Wondering About Finding out About a Mystery Family
This is a true narrative from the first to last syllable about a mysterious family whom I was privy to meeting the dad once two or three years ago. Neither he or his wife or kids had any visible means of support--no jobs, government assistance and no pan handling that we knew about.
And it's Halloween 2017. Reason enough for you to (as our friends in Britain say), give it a go, and try to understand what I am expressing in this piece.
Gotta tell you about this big family who I know who lives right out there in the open. Just a rock's throw off highway 29 north of Hamilton, Ala., the family, four adults, three children at varying ages, (at that sighting years ago) and heights. The family, bigger than any bread box, but oh, so mysterious. I don't mean mysterious in they perform strange rituals that would get them banned from any church denomination. No. This family is quiet. Very quiet. Really so quiet that I'm sure that their neighbors stay shuddering in their tracks standing near their window shades.
Truth be told, and I want that to happen now, this family does not fit into any category listed in the menu hanging so obvious in the Menu of Life near the two doors made from authentic Lebanon Cedars. I've walked through these doors a few times and each time I came away with something I learned. And it wasn't all fun either. Some things I learned were about some people whom I used to know who could publish monthly-manuals about "New Ways to Treat People Mean." Thankfully, this mysterious family of seven are not anywhere near mean.
I remember the very first time my wife and I were traveling up this highway 29 (that I mentioned in the first of this narrative) and upon nearing this family's abode, I assume that the dad was standing in the front door not moving a muscle. Just standing straight as a newly-hewn arrow and looking upward. It didn't take me a week to get suspicious.
"Hey, Pam," I spoke up. "did you see that guy standing in his front yard looking upward?" I added for clarity.
"Yes, dear. I did," she replied. Then just continued to look out of the car window.
"Well?" I argued. "does that not strike you as odd?" I said.
"What? That man standing in his front yard? Sure, but Kenny, that would be his own personal business wouldn't it?" Pam has this way of explaining a mystery that was causing me some degree of discomfort.
I mean. You never know what is on a person's mind who is just standing in their front yard looking upward and not moving a hair. Us Americans have to be on our toes. We can never tell when a few mean and bad folks want to invade our country and do more abrasive and maybe abusive things to our women and children. I think this way sometimes--and I am not a prepper.
You aren't singing in the dark. You know the score about the conditions of the world at this moment. At any given time, a terrorist organization might pop out of the ground causing pain, suffering, and a lot of questions being asked by shaken citizens and news outlets who were near at the time. But with this family I am talking about, you could stop in the middle of the highway, get out of your car and walk over to their homes without being shot or stabbed. I'd label this family as being quiet and peaceful. Quite peaceful would work too.
You are wondering, I know, about the term "homes" that I used to explain where this family lives is just another wrinkle in this mystery that has me very perplexed. The dad, mom, and kids, all reside in their house in the middle of their property. There also stands two mobile homes where people live along with, now count them, no less than three automobiles and two pick-up trucks. Are you in shock now? Oh, you are like me, perplexed.
Let me guess: right now, you are wondering about where this family and it's offspring work and able to support the mobile homes and cars, right? If you were not thinking about this, I think that you were watching the local news or weather. I was by this place not long ago and the outside has not changed. With maybe another car being parked in part of the yard. But I did not see any moving parts with the family.
A year or so ago, I did see the dad, the main operator, walk into our local Walmart and upon seeing him, I spoke. He spoke and nodded and acted very friendly and kept walking. I guess you are wondering about his wardrobe. Well don't. His dress was very humble and with the two coats he was wearing, along with this cap, he looked like your everyday American who was going to buy something from a local store. What was he looking to buy? I do not know. This area is none of my business.
After this meeting, I saw this man again and in the same store, Walmart, but this time, we had a short conversation and I admit it. It was all out of sheer curiosity. No other reason and I should feel ashamed to talk to anyone to "just" find out something I was wondering about. And I do. So feel good that I have feelings about others.
"You doing okay?" I asked before the man could go inside our Walmart.
"Uhh, yeah. You?" he asked.
"Getting by," I said.
"Where you working these days?" I asked him. And as a note of explanation: Many people, my townsfolk included, all wonder where everyone else works--so my asking where this guy worked was not me just being nosy.
Then it started. And didn't start at the same time. The guy did hear my question for his face registered with a look of concern. I continued to look at him and wait for his answer.
He didn't answer. He continued to just look at me and then look down at the tops of his work boots. Very expensive, I might add.
"I meant, didn't you work at one time with one of our mobile home factories?" I said explaining my question that was still unanswered.
The man started looking pensive. He also looked nervous and started moving from one foot to the other and looking out toward the parking lot.
Then he just grinned, reached out to shake my hand and leave. Did you get that? Just leave. Sure, I felt very insulted, but not knocked to the cold ground. I've been insulted plenty of times over my 63 years on this earth. But this was now more mysterious as it was in the beginning.
I could not just get into my car and go home leaving my questioned unanswered. When you work for a newspaper, radio, or internet news outlet, you learn a certain persistence in never giving up. So I waited standing by my car and waited for the guy to come out of our Walmart. I tell you. It was a long time. I thought, pay dirt! He is buying a lot of things because he probably works in the home or something like that.
Then the man came out of the store and upon recognizing me, he looked suddenly defensive as if he didn't want to talk to me. I respected him all the same. But I never gave up.
"Ya'll working steady now?" I asked him and my question was designed to find out if he was employed at one of our three mobile home factories.
"Naaaah, I don't know," the guy said very impatient.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I was just making conversation. I have a few friends who work for these factories. Okay. Have a safe evening," I said covering my obvious embarrassment.
"No problem," the man said walking to his truck--and I noticed that he was carrying one, small bag which looked to me like he was carrying a hammer.
My questioning ceased. I knew when to quit.
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© 2017 Kenneth Avery