Thursday, January 12, 2012


Freight Wagon on Wentworth Springs road
Can you hear the hames bells?
The reporter posed Lidge and I hunkered over with our gold pans in the crick, while the photographer exposed a couple plates of the two of us grinning and pretending we’d discovered a nugget, and then he got out his notebook and began asking questions. The exchange began pleasantly enough.  “In my experience, Mr. Camp, you garrulous ol’ codgers tend to be notoriously sentimental and nostalgic. Fare enough?”  “Fare enough.” “Okay, with that in mind, is there anything in particular that you miss about the old days?” Well that was a good question, and I meditated on it briefly but earnestly before replying. “Bells!” I chimed in melodiously, beaming with satisfaction at my reply.  “I miss bells!”  This response gave the gentleman pause.  “Bells.”  He responded, scribbling contemplatively in his notes.  “Why bells?” This hadn’t actually occurred to me before; but it was true.  I do miss bells. “Well,” I says, “years ago, the world rang with bells!  There were cowbells, school bells, dinner bells, train bells, doorbells, ships’ bells, fire bells, church bells, hames bells, jingle bells, Christmas bells; every single season tolled melodiously with bells. These days you rarely ever hear a bell, and I miss ‘em.” OBIE’S QUEST     

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