Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Mr. Willett Waved

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Mr. Willett Waved


YES, I AM still here looking out this window on Main Street, and I’m thinking about waving enthusiastically to YOU! And maybe I’ve even done that already.

I’ve heard some comments about my last week’s column suggesting that we all give a friendly wave to people we meet.

Waving, I wrote, could take our minds off the coronavirus and off our town’s continued glaring absence of a duly deputized Downtown J-Turn Enforcement Officer.

I got a call from Nelda Barton who reminded me that her father, Mr. John Willett, was our town’s original champion waver for decades.

Mr. Willett died in 1994 at the age of 87. But, for maybe 20 years he was a fixture north of town in front of his ‘farmers market’ fruit and vegetable stand. It was a modest metal building on the north side of the Murfreesboro highway, just past Fishermen’s Cove and Master Kraft Construction. Mr. Willett’s building is still there.

He would sit in a straight chair with a cane bottom in front of the building, and he’d wave at every vehicle that went past. Every last one of ‘em got a cheerful wave. (I only knew about the cane-bottom chair because Nelda told me.)

I once heard that Mr. Willett’s own father had built many of the buildings of downtown Nashville. Nelda says she’s not sure of that, but he did have a brickyard out behind the vegetable stand. Maybe he made many of the bricks used in local home and business construction projects.

My memory of John Willett is a beaming senior citizen wearing overalls. When you drove past, and he waved, it couldn’t help but improve your day.

So, let’s wave. And remember, I will be taking notes on who waves at me. Some lucky waver will have his/her/its name drawn for a complimentary warning ticket in case they ever get a J-Turn ticket in downtown Nashville (which, I’ll admit, is not very likely).

Thanks for the call, Nelda. I will save a J-Turn warning ticket for you.

I have already received one mild rebuke for missing an opportunity to wave.

A friend texted me that our vehicles met one day last week as one of us was driving away with some precious landscape plants from Sunshine Acres.

“After you bragged about waving to everyone, I waved at you and you didn’t wave back,” he whined pitifully.

Well, I am not perfect no matter what others tell you.

I probably did miss waving at my friend, but I will redouble my waving efforts in order to make up for it. However, he will not get a complimentary J-Turn warning ticket.

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SELF ISOLATION & INFLATION. I’ve spent a lot of time home alone, recently. And I’ve opened the refrigerator door so often that the light finally burned out.

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ANIMAL CRACKERS. Is my imagination off and running again? Is it too early to be seeing so many butterflies of every variety?

They are so skittish and they flutter around so fast. It makes them hard to hit with a high-powered rifle.

Butterflies don’t sleep but they do stay still for long periods especially in cool temps, one e-magazine sez. Some species have four wings, accounting for the way they dart around.

Also, the ground is so wet that fire ants are now building their nests in cracks in the asphalt roadway. With periscopes.

And I believe the local population of large crows has doubled.

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EASTER 2020. My brother and his family sat in their buggy for the Baptist preacher at the Fairgrounds parking lot, Sunday.

My doctor buddy delivered another virus update address to his fellow Methodists in their Sunday radio broadcast. My friend Jonathan read to me from the Gospel of St. Luke on a Facebook post from the Chapel Hill Church of Christ. Also on Facebook I ‘attended’ a live-streamed Catholic mass celebrated by the bishop.

Lots of people (hopefully) listened to other Easter Sunday worship services on our local radio stations, or attended one (See Page 1).

Another service I watched live-streamed on Facebook was a Greek Orthodox Christian service from a church in Pennsylvania. Our Orthodox cousins celebrate Easter one week later than the rest of us do, so this was their Palm Sunday service. It was very interesting and moving.

Everyone is staying respectfully apart, yet we were joined at the heart for the same purpose on this great day.

These are remarkable times. And I am ready for them to be over.

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening (and believing) email: “The first couple to Be shown in bed together on prime time TV was Fred and Wilma Flintstone.”

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WORD GAMES. Another set of twins: Forgive and Forget. Noble thoughts rarely carried out.

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HE SAID: “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” George Bernard Shaw, playwright

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SHE SAID: “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” Sarah Ban Breathnach, author

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