By Fred Owens
I wrote these stories for my classmates. They give off the air of innocence and times of long ago -- the Sixties.
We didn't worry about paying off our student loans, but we did worry about getting killed in Vietnam. Fear of getting drafted added a personal motive to the late night discussions of those days.
I was 19, a sophomore in college in 1966. I was in a state of sheer exuberance, which is what got me through stunts like this. Plus I read many, many books and kept in good academic standing. I could give details to this incident, like I could tell you about Tom, my roommate, and what school we were at, stuff like that, but I think I like this very short version of the event.
I threw the jar of grape jelly out the window.
Tom cooked pork chops and made the best mashed potatoes. We ate off of aluminum plates, which we had bought figuring to keep them until they wore out. Heck, they lasted all year. The handle was off the refrigerator, so you had to pry it open with a knife. And when you got the door open, a jar would inevitably roll off the shelf and bounce on the floor, because the floor underneath the refrigerator was tilted. Boy, that was annoying.
One late night I came weaving home, and opened the frig door for a snack. The grape jelly jar came rolling on to the floor, and I was pissed. I picked it up and heaved it with all my might out an open window and on to Church Street. Unfortunately, it splattered and broke on the windshield of a car. I had the presence of mind to quickly turn off the lights and watch, as the driver got out of his car. I noticed his stunned and perplexed expression as he turned and looked up at my darkened window. Then he drove off, and twenty minutes later one of Metro’s finest, all starched and ironed, very large but also very polite, came knocking on my door.
“Did you throw a jar of jelly out the window?” he asked, or words to that effect. I, a master of undergraduate insouciance, had begun to see the humor of the situation -- Toronto cops were such pussycats. I mustered up my most serious intellectual expression and said with feigned amazement, “What! That’s the craziest thing I ever heard of. Why do you wake me in the middle of the night? This is really ridiculous.”
The cop quickly realized he had more important matters to attend to, as I rather abruptly closed the door in his face and laughed myself silly.
So much for college hijinks. The thing about college, at least for me, is that I simply had too much fun. I did not suffer. Do you need to suffer to make a good story? Where is the anguish and pain? Not here, not in these tales.
These are prime summer days. Time for lazy days at the beach. I work mornings for various garden customers, but afternoons can find me stretched out on the sand with an umbrella overhead to keep out the strongest sun. I like the water at 65 degrees or warmer. I like to paddle around in it and just float. I love the sound of the waves and I watch for dolphins out past the surf......And pelicans, I love the way they fly.
For beach reading I have $3 paperbacks from the used book store -- Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling and a collection of short stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer.
Thanks for staying with me.