Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Comet Finally Seen

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Comet Finally Seen


YES, I AM STILL HERE looking out my window on Main Street, and I am congratulating myself for not giving up on seeing the comet.

After neighbor David Rauls sent a pic of the comet he made from the UA-Cossatot parking lot, I drove out there Saturday evening about 9:30 with my trusty old binoculars. This was my second trip to that spot, though, and my expectations weren’t very high.

I searched the sky and searched the sky and finally found it. Although I’ve been hearing from some folks in other locales who say they’ve been able to see it without binoculars, I wouldn’t have found it without my eyeglass help.

I leaned against my buggy to stay steady, and I swept the sky in the north-northwest above the tree line until I found it. I watched it for awhile, just happy that I could say I had seen it.

Now I want to see it pre-dawn, I challenged myself as I drove away from the campus.

Next morning I had a thermos of coffee and my trusty binoculars with me as I sat on my brother’s front porch north of Nashville where I had a mostly unobscured pre-dawn view of the north-northeast sky.

Nearby a rooster crowed as I took a seat. It was about 4:45.

I looked and looked and looked for about 40 minutes and finally gave up. Patience is not my middle name. Also, something was chewing on my leg and I figgered it was either a chigger or a huge black widder spider that was full of venom.

I went home and consoled myself with a hardboiled egg and a bagel. I dabbed some magic salve on that insect bite.

Maybe I was looking too low on the horizon. Or maybe I’m just not destined to get a look at the comet in the morning sky , I whined to no one in particular.

It bothered me that I couldn’t see it even with my trusty binoculars which I’ve had for 50-plus years.

I bought them at the Royal Navy’s China Fleet Club in Hong Kong. It was a British facility but sailors from navies all over the world could go there and get great things cheap.

You couldn’t actually buy things there. The merchants would show you their wares, take your money and put you in a cab to the shop.

I got a couple of suits and some dress shirts (outgrew all after a few months of food back here on the American mainland). Also, I got a swell aluminum foot locker. I still had a little money leftover and I looked around for something else to buy.

I saw the binoculars and had enough money. Seems to me that I got ‘em for about $20. Probably cost 20-30 times that now.

The leather case is so old it is now held together by tape. And I’ve lost one of the protective eyepieces. Otherwise I’ve taken good care of them. They are heavy and it’s hard for me to hold them still whilst I search the skies for a comet 

I’ll try again from my brother’s porch, but this time I will take a can of insect (and spider) repellant. And maybe a Bloody Mary. Or two.

This particular comet will return in 6,800 years. I’ll probably be too old to hold the binoculars.

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DAT SMELL SO GOOD. My early years were in Texarkana, and my family went back there frequently to see relatives. My first year of college was there. I am familiar with the town.

I remember the smell of the bakery that was located across the street from what is now the Perot Theatre.

I pity the folks who haven’t smelled a real bakery. Pardon me while I drool.

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ANIMAL CRACKERS. Reports from a number of reliable observers that there are plentiful numbers of Indigo Buntings north of town. It might be the most beautiful bird species we have in these parts.

MORE ANIMAL CRACKERS. Someone asked me if I still have the heebie-jeebies about finding that snake inside my house.

Well, yes and no.

Yes — Yes, I still look carefully at the baseboard of every room in the house when I turn on the lights, and I turn on the lights quick. And, yes, I have carefully and thoroughly duct-taped the gap at the bottom of my closet door where the snake fled after I spooked it.

No — No, I am not afraid of getting snakebit in the night when I get up to make one of my usual pit stops. I’m not afraid because I now sleep in knee boots. I also walk down the middle of the hallway at night with a flashlight in one hand and a shotgun slung over the other arm.

Otherwise, my bedroom encounter with that snake has not affected my life one little bit.

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The grass in my yard grows so fast that the landscape guy just leaves his mower.

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WORD GAMES. Another set of siblings: Time and Date.

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HE SAID: “Think you of the fact that a deaf person cannot hear. Then, what deafness may we not all possess? What senses do we lack that we cannot see and cannot hear another world all around us?” Frank Herbert, author

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SHE SAID: “Travel stories teach geography; insect stories lead the child into natural science; and so on. The teacher, in short, can use reading to introduce her pupils to the most varied subjects; and the moment they have been thus started, they can go on to any limit guided by the single passion for reading.” Maria Montessori, Italian physician and educator

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