Wednesday, January 05, 2011

MAGPIE TALE: What Remains

(The first Magpie Tale we offer for 2011.)

Nothing remains of that day, of those lives, of that moment except for that ugly little black sculpture made from the iron remains of a push cart wheel.

Not one stitch of clothing remains of the old 999 shop, and no one remembers Hattie Kuykendahl's shrill laugh as she told women how smart they looked in their new shirtwaist dresses.
The bankers walking across the street for a Reuben sandwich -- that conversation that at the time seemed to hold all the gravity of the world -- have all fallen to the ash heap. Even the coins in their pockets have slid down storm drains or have since been melted down for new dimes.
The daydreams of the driver waiting for what felt like hours are still out there if you look closely, dancing on electric wires of balancing on the wings of a dragonfly.

Some people looked at Otis and Cloyce walking down Pine Street, unlikely friends in that time, Cloyce with the rugged rope holding his bag to his shoulder. They stole a glance together of the new sled they hoped to buy for Cloyce's son Ralph.
Some felt Q. Henry Larkin to be a poetically contemplative man as he always walked across the street as if in prayer when, in fact, he was only trying to keep those patent leather shoes free of horse manure. It proved a costly habit when, four year later, he was run down by an electric carriage. His eyes had not adjusted to a time when horse carts had become rare and speeding powered buses had become the norm.
For now, however, it all is dust. Dust that replaced the entire block down that afternoon when the wrecking ball slammed into the Majestic Theater and shut down the show forever.



At 5:41 PM, Blogger Helen said...

This is just so unique and interesting ... my hometown had a Majestic Theater, which is now sadly gone too.

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Thanks, Helen. The b/w photos are from this site which features amazing historical photos:
When you enlarge most of the photos, they reveal incredible detail, especially street scenes like this of Memphis in 1910.

Yes, many a Majestic Theater bit the dust.

At 10:16 PM, Blogger Joan Tucker said...

THis is so very interesting and well done.

At 10:35 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Thanks, Joan. These are always fun to do and to interact with the other "Magpie Makers".

At 2:57 AM, Blogger Berowne said...

Ou sont les neiges d'antan?

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Martin H. said...

The twists and turns of decline. I like it.

At 9:21 AM, Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

I'm craving a reuben now! (I love the pic of the little you on your sidebar. My grandmother had a kitchen table and chairs just like that. I always thought the design looked like ice cubes.)

At 3:17 AM, Blogger Lucy Westenra said...

Very interesting pictorial response to the prompt. I love old photographs like this.

At 7:06 PM, Blogger Reflections said...

Interesting response. I like the pictoral narrative to times gone by. Wonderful.

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Lane Savant said...

From way back when I thought life held treasure.


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