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The Curious Life of Jonathan Pool


Jonathon Pool lived in the back of an old cave known as a Chevy Suburban that rested atop a rusted out Dodge Duster at Hector’s Salvage Yard on a hill on the outskirts of town. He lived rent free, as he helped Hector with transmissions and engine removal when needed. Hector did not need help with the small stuff.

Hector was a lonely, grizzly man that did not want much company. When he found the boy living in the Suburban, he grunted, and let him stay.

Jonathon cut table legs of uneven lengths, so that it rested level in the corner of his home. On the table rested a candle. He used, old, outgrown shirts as curtains, running string through the sleeves. This was his home.

He was still young, but weathered. During the mornings he did things for Hector. The afternoons were quiet and he was left to himself. Across town there was an old junkyard and he often went exploring for things to use in his business activities that kept him fed. Years before, he had located one of those once popular craft kits for working with glass. The tool he used most often allowed him to cut off the bottom of a bottle. The box was worn and faded, but Jonathon figured out the method.

At the entrance of the Salvage Yard was a display of glass windows made from wine bottle bottoms and a variety of glass wind chimes. He mostly sold wind chimes to the wives that accompanied their husbands, if he sold anything. He was dirty and ragged but managed to feed himself.

After many trial and error attempts, Jonathon knew which wine bottles made which sounds when used with which lug nut or oil cap. He knew the length to cut a particular bottle to make the bowl give its best tone. He experimented with, which wire from which chassis resonated well through the glass.

Hector went along when he was asked if wire could be strung across the yard from lamp posts to fence posts or lamp post to office building. He went along because he liked the music.

It was not long after Jonathon’s project got started when a person from the town came out to his Salvage Yard and looked around. The customer did not need an auto part, the curiosity of music had gotten the better of him. A day or two later a mother with her child in tow came to Hector’s Yard and talked to him while he was pulling a starter from an Oldsmobile. Hector shimmied out from under the Delta 88 and pointed at the Suburban sitting atop the Duster.

Soon the woman was talking to Jonathon, completely forgetting where she was at. She and Jonathan leaned against some old dirty tractor tire while the woman showed him a book she had brought and explained the musical notes to him. He brought out the different pieces that he had made and she showed him which musical notes they represented.

She came every day for a week. Hector liked that, as she brought a basket of food with her each day for lunch. She and Jonathan went over the notes and she brought a tuning fork to teach Jonathan the notes that he missed in his experimentation.

The people in the sleepy town just down the hill from Hector’s Salvage Yard began getting a nightly concert. Depending on the season, and which way the wind blew. Their town, once stale and routine became filled with the curiosity of life.

So many people began arriving at Hector’s, that he opened a concession stand where he sold cold drinks in the summer and hot chocolate in the winter. Hector held a Christmas tree sale in December. The children of the town came and sang their choir recitals in the early evenings, accompanied by the chimes.

The men of the town began buying the wine glass windows and installing them on the back wall of their garages and the women began delivering apple cider to both Jonathan and Hector.

Jonathan had the back seat of the Chevy Suburban upholstered, for a more comfortable bed, and had the carpet replaced. He continued to scavenge for wine bottles on the far side of town and continued to make his chimes.

He broadened his experimentation to include horn rings, and hub caps. He knew the sounds of piston rings and window knobs. He knew that a bottle from a Chardonnay, sounded best with a window knob, used as a clapper from a Ford Capri Landau. And that the bottle from a California Pinot Noir was best used with a radiator cap from a Ford Pacer. Soon he could imitate many sounds heard in a philharmonic orchestra.

One summer evening, two of the kids in the high school band brought their horns and sat on the ground outside of Hector’s Salvage Yard and accompanied the chimes. Most of the town brought chairs outside to listen.

Word spread and summer evenings people from the neighboring town drove over to listen to the music that seemed to float freely from the sky. They stopped at the General Store to buy a soda or the Café for a slice of pie and coffee. They shopped at the Five and Dime and waited for the wind that carried the music that made them forget the troubles that consumed them. They walked arm in arm along the sidewalks and tipped their hats to the towns people. And said, ‘Good evening.”

One summer morning Jonothan came to Hector’s office and made Hector lose his mouth full of apple cider by asking for the hood ornament from a Skyliner. Hector, exclaimed, “You want me to buy auto parts?” And both laughed.

Later that day four women from the town arrived at Hector’s Office. They wanted to clean up his approach and office porch. Hector tilted his head back at the women and smiled, but he agreed. At the end of the day the approach was raked and clear of weeds. A row of rock outlined the entrance and were painted white. The hub caps and weathered fan belts were removed from the front porch and chimes in multicolor glass bells lined the entrance and wine bottle bottom windows hung on the front wall.

Hector had the cleanest auto salvage yard in two counties. That evening Jonathan lit candles and placed them on every few rocks on the new driveway and the two of them shared cider and laughed together for the second time that day.

Their world was illuminated. The light from the candles reflected here and there. The cars seemed to shine, as if scrubbed and polished. They were clean but still rough, like the men. The two sat and spoke quietly, with a sense of anticipation.

A brand new symphony opened as the wind began to blow. Music sprinkled down upon the town, washing pain and suffering away. Jonathan had spent the day rearranging the chimes, just so.


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Wintergatan - Marble Machine (music instrument using 2000 marbles)

© 2017 mckbirdbks


mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on October 11, 2018:

Hello Shauna - Thank you - what a kind comment. The small little town came alive with the introduction of music in the air. Sometimes the simple things bring us together. That music machine is just amazing.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 11, 2018:

Beautiful story, Mike! Jonathan's ingenuity brought music and life to a sleepy little town. Love it! And the marble machine video is the perfect finale!

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 02, 2017:

Hello Bill - Thank you. Sometimes the writing flows, other times, I have to drag it along. I can usually tell when something gathers a rhythm. I appreciate the comment.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 02, 2017:

Hello Gypsy - Thanks for the visit. You have been very busy with your poetry. Sorry that I have fallen behind.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 02, 2017:

Hello Genna - Thank you. What a warm compliment. I agree that music has a healing factor that does not get enough credit. Writing has its moments, I felt good about this story and am glad it is receiving such warm comments.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 02, 2017:

Hello Shy - Thank you very much. It has been several weeks since I published. A few ideas appeared but never enough to get a good grasp. I woke up one morning with this story concept fresh and strong. As always thanks for the blessings.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 02, 2017:

From the opening line about the Chevy Suburban, this story grabs the reader by the throat and refuses to let go. Masterful writing, Mike.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on December 02, 2017:

Loved this story and the videos.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on December 02, 2017:

What a beautiful story, Mike. Nothing is more magical -- or illuminating -- than the music of the heart. Thank you for sharing yours with us. Just gorgeous writing. :-)

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on December 01, 2017:

Mike, this is beautiful and amazing, I loved the story and the videos. Glad you published a new hub.

Blessings as always

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 01, 2017:

Hi Peg - Isn't that something!! I watched that video a couple of times, and even thought of scrapping this story and trying to write that story.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on December 01, 2017:

What an amazing piece of machinery and musical instrument that Wintergatan - Marble Machine is! Wow. That is incredible.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 01, 2017:

Hello Martie – What a nice thing to say. Both Jonathan and Hector are just living their existence the best they can. Both pretty much loners. They are repaid for their efforts with baskets of food. Visits from some towns people to guide their work. Women from the town came by and cleaned up to show their appreciation. Everyone is a winner here.

I appreciate your visit and kind comment.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 01, 2017:

Hello Erik – I have been writing some dark episodes. This piece is meant to break that cycle. I am glad you liked it and thankful for your visit.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 01, 2017:

Hello Frank – Welcome back. I see in my email inbox, that you have come roaring back. Welcome. I’ll make it over to your space as quickly as possible. My mind has been elsewhere.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 01, 2017:

Hello Peg - What a wit. Thank you. I can see the outdoor movie sessions in these pieces, now that you mention it. That sense of community overlaps both concepts, here and at Emerald Wells. Peg you are such an optimist. I don’t think Hector and Jonathan are going to have a 75 episode run. I do have a similar story line or at least the concept invading my story writing space.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 01, 2017:

Hello Becky - Thank you. If anyone had knowledge of the beauty of wind chimes, you would. You are in a perfect location. Happy restringing, now that you have a story of motivation.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on December 01, 2017:

I am searching in vain for words that could describe the thoughts and feelings called forth by this story. The fact that greed didn't capture the characters took my breath away.

Well-written, uplifting story. Thank you, Mck!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 01, 2017:

Wow this is really really good. I got all teary. Thanks, you did to me what Jonathan did for the town.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on December 01, 2017:

What a wonderful story it had me scrolling for more.. you've out did yourself my friend :)

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on December 01, 2017:

This story is music to my ears. (Someone had to say it.) You've captured the joy and sharing of all seasons. The wind chime symphonies reminded me of the outdoor movie sessions outside of Emerald Wells Cafe. Bravo, Mike. I think this is the start of something much, much more. I already love Jonathon and I'm beginning to see a new Hector. Hopefully, there are more adventures ahead.

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on December 01, 2017:

Beautiful story Mike. I have my front porch lined with wind chimes. About once a month, I need to put some back together, because the wind blows so much it wears the fishing line out. Reminds me I need to get another spool of it. I loved this.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 01, 2017:

Hello Ann – Thank you, what a nice comment. I certainly went after a ‘feel-good-factor’ I figured we all needed a little brighter outlook, with all the swirling storms we listen to every day. Your comment is very much appreciated.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 01, 2017:

Hello Verlie - Thank you. It is the season for creativity and ingenuity. I appreciate your visit and kind comment. Tis the season.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on December 01, 2017:

Hello mar - As you know my writing had swung to the darker side of life here of late. So, when this concept came to me, I pursued the story to see where it took me. Thanks for the visit this morning, Happy Friday.

Ann Carr from SW England on December 01, 2017:

Absolutely fantastic, Mike! Talk about the feel-good factor! I could feel the mood lifting with each paragraph. How catching a good atmosphere is! A simple idea causes such joy, solace and beauty. How do you come up with such ideas? Brilliant!

You've cheered me up no end this afternoon and believe me I needed cheering up. Thank you. Your writing is lyrical, unique and magical.


Verlie Burroughs from Canada on December 01, 2017:

Mike, sweet story, sweet music. Your story illustrates perfectly how creativity and ingenuity can lift us when we are feeling low. Thank you for that.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on December 01, 2017:

Oh to be misty - eyed before noon... :)

Mike is back 'in the house'! I love this sweet and wonder-filled story - filled with hope and curiosity and right on time for Christmas.

Oh and more please... Hugs, mar

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