A Strangely Ordinary Sleuth Wannabe

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, Heart of Hollyhill 9 Comments

hardyboy mystery books

June 6, 1966

Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. School got out last week. Yay!! But then Aunt Love just found lots for me to do. She has this thing about spring cleaning. So I’m having to give my room the annual clean to make Aunt Love happy. Leigh could care less. She cleans, but I think more to please Aunt Love than because she worries about dirty floors or dusty tables. She says housework is one of those never ending tasks that keeps happening over and over. Anyway that’s what I’ve been doing. Cleaning my room. And I came across this report I wrote a couple of years ago.

So since I haven’t written anything new in forever, I decided to edit it and give it a second run. They have reruns on television every summer. So why not news reports? Well, I guess that is a little different, but in this case, it works because I’m doing almost the same thing here two years later. Sigh. That just proves Leigh is right about that housework stuff.

Anyway here goes. An edited rerun from the summer of 1964.

Aunt Love says it has to be done. Me cleaning my room. She says I’m a pack rat. That’s not true. Not exactly true anyway. I simply like to keep my books and papers. But she says some of it needs to go before the school starts again next year and I begin collecting a new year’s worth of papers. I don’t save them all. Hardly ever the math ones, but always the English ones. I love diagramming sentences, don’t you? Figuring out which phrase goes where. It all makes so much more sense then.

And why would anybody ever want to get rid of books? Books can be read over and over. So, I probably will never read my Hardy Boy mysteries again, but just looking at them makes me remember all the great fun I had reading about Joe and Frank and their sleuthing.

Sleuth – see there’s a great word. If it’s a noun, the dictionary says it’s a detective. If it’s a verb, that’s even more fun. Verbs are, you know. Lots more fun. Anyway then it means “to act as a detective.” I used to wish a mystery would pop up in front of me when I was reading all about their exciting adventures. I could do some sleuthing. But it’s a fact that nothing that exciting happens in Hollyhill. Even if Wes does say that the whole town in full of strange characters. Strangely ordinary maybe. Hardly mysterious. He’s the most mysterious guy I know since he says he’s from Jupiter. The planet. I don’t have to be one of the Hardy boys to figure out that’s not exactly true, but Wes hasn’t ever said where he is from. It drives Zella crazy. She has to know everything about everybody in Hollyhill.

But no way am I throwing away my Hardy Boy books. I might have to read them again to get some pointers on this sleuthing stuff. Maybe I can part with a few history papers instead. Aunt Love will be happy as long as she sees me toting out a bag full of junk. She won’t look to see what’s in it. So a few history papers, a few worn out pairs of underwear, that kiddie magazine Mrs. Wilson keeps bringing to church to give me after her grandkids read it. Dad says I can’t say no. That I have to smile and act like I can’t wait to read it so Mrs. Wilson will feel good. But nobody said I had to keep them forever and with them gone I’ll have more room for books.

Do you love books? Did you read the Hardy Boy mysteries when you were a kid? Did you wish you could solve a mystery like them?

See, I told you doing this rerun column worked for what I’m doing right now. Maybe I’m the one who is strangely ordinary. A strangely ordinary sleuth. That sounds better.

Comments 9

  1. Patricia Butler

    When I was younger, I read all the books in the “Cherry Ames, Nurse” series and absolutely loved them! Not that I ever really wanted to be a nurse, but I still thoroughly enjoyed reading about her adventures in nursing. By the way, I love, love, love the Hollyhill books – thank you for writing them! Can we look forward to more some time?

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      Jocie here, Patricia. (We have to keep up the pretense, LOL.) Anyway, I am so very glad that you loved visiting Hollyhill. I’ve been a little lazy about doing any reporting from Hollyhill lately, but I’ll try to do better in the weeks ahead. Maybe something exciting enough to write about will happen. I’d like for that other writer, Ann something is her name, to come back and figure out some new things going on in Hollyhill. That sounds really fun as long as I don’t have to get blown away by another tornado or anything. Maybe something funny and safe. But then that might not make a very interesting story. I have heard that she wrote some other stories about a place called Rosey Corner that were sort of like the Hollyhill books. Anyway, about a family. Nobody from Jupiter though.
      So glad you stopped by.

      1. Patricia Butler

        Thanks for the note. I’ve read the Rosey Corner books too, but it’s been quite a while, so I think I’ll order them again. On a more personal level, unrelated to your wonderful books – my late husband sang in a Southern Gospel quartet too, and played the piano to accompany them as well. Southern Gospel’s the best music this side of heaven, as far as we were concerned. God’s continued blessings on both of you as you do what He’s called you to do!

        Keep writing, and I’ll keep reading – for sure!

        1. Post
          Author
          Ann H Gabhart

          Thank you so much, Patricia. I appreciate you reading my stories and fun to hear about your husband singing and playing in a quartet. Is it a quartet my husband would know? He remembers the people in quartets better than some of the people in our church. Just because he loves the music so much. 🙂

          1. Patricia Butler

            Most of the years of Gordon’s quartet involvement, we lived in So. Calif. and then the first few years we were here in AZ before he had a stroke and three months later, went home to heaven in 2010. Our very favorite quartet was The Melody Boys Quartet from Little Rock AR. They used to travel to the West Coast and we chased them around as often as possible. I’m still close to a couple of the guys, although they retired several years ago. Has your husband heard of them? Wonderful group and dear, dear friends! Have the two of you heard of the Memphis Quartet Show? Four nights of fantastic Southern Gospel music! Check the website if you think you might be interested – it’s an unforgettable experience!

  2. Melissa

    I love books. I love reading. Yes, I loved reading as a child. My favorite stories were The Boxcar Children. 🙂

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      Jocie here. I know about those Boxcar Children, Melissa. I’ve read some of their adventures. Sometimes when Aunt Love is not happy with me, I wish I had a boxcar in my backyard where I could go hide. But instead I just ride my bike to Hollyhill and hang out with Wes in the press room. That’s heaps better than a boxcar because then I get to hear Wes tell Jupiter stories.

  3. Paula

    Very cute. I am a book pack rat , too. I buy them for a dollar on the sale shelf at the library. I look for one of my favorite authors, like Ann Gabhart !

    1. Post
      Author
      Ann H Gabhart

      Jocie here. Oh, I know her, Paula. She wrote these three books about me and my friends here in Hollyhill. She didn’t keep anything back, but some of the things she wrote are fun. Like she had Wes telling Jupiter stories all the time. I like to write too and hope someday to be a writer except I might report on big stories that are true instead of making stuff up like she does. I bet she’s happy that you like to read some of the books she writes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *