Haunts & Jaunts: Ghosts of the past

Ghosts of the past.

Down the ancient corridors

And thru the gates of time

Run the ghosts of days

That we left behind.    

Ghosts, Dan Fogelberg

9098: The author in days gone by. Photo courtesy of Mike Foster

They say as you get older, time accelerates: no longer the long, endless summers of our youth. I believe that is true. Our past is just that—the past—as we accelerate into an often uncertain future and older, yet not necessarily wiser age. Friends who helped to shape past days often disappear, only a memory. However, sometimes these ‘ghosts’ of the past come back. And, just when you need them the most….

Mike is my oldest friend from the haze of those school days. Paul came along after my graduation. We lived together, becoming partners in crime in a new world of self discovery, halfheartedly exploring our lot in life: jeans, no shirts, and cowboy hats became daily attire; the music from The Marshal Tucker Band, Pure Prairie League, and Poco consumed us; camping and caving near Bloomington; an impromptu trip with Paul in his panel truck to Canada: another impromptu trip to Mardi Gras where we were almost arrested in Mississippi and our vehicle blew an engine as we rolled into New Orleans.

Along the walls; in shadowed rafters

Moving like a thought through haunted atmospheres

Muted cries and echoed laughter

Banished dreams that never sank in sleep.

Mike invested in two houses on North Delaware Street, way before the current renovation. He talked Paul and I into living in one of the apartments. We had become landlords! Frugal Mike provided the food (often buying cases of unlabeled canned goods… becoming a surprise when opened). During that cold winter we were often lying in the crawl space fixing busted water pipes. Collecting rent was a weekly challenge.

We’ve recently reconnected, meeting for several hours at Scotty’s Brewhouse over a table of pitchers of adult beverages. Our hair is shorter, and the facial hair is now gray. However, we are the same people we were back then. Our bodies may be older, but our minds are still the minds of those boys so many years ago. And perhaps with a tad more wisdom. “I’m surprised we’re still alive after all of the stuff we did,” Paul stated.

I told them I was a paranormal investigator. Their eyebrows arched. I’m used to that reaction. And as friends—they always will be—they listened. You should always hold them close!

Every ghost that calls upon us

Brings another measure in the mystery

Death is there to keep us honest

And constantly remind us we are free!