It seems to me that it wasn't that my Uncle Carr was particularly nosy, he was just a lone neighborhood watch on Park Avenue. He was almost a century old, ninety-eight. He said that it was his civic duty, sort of like the Lone Ranger and his vision had been to be a Ranger. Said it all started when he was a boy, and he made Eagle Scout, and that he was part Indian. I think, Cherokee, or maybe related to Pontiac. Before he retired, he was a trooper with the state and he really loved working outdoors. Then he moved to a suburban area and was like villager in a town and country.            

My memories of Uncle Carr were mostly of the nights when all my cousins and I would dart to his home (unless there was a storm) and we would pile on his front porch for our nightly summit to look at the galaxy for nova, or wait for an eclipse. The evening zephyr would blow through the aspen and set the tempo. He always started his stories by pointing out Taurus in the sky with his great big cutlass that we called the Excalibur, and then he would slice it toward Saturn, the big blade gleaming in the moonlight, taking our breath away. And he would really yell if the neighbor's Audi box (that's what he called radio) was louder than him.              


 It just seemed that he knew about everything, and we loved listening to his stories about when he was a trailblazer. We would sit silently, the only sound we made was to acclaim


our stanza: Jim-my! He had been to Dakota and Laredo on a caravan, and roped wild mustang and rode a wild bronco. We never tired of hearing about his hunting expeditions for cougar, fox, impala, lynx, and jaguar and how crossing the ford near the delta ended up a quest to cope with spiders and super beetles. He told us stories of battles in Granada that always began with a Chevy cry that made chills go through our spines and we believed he was only about the most intrepid person in the world. To all of us, he was a grand voyager, an explorer, a real pathfinder. Our own celebrity.             


    He said that things were different today and that when he was a boy the fireflies were as big as birds. He even sometimes called them firebirds.            

     But, the thunderbird of his life happened after the Christmas he had bought Aunt Mercedes a sable coat. She was rather cavalier about it and then on a caprice, she ran off to Monte Carlo with Uncle Carr's sidekick, a courier that was working as an escort. She thought the courier was supreme because he once had been a Samurai. He gave her a diamond ring that looked like a prism and it turned out to be a topaz.             

     It was classic story. Uncle Carr always told it with a prelude about her being like Cressida, the Trojan woman that was unfaithful to her lover. He hired a tracer to probe into where she had gone, but she could always dodge him. Uncle Carr warned us boys not to let a pickup like her get her talons in us. He said she thought she was Crown Queen Victoria. But, I know he missed

My Old Used Carr

Living in the Mind's Eye

exclusively by janet goodrich

Living in the mind's eye