Write Again … Not working not an option

Published 12:07 am Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It seems almost impossible to truly realize that we have been back home 20 years and some days. Time is, indeed, on the wing.

Our girls grew up on the Outer Banks. Manteo is really their hometown. Sally and I think of it as one of our two hometowns.

Even though I officially retired from the Dare County school system just prior to coming home, it was understood that we’d both need to stay in the work force, availing ourselves of whatever opportunities there might be.

So. For well over four years I served as a counselor in a program for court referred/at-risk juveniles, as well as coordinating the court mandated restitution requirements that often accompanied our clients.

Over the years I also worked part-time with the local recreation department. Add to that the eight good years I taught physical education (mostly recreation activities) once a week to children being home schooled. There are a lot of youngsters being home schooled in our area.

For two years I was a tutor at our community college for students with those needing to improve their reading skills. My schedule was mornings, four days a week.

And … I was a staff member for more than four years with one of our funeral services. Now, believe me when I say that those employed in this endeavor take their responsibilities quite seriously. Providing such services in a professional way, and with compassion and understanding, is a moral imperative.

Allow me, however, to share one lighter moment from my time with such a local establishment.

Fairly early in my days of being one of the associates in a dark suit, I was designated to drive the funeral coach (that description seems more impressive than “hearse”).

So … after the service at the funeral home chapel concluded, I went to my vehicle. My very first time driving it. After seeing that all was in readiness for the procession to begin the trip to the cemetery, I then turned the key in the ignition switch.

But wait. Let me digress just a bit. Earlier that morning the youngest member of our staff had taken the vehicle to be washed, and filled with gasoline. He was young, now. Note that.

Well, when I turned the key the radio came on. No, that isn’t an apt description. An audio blast — a music explosion — engulfed the vehicle. I think I hollered — screamed — and almost hit the interior roof of my chariot at the same time.

After what was probably not as long as it seemed, I managed to gather my wits enough to comprehend what was happening, and turned the radio off. It took a minute or so to recompose myself.

My traveling companion in the back kept his silence. I don’t think the incident — the Great Noise — disturbed him.

About that, however, I am not absolutely sure.