Saturday, May 31, 2003

May 31, 2003: Saw THE ITALIAN JOB yesterday. Hokum, but high-grade hokum. Very Hollywood, very slick. Check your brain at the door. I'm not a fan of Marky Mark, and I'd rather have seen someone else in the lead role. Everyone else was fine. I need to see the original version again to compare them.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

May 29, 2003: Ray Eubanks again. I would never have gone to school if it hadn't been for Ray. He lived about two blocks from me, and when I wouldn't go to first grade, my mother arranged for him to walk by the house every morning and get me. So I walked to school with him for a good long time. We were walking together the day my grandfather (my father's father) died. His house was separated from ours by one other house, so we had to pass it every day. In fact, we walked along his curved driveway nearly every time. I remember seeing his body (it was covered with a sheet, but I knew what it was) being put into the hearse. At the time, I didn't think that much of it. I knew he'd been very sick, and now he was dead. No big deal. At the age of six, what did I know about death?

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

May 28, 2003: I was thinking about Ray Eubanks today. I don't know how memory works for other people, but I don't seem able to remember long uninterrupted stretches of the past. I just remember vivid moments. One of those is of sitting beside Ray in church. I don't know how old we were, but it's about my first memory of being allowed to sit with someone other than my own family. One of the songs was "Since Jesus Came into my Heart," and I was amazed that Ray knew it by memory. I was impressed by his singing of the high part on "floods of joy o'er my soul like the sea billows roll," mainly because I didn't know what a sea billow was, and I doubt that Ray did, either.

Ray was my age, or a little older. He's been dead now for ten or fifteen years.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

May 25, 2003: Last night we watched OUR TOWN on Showtime. I first read the play more than 40 years ago, and I thought it was great. It's probably one of the things that made me want to be a writer. I later taught the play to the students at Corsicana High School, but after that I didn't read it again. I was amazed at how well I remembered it, considering that I can hardly remember a book I read two weeks ago. I was also amazed to recall how deeply I felt the play when I was just a kid. Sometimes I don't think my understanding has deepened at all over the years. Anyway, it was great to see a performance of it and to find out that it still had the power to affect me and make me think again those old thoughts.