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.