Caught Eavesdropping

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, Heart of Hollyhill

June 10, 1964

Jocie Brooke here reporting from Main Street, Hollyhill. This sign is awful. I took a picture of it to try to convince Dad to start a campaign in the Banner for new street signs. What will people passing through think of a town that has a rusty sign for Main Street? Most of the folks here don’t pay any attention to the street signs. It’s not like you can miss Main Street or get lost anywhere in Hollyhill for that matter. If you’ve seen Main Street, you’ve seen Hollyhill. 

But we do occasionally have a tourist or stranger come through. Take Mr. Whitlow. He’s a stranger come to stay, or so it seems. I haven’t been spying on him as much. Dad laid down the law to me after I got caught eavesdropping on Mr. Whitlow and Zella. 

Can you believe that the man has asked Zella out to dinner? A real date and everything. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t heard it with my own ears. I heard that much of what they said before Red, the cat, gave me away by mewing loudly as he slid through the crack I’d left in the press room door after Zella told me to get lost. 

Of course, she told Dad I was spying on her. What hasn’t she told him about me? Anyway, Dad said I was being way too nosy and ordered me to leave Mr. Whitlow and Zella alone. So I have to, but I still say there’s something fishy about that man. And much as Zella irritates me I don’t want her going out with an ax murderer. Okay, so I’ve never seen the man carrying around an ax. Okay, so I’ve never seen the man even carrying around a big stick. So maybe I am wrong. I guess we’ll find out all about him next Monday after Zella goes out with him on Saturday. If she comes to work…

So since then, Dad has been keeping me too busy taking photos of the peewee league baseball games to eavesdrop on anybody except parents talking about their kids being the next Babe Ruth. But Dad knows what he doing. You get a good picture of a kid that age and put it in the newspaper, you’re practically guaranteed to sell some extra issues. Put several baseball kid pictures in there and you might sell all your issues.

But I’d rather be in Australia taking pictures. Now that would be neat, wouldn’t it? And especially neat today with the partial solar eclipse they’re seeing there. The scientists say we’ll be able to see one here in July. I can’t wait. They say to protect your eyes you should look through old negatives. We should be able to find plenty of those.

The other thing that happened in the big town news was that finally the southern senators ended their filibuster on the Civil Rights bill. At last they’re going to be voting on it. Or at least I guess they will. Don’t know much about politics. Daddy says if I keep working on newspapers, I will have to keep up with politicians and what they’re doing. 

Maybe that’s Mr. Whitlow’s secret. Maybe he’s an undercover politician. But I don’t guess politicians are undercover. They want everybody to know them and hear them too. That’s the way the mayor is anyway. I can’t imagine having to listen to him spout about everything at the city council meetings and then have to write about it. I’d rather write about solar eclipses. Or space launches. Or even new flavors of ice cream at the Grill. 

Yumm! Ice cream. Maybe I’ll head up Main Street and have a shake. What’s your favorite flavor? I go chocolate all the way.