Two Sunsets in One Day

St. Louis Shari and her mother, LaFern, and I were headed down Highway 74 south of Cape when I suddenly whipped off to the side of the road with my four-way flashers blinking.

“What’s the matter?” LaFern asked, with some concern in her voice.

“Never mind,” replied Shari,  shaking her head. “That’s just what he does.”

I took 49 frames, but, as is so often the case, the first shot was the best. (You can click on it to make it larger.)

An unwelcome message

Moments later, my phone gave a chime, followed by a robot lady, who toned, “You have a text message from Lila Steinhoff.” There was a pause while she interpreted Lilaese, then, “I am just sick. Ginsberg died.”

“Crap” is all I could say.

We continued on down to Advance where the El Mexicano restaurant had more cars and people than I had ever seen before. We elected for carryout.

We killed time waiting for our order by driving around Advance, a town that was almost as dark as my mood.

6 Replies to “Two Sunsets in One Day”

  1. With her passing came the dark…a night we must pass through, one of reflection and of gathering our collective wisdom to to face the new day of possibility…with the sobering realization that no such person is replaceable. She was our modern Joan of Arc…

  2. I live in Advance again – three years now.
    I left 35 or so years ago.
    I must stress – it is not dark to me.

    Not at all.

    It is lit by familiar faces and places and people who love this town – and also by those whose faces and names are not known to me now.

    I am reassured by all the houses my dad built – houses still standing with straight roofs and solid foundations. My dad built them from the ground up without power tools – and with the hard, dedicated labor of his two hands.

    Granted – it is essentially a “bedroom” community now. The shoe factory is long gone.
    But Advance has endured – there are small businesses and sole proprietorships and a vibrant school system.

    We are a community of hope and promise.
    We have a purpose in this world and we are striving to achieve that purpose.

    The morning sun brings light here – and we embrace it all day long.

    Hopefully, my perspective as a resident has shed light on the darkness you perceived.
    Sometimes, our perceptions are influenced by the sorrow felt in our souls.
    I have known great sorrow. I have experienced soul wrenching heartache. And I have resided in many different locations on this earth.

    Advance is special and unique.

    And I know for a fact – there is no place like home.

    1. I should clarify that Advance was dark in a literal, not spiritual sense. We drove down streets that were so dark that I told my friends that there wasn’t much need to cruise around since there wasn’t much they were going to see.

      My grandparents grew up in Advance, had several businesses on the square over the years, and my dad’s construction company had an office in the Prather Building next to the barbershop. I rode my toy tractor round and round cabinets in Grandfather Welch’s liquor store, and the house trailer we lived in when Dad had an out-of-town job was parked in my grandparents’ driveway for awhile. Many birthdays and holidays were spent in their home, and I can still be pulled back there when the right sound or smell comes along. The house was sold to the lumber yard and was torn down because my grandmother said she didn’t want to go back to town and see it in disrepair.

      I’m sorry if I gave you the wrong impression about how I feel about the town. On that particular night, I’m afraid my mood would have been dark if every light in town had been beaming.

      Kenneth Welch, the uncle I was named for, was the first person buried in the cemetery at the edge of town after he was killed in a car vs train crash.

      This post I did about Grandmother Else Adkin Welch will show you my roots grow deep in the town.

      In fact, if you put the word “Advance” in the search box on the blog, you’ll find I have written many posts about the town.

      1. No apology necessary.
        Do you know the street names of the streets that were not lit?
        That is an issue that should be addressed.
        I wish your friends could have seen our town!

        1. We made a little loop around town, then north on Ash past the town square, left on Sturdivant all the way out to where it became Old C and tied in with new C, then on to El Mexicano. I can’t say if the streets were lit or not lit. All I know is that it was darned dark.

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