BW and I were in a group from our home church, Plainfield Christian Church, that bussed to Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Illinois to see 20 impressive real Alaskan Reindeer. I had almost forgotten how flat Illinois is. There is nothing between Illinois and the North Pole but a barbed wire fence and it is blown down.
The air was so fresh there it tasted like it just came from a zephyr flowing through a field of wild flowers the size of Texas. In a small town or in the country you can breathe fresh air. I especially like the smell of the wind that comes right behind the rain in the dry days of summer.
In metropolitan areas you breathe air that’s been breathed and exhaled by thousands of other people and gone through several diesel engines and in and out of a Greasy Spoon restaurant and a dive, through a homeless camp under the bridge populated with unwashed persons smoking cigarettes drinking cheap wine and through a flea bag hotel where old fertilizer salesmen sit around in urine-stained shorts cutting the cheese. That same air has been used by thousands of people working in and living in huge buildings who ate burritos for lunch and onion sandwiches for dinner the night before and through hundreds of taxis and Ubers and then through jet planes at the airport. And then you get to breathe it and when you are that far down on the air chain it makes you as crazy as a possum in a plastic garbage can. That air smells like the breath of a very large animal. You do anything to get out to Reindeer Ranch.
At the Reindeer Ranch a huge air cannon launched a cantaloupe. I visualized a rabbit eating an afternoon repast of clover. Imagine his shock and surprise when a cantaloupe burst near him. Fancy the conversation later as he talked with his friends. “I couldn’t believe it. I was eating a late lunch of clover. Suddenly I heard a loud whooshing sound and I felt as if a fighter jet from nearby Rantoul Air Force Base strafed me! I jumped higher than Shaquille O’Neal and wet myself. I have never been cantalouped before.” His friends probably said, “Come on now Brer Rabbit, have you been in the marmalade jar again? You know you have to refrigerate that stuff after it is opened.”
The entertainment was Wes, a hilarious comedic singer and guitar player extraordinaire. Of course someone is always called out of the audience to help. I have been selected many times because I look like a doofas. I had to sit on a wooden kiddy horse with a cap pistol and be decked out in ridiculous costumes by Miss Julie co-owner of the place. Wes and I did “A Boy Named Sue” and I was spectacular – Wes helped some. Some of my fellow travelers are now bribing me with pictures they threaten to display at various places.
[Larry Vandeventer. Go to my two websites – Larryvandeventer.com and wjrambler1956.com – and purchase my books. I grew up North of Calvertville and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State. Contact me at Goosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656.]