Thursday, January 8, 2009


Billy Ray Barnwell here, we are all the way up to Chapter 12 and I still have no idea what this is, maybe you do, if so drop me a line, Billy Ray Barnwell, General Delivery, Not Grapevine, Texas, and explain it to me because I don’t have a clue as to the nature of just what it is I am doing, a lot of you prolly figured that out already, well I just hope Mr. Morris is still smiling down on me, he never did smile much, he just chewed gum and taught Shakespeare, Julius Caesar to the sophomores and Macbeth to the seniors, only our class never got to read about old Julius because a second English teacher named Mrs. Field was hired who was very modern and up-to-date and when they gave her tenth-grade English to teach she decided we should read The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit instead, so there are a bunch of folks of a certain age in Not Grapevine to whom Et tu, Bru-tay? means absolutely nothing and also to whom friends, Romans, and countrymen never lent their ears, all we got was a minor novel that Hollywood made into a movie starring Mr. Gregory Peck before it disappeared forever, the novel I mean, not Hollywood, Hollywood is still very much with us even though Mrs. Field isn’t, she lasted all of one year before they replaced her with Mrs. Propst, whose home room I sat in or rather in whose home room I sat for my entire junior year but who was apparently so forgettable that I cannot remember one single thing about the woman, she puts me in mind of the actress who played the English teacher in that movie Splendor In The Grass starring Natalie Wood, she was not the sort who would light up Debbie Boone’s life at all, Mrs. Propst I mean, not Natalie Wood, in fact I think it’s safe to say that if the famous singer Nat King Cole and his daughter who was also named Natalie, what a coincidence, were ever asked to sing a duet about Mrs. Propst, both of them would prolly be struck dumb.

But enough about Not Grapevine High School during the Pleistocene Age, I really did not set out to write School Days Revisited, but it occurs to me A that I am following in the footsteps of the famous French writer Marcel Proust who wrote a little something in seven volumes called Remembrance Of Things Past only he actually called it Á la recherche du temps perdu because he wrote it in French, don’t worry, I promise not to fill seven volumes and it certainly won’t be in French, and B that the only things any of us can remember are things that are past because if they weren’t in the past we wouldn’t be able to remember them, would we? now that is deep, and so much for the profundity of M. Marcel Proust, I mean if he really wanted to be profound why didn’t he write Remembrance Of Things That Haven’t Happened Yet instead? Sometimes it scares me how deep I am, like one time at work my friend George Barton said to me you’ll get what’s coming to you and I said well of course I will, if it’s coming to me I am going to get it, in fact if you stop and think about it that’s the whole reason for the existence of the United States Postal Service, to make sure that all of us will get what’s coming to us, well I don’t know why but George just walked away shaking his head, and this is Billy Ray Barnwell signing off.

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