Hot times in the old towns of yesteryear chapter 2

(Chapter 1 was posted June 29, 2016)

Chapter 2: Looking for dad and finding Northern Lights

Previously in Hot Times…

On the way to see Sister Sue in Missouri, Pam and Gene were hijacked by the discovery of family history in Council Grove, KS.

We told my sister and then husband how we had ended up in Council Grove Kansas and had found some information about Gene’s dad, but nothing terribly useful to a genealogical search.

Sue had lined up stuff for us to do but that got scrapped in the excitement of an adventure called “let’s go to the capital and see what we can find in vital records.”

Topeka being only a one hour drive from Kansas City, gave us time to catch up with each other’s doings without becoming a boring “are we there yet,” trip.

Without boring you with our search through census records and up and down stairs to various records offices, I will say we found enough to know we would someday continue the search because now we had names and dates to look up. And we did end up with a copy of Gene’s dad’s birth certificate.

By the time we left Topeka it was dark enough to make the passing landscape unintelligible…Until…A SHOUT from Sue to stop the car jerked us all to attention. We looked. Red filled the sky as far as we could see. We got out of the car, necks craned upward. We gawked…speechless. Northern lights in Kansas? Yes, that is possible, but we didn’t know the why or how of it then. We just watched the curtains rise and fall, open and close, rise and fall, open and close until the show was over.

I think there was a lot of oohing and awing on the way home.

I wrote this poem about it.

Kansas by Candlelight (Northern)                                           ©PCL 1985

Picture this:

Thousands of paint buckets

full of indescribable scarlet hue

sitting heavenly-high,theatre-seat-tidy.

From beyond where man can be

an angel dressed in joy dances through unseen clouds

and dominoes those lidless buckets by perfect pirouette.

One by one, across the ink washed sky they spill,

each container saluting its contents earthward.

But heavenly paint is not the ordinary sort

Of course cohesion is apparent,

yet this is not the magma spread of gooey, earthy stuff.

SRO in awe as we witness

a slow motion silky dance

unfold curtains of sanguine gossamer veils.

Having flung this panoramic splendor across our view

the angel tiptoes now as if to leave stage right.

But! The bucket emptied are never empty.

The thought remains a rich reward

visible to earth-dimmed hearts.



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