Jocie Brooke here reporting from Main Street, Hollyhill. Well, I would be reporting except I have to do this science report for school about plant stamens and pistils. I know. Boring!! But Dad says grades are important and I can’t just make something up. Pistils sounds like something made up to me. Anyway, since the report is due Monday, I’m turning over this week’s search for the strange to Wes. He says he’s no good at writing stuff, that his job is to help my father get the papers printed, not put the words on the papers. But I told him this “Book of the Strange” was mostly his idea and so it’s his turn. You’ll like Wes. Most everybody does, except Zella. But then, Zella doesn’t like anybody.
So here’s Wes. I’ve got to go figure out what pistils are. Only thing I know for sure so far is that you don’t shoot with them. That was supposed to make you smile. I need something to make me smile because science reports sure don’t. See you next week if I get caught up on my homework.
Wesley Green here. I’m no reporter, no writer either, but I did pester Jo into trying her hand at this. Maybe I’d better tell you a little about myself before you go to thinking I’m a young whippersnapper like Jo. I could be her old uncle. She’s hollering “grandfather” back at me, but I’m not about to admit grandfather age to nobody. So what if my hair seems to have lost its color. That could have happened when I fell out of that Jupiter spaceship. Orange Jupiter hair would’ve made me stand out too much down here on Earth. Folks might have figured out I was worse than what they call a “furriner” here in Hollyhill. Orange hair might be a dead giveaway that I might be an alien from Jupiter just like I’ve always told Jo. <wink wink> The one thing you can be sure of is that when you start figuring out strange in Hollyhill, old Wesley Green fits right in the number one spot on the list.
You see, I wasn’t born here like most everybody else. Nary a person anywhere for miles around can call me cousin. I figure I’m the only one in Hollyhill what can say that. Folks here are kin to each other on every side of the family. Even old Zella has a pile of cousins scattered around the county. Of course, she picks and chooses the ones she claims. A person has to qualify to be kin to Zella.
So you’re probably asking how a strange old guy like me ended up here in Hollyhill. First off, I might be old, but I don’t know that I’ve “ended up” anywhere yet. Second off, I rode that old motorcycle up in that picture right into Hollyhill back about nine years ago. Or maybe it was ten years. I lose count. Numbers up on Jupiter aren’t all that important. We gave up keeping count of anything on account of all those moons up there. We’d think we had them counted and another one would pop up out of nowhere. Then being sensible folk, we decided not to worry about it. What difference does it make if you have sixty-seven or fifty-seven moons? Folks down here on Earth seem fixated on counting everything. Words in a book. Toes on a foot. Hairs on a head. Oh, wait. That’s just the good Lord that numbers that last.
Anyhow, I never planned on staying here. Just planned to work a few days to make some money to put gas in my old motorcycle and go on down the road. But that Jo was a cute little tyke at three or four and every time I said anything about leaving, her little lip would tremble. Besides she liked my Jupiter stories. Somebody liking your stories isn’t something to take too lightly.
So that’s how I got here. Fell right out of that Jupiter spaceship going over Hollyhill and turned into a beatnik on a motorcycle. Now is that strange enough for you?
(Remember, leave a comment and tell me and Jocie what’s strange about your town or just say hi and your name will go in a hat for a March 1 drawing to get Scent of Lilacs. It’s got all kinds of my Jupiter stories in it.)