Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Trying To Pick Up Some Slack

The pre-requisite for this post is reading my previous post, "Another Slacker Mom Confession." Otherwise you'll be confused. Long story short - Cy is Star of the Week in his class, and this is a story I wrote this morning in my attempt to "make it right" while describing his past and present ambitions/dreams/super hero obsessions. (He drew the self-portrait a few months ago.) I hope he likes it!!

“Agent C reporting for duty!” I exclaimed as I made my way into the Passage Thru Time museum. Downtown Potosi was quiet that hot summer day, but I liked it. It gave me more time to think my thoughts and hear the voices inside of me, encouraging me to “Go for it, Cy!!”
Professor Wolfe looked up from her desk. “Good afternoon, Agent C. Thanks for coming on such short notice.” Professor Wolfe shuffled through some papers and pulled out a bright orange folder. She peered over her glasses as she thumbed through the folder’s contents. “I think you’ll find this very interesting.”
I took the folder, opened it and read the old newspaper headline. “Snake Hollow Stage Coach Robbed”. The Grant County Gazette was dated August 26, 1900. As I read further, I discovered two very cool facts:
1) The robbery took place on August 25, 1900 –exactly 100 years before I was born, to the day!
2) The stage coach was traveling on its way to Ellenboro and was robbed by a bandit, approximately six and a half miles northeast of Potosi.
“Six and a half miles northeast of Potosi…that’s where I live!” I couldn’t believe it. An old stage coach robbery, right in my own back yard! Or back pasture, to be exact. I looked closely at the photograph of the story. Sure enough, right next to the two-horse carriage, was our creek! I could recognize that creek anywhere. I had taken lots of hikes out there in all kinds of weather, searching for critters and hoping to find the remnants of some ancient civilization. Mom and Dad had told me that a stage coach trail ran right through our property, and now I could really see it in black and white. It was amazing.
Professor Wolfe smiled at me. “Thought you might get a kick out of that, Cy.”
“Thanks so much, Professor Wolfe. Can I keep this article?”
“Well, not the original…but I can certainly make you a copy over at the library.”
“Can we go right now?”
She shook her head. “Sorry honey; I can’t leave the museum unattended….Tell you what. Why don’t you watch the museum while I walk over to the library and make a copy of this for you?”
“Sure! I’d LOVE to watch the museum, Professor Wolfe!”
“Do you think you can handle it? I don’t want you touching anything under glass, okay?”
“ I won’t. I promise! “
Professor Wolfe walked toward the door carrying the orange folder. “Alright then. I’ll just be gone a few minutes. Be good now, Cy!”
“It’s Agent C, remember?”
“Of course.” She laughed. “Agent C!” And she was gone.
I couldn’t believe my luck. First, an old article showing a robbery on my farm…and now I was in charge of the history museum! Even if it was only for five minutes, I was in charge. It made me feel good to have somebody trust me like that.
Professor Wolfe was an expert on local history. I had spent many afternoons at the museum or picking berries in her backyard (she lived just a half-mile up the road from us), listening with attention to all of her stories. I love history and plan to be an archaeologist someday. Sometimes I wear my Indiana Jones hat and pretend that I’m swinging over snake pits (thanks, Grandpa, for the tree swing!) or digging up old bones. Sure, they’re just old cow bones right now…but some day…I am heading to Egypt and other parts of Africa and South America, to dig up the past and learn about ancient cultures. Mom says if I get good grades all across my report card next year, I can even go to archaeology camp next summer!
Back to the museum. Professor Wolfe was one of the people who helped organize and label every artifact in there. Old Potosi brewery cans, advertising from past businesses around the Twin Cities (my Dad’s nickname for Potosi and Tennyson), old farm tools, miniature displays of farms and mining as it looked in pioneer times. I loved living by Potosi, as it was one of the oldest settlements in Wisconsin. Besides the Indians who lived here in the 1700 and 1800s, white people started coming here to mine for lead in the 1830s. My friend Harry owns St. John’s Mine, and he’d told me all kinds of stories about the history of mining here. He even gave me some calcite, a beautiful crystal-like stone mined from the hills. It was just a cool place to live!
I walked by the shelves of Indian arrowheads and stone tools, wondering what it was like to be a member of the Fox tribe when Chief Blackhawk came through this town. I could almost hear the war cries as his tribe tried to fight for their land. I felt kind of bad being a white kid, part of the group of people who pushed Native Americans out of their own homes. Maybe that was why I wanted to be an archaeologist—to bring back some attention and respect for those guys. To remember their stories. They’re kind of like super heroes to me.
I LOVE super heroes. See, ever since I was a little kid, around 3 years old, I have dressed up and played super heroes. Superman was and still is my favorite super hero. He is so strong, has great pecs and abs, and he can do just about anything. Then there’s Sportacus…he was on a show called “Lazytown” and he helped everybody exercise and eat right. He had pretty big muscles, too! Other super heroes who have made it into my mental hall of fame are Shark Boy (if you haven’t seen his movie with Lava Girl, you’re missing something!), Under Dog, and Thing from the Fantastic Four. All of these guys help people, and they all have super powers. But each of them has to feel lonely sometimes, because people just don’t understand them and are jealous of them. Like with Jesus. He’s the ULTIMATE super hero. He died for everybody, even for the bad guys. Everybody was selfish and turned their back on him. My mom bought me this Comic Book Bible, and you should see how strong Jesus looks in those pictures. Everybody always thinks of him as this wimpy guy who let people walk all over him, but really he was showing how strong he was by loving us and being in control. God knew what He was doing. We’re supposed to learn from that. Sometimes I forget, though.
Okay, back to the museum! I better start paying attention or somebody might come in and steal something! I wonder whatever happened to all that money stolen on that stagecoach. I couldn’t wait to read the rest of the article so I could find out more.
Ding! Ding! The door opened, and it was Professor Wolfe. It didn’t take her long at all. “Here’s your copy, Agent C!”
I forgot to tell you why she calls me Agent C. See, sometimes I put on my black gloves and wear my special equipment to go on spy duty. I’m getting too big for the cape and tights, but the spy stuff my Uncle Brian gave me for my birthday is really cool. I also love to use the laser guns that Santa Claus gave me. Have you ever seen “The Goonies” with that kid Data who makes all kinds of inventions? I am totally into making inventions. All this stuff helps me be a good spy.
“Thanks, Professor Wolfe!” I grabbed the copy and started reading for more information about the stolen money. “ ‘I was taking $250 to Livingston along the Ellenboro line,’ reports Mr. Whitaker. ”
“Two hundred and fifty dollars was a lot of money back then,” explained Professor Wolfe.

You have to read the post prior to this one ("A
“I think it’s a lot of money NOW!” I said. We both laughed.
Professor Wolfe handed me another paper. “Thought you might like to read the story from the next day’s paper, too.”
This time the headline said, “Robber Caught; Money Still Missing”. “What the-??” I shouted.
Professor Wolfe smiled and nodded. “The bandit made off with the money and buried it somewhere on August 25th. He was caught later that evening but apparently never told the whereabouts of the cash. I heard he died of a heart attack, and nobody ever got a chance to find out his secret.”
“Are you kidding me??” This was too awesome. A real-life mystery to solve! And it started in my pasture! I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my parents and sisters about this. I sure hope Mom let me cross the fence and walk the neighbor’s corn field. There might be clues there....
“Where are you going, Agent C? Back to the scene of the crime?”
I smiled and nodded. “I’ll see you later, Professor. Thanks for everything!” I left the museum, stuffed those papers into my backpack, and pedaled my bike back up to the school. Dad would have his truck parked out by the football field, so I could just throw my bike in the back. That way I could save my legs for all the walking I was going to be doing when I went on my next adventure!!

(To Cy – I love your imagination. Do you remember when Kathy Wolfe told us about the stagecoach that ran up behind our place? Here’s hoping we find out what really happened here!! Love ya, Mom)


Blogger Astrid said...

What an awesome story!

Is it true that there's a stagecoach trail? How cool is that?

May 5, 2009 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Yep that is true...but the robbery is local "hearsay"...would love to find out more about it!

May 6, 2009 at 6:02 PM  

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