The Light In The Middle Window – Chapter Eight

She was the second person to ask about the light.  As he hurried to catch up with her, calling “wait!  Tell me what you know about the light,” she politely but firmly reminded him that it was time for her afternoon nap.

She and Hiram had both been so cavalier when asking about the light.  Had they seen it or had they just heard about it?  Jones decided that it was time to pay Hiram another visit.

He walked the extra thirty-nine steps to Hirams’ house and knocked.  After three tries, Jones sighed.  He wasn’t sure if Hiram was gone or couldn’t hear him or just didn’t feel like company.

After walking up the driveway of the grand lady, he took his daily stroll under the weeping trees.  More than once he had asked aloud, “why do you weep?”  Of course, trees don’t talk…at least they didn’t talk to Jones.

Just as he got to the side door, something caught his eye.  He bent down and picked it up.  He was delighted to see a tiny, green toy soldier but it was disfigured.  Whether through the attack of an animal, a frustrated child or simply the ravages of time, both of his arms had been amputated.  As he held the tiny soldier in his hand, he wondered how old it was and how long ago it had been discarded or lost in the yard.  To him, it was another treasure.

He had a collection of treasures and he had purchased a two-tier table just for them.  His treasures ranged from old cafe curtain rod holders with an “L” and an “R” imprinted on them, to an army folding shovel and pick, to numerous skeleton keys in all sizes.  He had old cast iron hinges, elaborately decorated as well as hand-forged nails and a rusted iron rest.  The little soldier would take his place on the two-tiered table, nestled between two milk glass doorknobs.

Jones loved old things.  He loved the craftsmanship.  It was, to him, as if old things had a story to tell.  They had belonged to someone.  Someone had once treasured them.  But he also knew that old things most often, gave way to new things and became nothing more than memories.

Although he enjoyed modern amenities, he had memories of old outhouses, chamber pots and wood-burning stoves for cooking.  He had memories of wavy windows that rattled when the wind blew like a large, angry bellow.  He had memories of when you could get a good, peaceful nights’ sleep with your doors unlocked and your windows open.

He sometimes wondered if his love of the past, kept him in the past.  He loved feeling nostalgic, although he knew that the word meant pain from a past wound.  Wondering was all he did.  He was unapologetic about his loves and remembrances and those would be put aside for a while.  His love now was getting more information about the grand lady.

The next morning, Jones made the trek to Hirams’ house.  He knocked loudly and heard the familiar “hold on just a darned minute!”  Jones smiled as he thought “Hiram is what I would describe as the true definition of a curmudgeon.”

When Hiram told him to come in and “set a spell,” Jones got straight to the point.  “Hiram,” he said.  “Will you tell me everything you know about the grand lady?  I spoke with Miss Tinsley and she told me that she believes one of the original owners still lives in town.  Do you know if she’s right?”

Hiram didn’t feign deafness.  He put his head down and said “I’m going to need a little of that..what they call, liquid courage.”  He got up and brought back a bottle of Jack Daniels Whiskey and two glasses.  Jones politely declined but Hiram was insistent.  Jones reluctantly accepted and periodically touched his lips to the rim of the glass, as if he was drinking.

Hiram looked down and began to talk.


To be continued__________________________




The Light In The Middle Window – Chapter Seven

Jones had been a “counter” since he was a lad and he was counting the hours until his meeting with Miss Tinsley.  He wasn’t an obsessive, compulsive counter…just a counter.

As a boy, he knew how many steps it took to walk to school.  He knew how many steps it took to get from one class to the next.  He even knew exactly how many pieces of paper his notebook held at any given time.

He had carefully counted how many stairs he ascended and descended in the grand lady.  He counted how many steps it took to get from one room to the other.  He knew that there were 38 windows on the first floor alone but what he didn’t know was how the house came to be.

The hour finally came and Jones walked the forty-seven steps to the church.  Reverend Deutch and Miss Tinsley were already there, enjoying the usual doughnuts and coffee.  Jones politely refused the refreshments…he was too anxious to hear what Miss Tinsley had to say.

Miss Tinsley wiped her mouth with a delicate, lace-trimmed handkerchief and said “you want to hear something about the house, correct?”  Jones said “yes ma’am.  Anything you can tell me will be greatly appreciated.”

Miss Tinsley was apologetic when she leaned toward Jones and softly said “I’m sorry dear.  I’ve forgotten your name.”  The Reverend Deutch smiled and “introduced” them once more.

“Well,” she said.  “As I recall, the family who had the house built, lived upstairs and ran a funeral parlor downstairs.  It seems to me that their name was Mills, or Merchant or Meade or something like that.  I can’t remember.  It’s been a long time and age does things to a girls’ memory you know.”

Jones asked if she knew what happened to the family.  Miss Tinsley said “well, if not mistaken, I seem to recall that there was a tragedy.”

“Do you remember what the tragedy was?” asked Jones.

Miss Tinsley said “I don’t know the particulars.  I was just a young girl and Mama and Papa didn’t talk about it but I’m pretty sure that there was a death.”

Jones was afraid he would offend Miss Tinsley but he couldn’t help himself when he said “well, isn’t that what a funeral parlor is for?  Because there has been a death?”

“Oh, yes,” she said.  “But this was an unexpected and accidental death.  I do know that it brought a lot of shame onto that family and they were shunned.  After that, when there was a death, folks started going to the next town for the services.  I remember when I got older, Mama said ‘now, don’t you walk by that house.  You cross the street.  Don’t even look at that house’.”  She smiled when she said “I always thought it was haunted.  It looked so desolate and nobody ever saw any lights in the house.  But even as a young girl, I remember a feeling of great sadness when I walked by.”

“Did you ever look at the house when you walked by?” asked Jones.

“Oh my Heavens, no!”  Miss Tinsley said.  “I didn’t dare disobey Mama and Papa.  They would have ripped the hide right off of me.”

“And you don’t know what happened to the family?” Jones repeated.

Miss Tinsley said “most of them have gone to be with their Lord…well, hopefully.  He is a forgiving God and even though nobody else forgave them, I hope He did.  But I did hear that one of them stayed here and became a recluse.  If I could just remember his name…oh, land sakes.  It’s just been too long.”

Jones said “well, I’ve lived there for several months now and I have never had a sense of foreboding or even sadness.”

Miss Tinsley smiled and looked at Deuce.  In her soft, proper Southern voice, she said “Reverend, if it’s not too much trouble, could you take me home now?  It’s time for my afternoon nap.”  Then she looked at Jones and said “it was so nice to meet you dear and I’m sorry but I’ve forgotten your name.”

Reverend Deutch and Jones both smiled as if sharing an inside joke.  Jones wondered if she couldn’t even remember his name, could he rely on the information she had given?  But he also knew the phenomenon of old age stealing the present but almost totally recalling the past.

Just as Deuce and Miss Tinsley reached the door, Jones was startled when she suddenly turned and said “have you seen the light in the middle window yet?”



To be continued____________________________

The Light In The Middle Window – Chapter Six

Hiram didn’t strike Jones as the type of man to have ribbons laying around his house.  Still, he felt he was an interesting man who had secrets and as thought before, stories to tell.

For several weeks every Sunday, Jones had heard the rhythm of a bass drum in the distance.  He understood church bells but not drums.  He decided to walk up the street and investigate.

A large antebellum house stood on the corner and from inside, he could hear the singing and the drums loudly beating in perfect cadence.  “Why not go in and have a look?” he thought.

As he opened the double doors, he saw a rather tall man with a Chartreuse green Mohawk, standing at a pulpit.  Like a balladeer, he was singing the teachings of whoever you perceived to your God to be.

The congregation consisted of young folks who had every visible inch of their bodies tattooed, to a little old lady with snow white hair, sitting all the way in the back by herself.  Being an old-timer himself, naturally he gravitated toward her.

Before he could take a seat, the preacher interrupted his sermon to announce a loud welcome to the newcomer who had just wandered in.  A bit embarrassed, Jones sat down beside the old lady.  He could see that every day she had experienced in her life was etched into her face when she glanced his way just long enough to offer a smile.  He felt a bit guilty, hoping the service would soon be over just so he could talk to her.

It was a non-denominational church that welcomed Protestants, Jews, Catholics, Buddhists and Muslims.  Even self-proclaimed agnostics and atheists, if for no reason other than partaking in the free coffee and doughnuts at the end of each sermon, were more than welcome.

“Whether you’re a believer or not, the word of your God reaches us all,” the preacher sang.  “The word of God reaches us in ways we may not see, hear or understand but believe me when I tell you, it reaches us.”

Jones would have at one time given those statements a hearty “Amen,” but through the years, he had become so angry with God, he didn’t speak to Him anymore.  He reasoned that God had His favorites and he also reasoned that he was not one of them.

The sermon ended and Jones was anxious to talk with the old lady.  Quicker than a fly on stink, the preacher descended.  Throwing out a hand he said, “welcome brother.  I haven’t seen you here before.”  Jones shook his hand and told him that he had heard the music, or rather the drums and had more or less only come to explore.

“That’s alright,” said the preacher.  “My name is Reverend Deutch but everybody calls me Deuce.  I know I look like a freak of nature but God doesn’t care what color our hair is.  He only cares what color our soul is.”

Before he could catch himself, Jones quipped, “I’m sure He does and I’m sure He understands that sometimes a soul is too dark to ever be light again.”  Before Deuce could offer any soul-mending sermons, Jones excused himself and said “I need to get on.”

He ran outside, hoping to catch the old woman.  To his dismay, he saw her getting into a taxicab.  The decade old joke of getting into another taxicab and saying “follow that car” crossed his mind but there were no more taxicabs around.  Who took taxicabs anymore?  He guessed she did.

Jones had already decided that he would be going to church again the next Sunday and he would be going early enough to catch the old lady before the service began.

Next Sunday came around and Jones walked up to the church with his devious plan to hijack the old lady.  Much to his chagrin, she was already there…sitting in the back of the church…all by herself.

He walked over and sat down beside her.  “Hello,” he said.  “My name is Jones.”  She looked at him and said “my name is Flossie Mae Tinsley.  And you are?”  Jones laughed as he once again introduced himself.  “May I call you Flossie?” he asked.  “No you may not,” she said.  “We have not been properly introduced.”

Jones was at a bit of a loss as to exactly what she meant.  He wondered if maybe he could get the Reverend Deuce to “properly” introduce them.  He sat through the sermon, half listening and half wondering if he had made a mistake or had perhaps fallen through the looking glass.

Finally, the sermon was over and once again, with lightning speed, Reverend Deuce was in front of him.  Jones asked if he could properly introduce him to Ms. Tinsley.  Deuce laughed and said “it’s Miss.  Never refer to her as Ms. or Heaven forbid…Mrs.  She’s a throwback to a time when women were ladies and men were gentlemen.  I’ve never been sure how she ended up coming to our church but as I said…all are welcome and yes, I will be happy to introduce you.”

They walked over to Flossie and Reverend Deuce formally introduced them.  Jones didn’t miss a beat when he said “I was wondering if we might we talk a bit, Miss Tinsley.”  She looked at him and said “of course but not without the proper supervision.”

A puzzled Jones asked “and what might that be?”  Miss Tinsley said “there must be a chaperone present.  I am a single woman and I must protect my reputation.”

The Reverend Deuce offered to serve as her champion and the following day was set for the meeting, which would be held at the church.

There was an extra step in Jones’ step as he walked back home.  He had so many questions and he was hoping Miss Tinsley had answers.



To be continued_______________________






The Light In The Middle Window – Chapter Five

Jones was taken aback when Hiram asked him about the light.  He said “yes, I’ve seen the light.”  Hiram looked down and nodded like he understood but said nothing.  “What do you know about the light?” asked Jones.  Hiram didn’t answer and again, Jones didn’t know if it was intentional or just lack of hearing.

Little things didn’t bother Jones.  Non answers to questions and pleads of ignorance rolled off his back like water in the shower but he continued.  “I’ve noticed something else about the property.”  Hiram looked up and said “I reckon you’re going to notice quite a few things about the property before long.”

Jones was curious and wanted to know more but Hiram was tight-lipped when it came to offering information.  Jones was patient, though and wondered if Hiram had more of a connection to the property than he was letting on.

Jones decided to just start talking.  He said “when I first moved into the grand lady, I walked the property daily.  The strangest thing happened and I mean it happened every day.”

Hiram with a glint in his old, yellowing, cataract-filled eyes, said “like what?”

Jones said “when I walk under the trees, it always starts raining…you know, just a few drops but enough to notice and as soon as I walk out from under them, it stops.”

Hiram said “ah.  You’re walking under the weeping trees.”

Jones said “they’re not Weeping Willows.”  Hiram quickly retorted “I know.  They’re called the weeping trees.”

Jones sort of chuckled when he echoed “the weeping trees, huh?”  He could tell that Hiram wasn’t joking.  He was serious.  That kind of sad serious coupled with angst.

Jones asked “can you tell me about them?”  Hiram looked out the window as if in some kind of trance and answered with a soft “no.”

Jones pulled a “Hiram” and changed the subject.  “Is there a hall of records or anything like that in town where I might find some information about the house?”

Hiram said “ah, you’re talking about City Hall.  Yep, it’s here but you won’t find anything.  The original building burned down might near 50 years ago.  Everything in it was lost and most of the old timers who lived around here have long since gone back to seed or moved away.  These young whippersnappers don’t care much about the past.  All they care about it is the present and their future, how much money they can make and who they can impress.”

“Well,” said Jones.  “I’d just like to have a few names.  There might be some ancestors around who would know something.  I know the name of the doctor who lived here before but he didn’t even live in this state.  He just owned the house and he didn’t really care about it.”

Hiram nodded and said “I believe I said those very words to you.”  Jones said “and what about the original owners?  Do you know who they were?  Do you know the name of the funeral parlor?”  Again, his questions were met with silence.

Jones could sense that the conversation for the day was at an end and stood up.  He walked over to Hiram and extended his hand.  He smiled and said “I never did get your former profession.”

Once again, Hiram acted like he couldn’t hear him and said “walk on down here any time you want to take a break.  I reckon you have a lot of work ahead of you and you’ll be needing to rest a spell now and then.”

“I’ll do it,” said Jones.  His thoughts were racing.  There was something so common yet so mysterious about this old man.  Secrets and sorrow seemed to surround him.  He was not forthcoming, yet he was welcoming.  He was paradoxical, intriguing and Jones knew he had stories to tell.  Would he ever be able to hear them?

As he walked out of the door, he hesitated for a second.  Something had caught his eye.  On a table in the corner, Jones saw a pink silk ribbon.



To be continued__________________________


The Light In The Middle Window – Chapter Four

Jones didn’t miss a beat when he looked at Walt and said “that’s easy.  I’ll take my crowbar up there, pry them open and see if any of those skeletons are wearing jewelry.”

Walt looked at him and said “you’re my kind of guy.”  Jones knew that Walt was pulling his leg but he couldn’t help but wonder what he would do if there were caskets in the attic.  After all, it could have been a possibility, given the history of the house.

He decided to do some research about the grand lady.  He wanted to know more than “she was built by signers of the cessation from the Union and used to be a funeral parlor.”  He had it in mind that there was more to her than he knew, or had been told.

He was seeing that strange light in the middle window more often and let his imagination run a bit wild.  Perhaps it was a spurned lover, looking for revenge in the place between now and the hereafter, or maybe it was a poor soul who was taken before their time and can’t quite let go.

What he needed was to find some “old-timers,” who had lived in the small town, all or most of their lives.  There weren’t many.  Younger folks were buying up the old mansions on the block.  They had new money and were beginning their own new history.

He decided to ask Mel, who described everybody as a “good ole boy.”  Surely he would know some kind of good ole boy who was old enough to remember the past.  Much to Jones’ delight, he did.

“You’ll want to go down yonder a bit, to the last house on the right,” Mel said.  “I think that ole boy is still alive…at least he was the last time I heard him mentioned.  He can probably tell you a little bit, and he may have some good stories.  His name is Hiram Meaders.”

Jones took the short trip down the street and rang the doorbell.  When no one answered, he rapped on the door.  Just as he was about to walk away, he heard a voice call “just a darned minute.  I ain’t no spring chicken, ya know.”

Jones was met by a toothless, jovial face, which he could only assume belonged to Hiram Meaders.

“Hello.  Might you be Mr. Meaders?” Jones asked.

“I surely am but you can call me Hiram,” he said.

Jones said “everybody calls me Jones” and chuckled when Hiram, in a loud voice said, “what’s that you say?  You’re alone?  Well, that’s alright.  Step on inside.”

Hiram extended a wrinkled, weathered, almost crippled hand and said, “I’m a little hard of hearing, so you have to speak up.  Set down a spell and tell me what’s on your mind while I put in these darn hearing aids.  They ain’t worth a flying flip but I wear them anyway.”  He laughed when he said “I reckon at age 96, I should be glad that I’m still breathing.”

Jones explained that he had just bought the grand lady up the street.  “I call it ‘the Manor’,” he said.

“Ah,” said Hiram.  “The one that used to be a funeral parlor.”

“Yes,” said Jones.  “I was wondering if you could tell me anything about the history of the house, besides the fact that it used to be a funeral parlor.”

“Well,” said Hiram.  “As I recollect, that house has been standing for might near a century and some odd years and it’s changed hands a few times.”

“Ah, she was a grand lady, for sure.  Come Christmas time, she was lit up and folks from all around town came to have a look-see.”  His voice trailed off and he was pensive when he began to speak again.

“The last owner was a doctor.  He was about as useless as these darned hearing aids.  He didn’t care nothing about that house and darn near let her go to ruin.”

“I know,” said Jones.  “It’s my intention to bring her back to her glory years.”

Hiram mused “kind of like a beautiful woman, ain’t she?  A beautiful woman who has been ravaged by time…and much sorrow.”  Jones agreed but quickly added “but I will give her a face-lift and she will once again shine like she is on Broadway.”

“Broadway,” Hiram echoed.  “Ain’t never been there.”

Jones said “what was your profession, Hiram?”

Hiram began nervously twiddling with his hearing aid and said “oh, I used to have a little business but that was years ago.”

“What kind of business?” asked Jones.

When Hiram didn’t answer, Jones wasn’t sure if it was because he didn’t hear him or he didn’t want to answer, so he changed the subject.

“I was wondering,” he said, “if you knew about the people who lived there before the doctor and the folks who turned it into a funeral parlor.  And you mentioned something about ‘time and sorrow’.  Is there sorrow attached to the house?”

Hiram looked down and softly said “yep.  Yep.  There surely is but ain’t nobody speaks about it.”  Then he leaned forward, looked at Jones and said “you seen that light yet?”


To be continued_____________________




The Light In The Middle Window – Chapter Three

Waiting for a reaction he didn’t get, Mel said “yep.  This used to be a funeral parlor.  Those three bay doors in the garage was where they parked the hearses.” Then he said “I’m sorry,  I’ve forgotten your name.”

“People call me Jones.”  Then as casually as could be, said “I guess that old Troy walk-in ice box was where they kept the bodies.”  Mel looked at him and said “go on.”

He got up and took Mel over to the little house, opened the door and showed him the icebox.  “Do you want to have a look-see inside?”  Mel took a step backward and said “nah, that’s alright.”

Mel again offered his services for the air conditioners and it was agreed that he would come check them out the next day.  “Now, I won’t be going anywhere near that little house, understood?”

Jones nodded his understanding and then with a twinkle in his eye said, almost as if musing to himself, “that might explain the light in the middle window.”

Mel looked at him and without moving his lips said “seriously?”  Jones said “seriously.  I don’t see it every night but I see it quite often.”

Still looking at Jones like he expected his head to do a 360° turn, Mel started to stroll back to his truck and said “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Jones wondered if Mel would actually return after having been spooked by the icebox but the next morning, Mel and his crew showed up, just as he had promised.

Much to the dismay of Jones, Mel gave him some bad news.  Both air conditioners were more or less shot and needed to be replaced.  The summers were brutal there and Jones knew that it would be necessary to at least have some cool air at times, although he would continue to be frugal. A glass of ice-cold water and a fan were most times, all Jones needed.

The workers had the downstairs air working at the end of the day and promised a return for the top floor the next week.

That would prove to be a daunting task as the return was located in the attic, some twelve feet up.  Not only that, but the access door was just big enough for a slender worker to get through. That posed a problem in not only getting the old one out, but getting the new one in.

Jones let them work and sweat and probably curse when out of earshot.  He didn’t blame them.  He was silently cursing at the aggravation and of course, the expense.

They took regular breaks, having a smoke and spraying themselves with the garden hose.  During one of those breaks, one of them questioned him about the little house.

Jones delighted in telling them that the grand house used to be a funeral parlor and inside the little house was an antique ice-box.  He told them that he believed the ice-box was where they kept the bodies cold.  He offered to give three of them a peek and opened the creaky old door, now scarred by pressure washing.  He took them in, opened the ice box door and they ran out squealing like little girls.

The foreman, named Walt, laughed at them and said “that kind of thing doesn’t bother me,” yet he showed no interest in going into the little house.

After an eight-hour tour in the attic, he came down and said they were going to call it a day.  “We’ll be back at 8 tomorrow morning.”

Jones nodded and thanked them for their efforts.  As Walt was gathering up his equipment, he turned and said “what are you going to do with all those old caskets in the attic?”


To be continued________________


The Light In The Middle Window – Chapter Two

The light in the window didn’t hold his attention for long.  His mind was otherwise occupied.

When he went back into the house, he was struck by just how dark it was. There were lights but the bulbs had burned out and he didn’t have a ladder that would reach the high ceilings.

There was no urgency to get them fixed.  He had been known in the past as the man who never turned on a light and it would most likely be the same in this house.  Once you get to know your home, finding your way around in the dark made sense…at least to him and he had always been frugal.  “Turn on a light just long enough to see where you are going or get what you need and then turn it off,” he said.

Darkness had never been an enemy but this house…this house had no outside ambient light source.  No invasive streetlights shining through the windows nor were any neighbors’ lights visible, yet only once had he mistakenly entered into a bedroom, thinking it was the bathroom.

Most of his days were filled with the tedious task of unpacking bins and boxes and realizing that the movers had misplaced most of them.  Boxes clearly marked “bedroom” had been left in the kitchen and tools that were marked “garage” had somehow found their way upstairs.  There were moments of grieving the loss of a treasured piece that had been broken in the move but he sojourned on.

People started coming by to introduce themselves and all of them wanted the “grand tour.”  Most said they had driven by the house every day, and every day, they wished somebody would buy it and bring it back to its original glory.

With apologies for the disarray, he graciously allowed them to come inside and look around.  Several of them offered help with the unpacking and one woman eagerly offered her gardening skills.

He was familiar with the term “Southern hospitality,” but he had never experienced anything like this.  He took their numbers, thanked them and gave the obligatory “maybe I’ll give you a call.”

Night after night, he went outside after a long days work and sat on the stoop.  It was his quiet time, interrupted only by the train whistle or an occasional ambulance siren in the distance.  Every night, he momentarily turned his gaze toward the garage to look for the light in the window but it wasn’t always there.

He thought it could possibly be the reflection of a neighbors’ porch light although the juxtaposition of the garage prohibited that possibility.  A street light maybe?  That couldn’t be because the only street light was several houses down.  It didn’t matter.  His eyes had played tricks on him before and he was no spring chicken.

That rickety old fence needed to come down, so he called Daniel, the handyman who had stopped by when he first moved in.  They worked and talked and sipped ice tea and worked and talked and sipped ice tea until they got the old fence down.

There was a sadness when he looked at where it had once proudly stood. It had been part of this grand lady but it couldn’t be saved and when they pulled it up, it left a gaping wound in the ground.

He had always believed that when you abandoned or destroyed a part of your past, it left a permanent scar.  Would she weep over the loss?  Would it be, to her, like losing a piece of herself?

He helped Daniel load the broken pieces of the fence onto his trailer and then watched as he slowly drove down the street to the local dump.  It wasn’t a proper burial but it was the way things were done now.

Having put in a days’ work, it was time for his nightly ritual of sitting on the stoop.  As he glanced toward the garage, once again, he saw the light in the middle window.  As he stared, he almost chuckled when he thought “that looks like a small child.”  Shaking his head and still smiling, he went back inside, trying to reassure himself that he wasn’t insane.

The next morning, he was breaking down boxes for the trash when he noticed a truck coming up the driveway.  A jovial man jumped out, handed him his card and introduced himself as Mel.  “I used to maintain the air conditioning in this house,” he said.

That was a good thing to know and he seemed to be as nice as the other people he had met.  After being offered the house wine of the South, ice tea, he sat down and said “I see you tore down that old fence.  That’s good.  It needed to be tore down.  Who did it for you?”

“Daniel,” he said.  Mel said “oh yeah.  I know Daniel.  He’s a good ole boy.” When asked who was painting the house, the response was the same.  “Oh, yeah.  I know him.  He’s a good ole boy.”  Mel had a way about him. Everybody was a “good ole boy” and he knew everybody in town.  He said he had once thought about buying the grand lady but was going through a nasty divorce and decided it wouldn’t be a very good idea.

They sat and talked and after Mel finished his glass of ice tea, he was almost indifferent when he said “did you know that this house used to be a Funeral Parlor?”



To be continued________________________