japanese surrendered the the first week of September, 1945.

[Uncle Cran's Epilogue of Pitiful Lamentation]
However, that is not the end of my being easily deceived. For instance, I write my true, honest, and compelling stories, with the hope that favorite nephew Jeffery will relate them, with a sympathetic mind, and kind words on his blog, never criticizing nor will he critique my comments, pointing out any fallacies,or mis-spelled words. Nor will he hold his simple minded uncle up to ridicule.

At least, such is my hope.

Your hope is fulfilled, Uncle Cran, for this story of violence in Viola has already expressed everything that I might otherwise have needed to add . . . though I have seen fit to contribute the appropriate, bracketed words that label your epilogue so that I might indicate the degree of empathy that I truly feel.

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At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again Favorite Nephew (for now), and blog friends:

For the past 24 hours I have been almost sleepless, wondering what Professor H. Jeffery Hodges, PhD., would say as he once again destroyed my credibility, and held me up before kith, kin, and blog acquaintences in cynical commentary. Only slept 9 hrs.
Imagine my surprise when he was actually nice to me!
Jeffery, did you really write this, or is your sweet wife Sun Ae substituting for you?

At 7:11 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Uncle Cran, I can truly state that all on my own, I wrote that punning, slightly jaded introduction and that double-edged, slightly ironic conclusion . . . plus that deceptively empathic, internal heading.

If that's all that I have to be to be good . . . well, then, I'm in heaven here on earth.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Cran I'm gonna make what I consider a kind comment (considering the multitudes of dangers you've obviously undergone). Well it's more like a question.

So now you have three titanium balls in the vicinity of your pocket?


At 7:26 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, I ain't even gonna touch that one.

Uh . . . that didn't come out quite right. Let me rephrase . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a great little story. It's funny, but at the same time it speaks to the vague fears that lurk in the shadows of our childhoods. For me it was the fear of the nebulous and nefarious "Soviets," and knowing that when the air raid sirens sounded for real, the bombs would come without planes, and they wouldn't leave anything behind.

And now, in today's world, the planes--and trucks, and even people--are the bombs. I pray that someday there will be a generation that can grow up without being afraid of the bombs.

Maybe I read too much into that little story, but it touched me. Then again, I've always been a little touched...

At 10:14 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I worry about alien abduction. And succubi...

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JK, let me ease your mind, and tell you that I only have one titanium ball in my body, attaching my femur to the hip socket.
Thank you for your kind concern.
Now you can be eased from the fear that I might sire a Superman who could possible turn out to be evil.
Charles, if we are honest, we all have or did have secret fears in our childhood.
Also being a little touched, I am able to write stories that touch others also.
One time a fellow was asking me about one of my brothers. He said, "I reckon Woodrow is pretty well off, isn't he?" I replied, "Yes, brother Woodrow is pretty well off.....but all us boys are a little off, too."

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeffery, I ignored the punning and irony. It was so mild, that I took it as complimentary.
Are you feeling well?

At 11:12 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Uncle Cran, I am fine. Thank you for your kind regard on this matter. I am merely very busy with end-of-term grading and have little time for my characteristic, playful banter.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 9:56 AM, Blogger writtenwyrdd said...

Your Uncle Cran stories are wonderful. :)

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

WW, I cannot take credit for them, of course, since they are written by Uncle Cran . . . though I do take credit for the snarky comments sprinkled throughout.

If you like stories, then just do a search on this blog for "Ozarks" or "stories" or "family," and you'll likely find a few more.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well actually Cran,

From all I've read, "evil" seems beyond you somehow. I will agree to your assessment of being a "little off" (having some personal experience to greater of lesser extent depending on the mood I've woken with).

My reference to the "other" two titanium balls was only a manner of describing your obvious and impressive oh, I guess "intestinal fortitude" maybe?

Obviously, I realize that were you actually so endowed, you would have had to have been one heck of a water treader too (for you'da had to do it while asleep) that night you slept on the lake.

Titanious is pretty light, I acknowledge. But submarines are made of titanium and they sink all the time.


At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're pretty sharp!
Don't you think it's about time for you to regale us with some of your experiences? Don't worry about form, proper english, etc.
Jeffery will take care of that.

At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind words.
It's been a lot of fun trading insults with nephew Jeffery.
We actually like one another, and everything is said with tongue in cheek. (You can write with tongue in cheek, but difficult to talk that way).

At 1:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, since you mention it Cran,

I recent set of unfortunate circumstances nevertheless got me to thinking the same might be the sort of source of commiting to paper (er, computer) a story of a recent adventure in grocery shopping.

Of course I'm probably going to be forced to ask one of my e-pals a question about professional football teams (only due to the fact I know nothing about professional football teams) because of an acknowledged need for an appropriately foul metaphorical allusion.

Well, I consider him an expert 'cause he's written of an apparent fondness for the Michigan Wolverines.

I'll get back to you.



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