I hear tell the road to hell
is paved with good intentions,
but Mama, my intentions were the best...
Merle Haggard and Randy Travis must have been window-peeking at my house when they wrote those lyrics. I really had good intentions of reviewing one book and one movie per week during Mx3. And I made it one week - but then life crept in and I didn't quite finish the book and I didn't find/make time to watch the movie.... and I have all kinds of excuses, but truth is, I just didn't get it done. However, the book is short stories and I did read SOME of them so I'm going to share my favorite - so far.
Ghosts of the Missouri River is a volume of "real" ghost stories collected by a local author. We live along the "Big Muddy", and these tales were repeated to her by long-time residents who heard these stories from their grandparents or who just know them because "people say..." It's not a particularly well-written book, but the idea of passing along with tales handed down over years is good. My favorite story is The Bells of St. Deroin. We recently visited what's left of that small town and saw the school house where the story takes place.
The story tells of Haggai Craterman - "a river rat, a rough and bearded codger who worked loading and unloading the river barges...[He] stood about 6'7", a whale of a man who could pick a 300 lb. hog above his head and toss it, oinking and squealing, onto a barge" - who was killed inside the school, supposedly by a frightened school marm who bashed him with the hand bell she used to call the students from recess, then disappeared. An unlikely scenario considering Haggai's size and strength, but that's the legend. People say that "on many dark nights the bell in the schoolhouse tower dongs loudly."
St. Deroin is now located within Indian Cave State Park and Dave and I were at the park to hike. You may recall from my earlier post about that trip, that when we reached the bottom of the trail, I asked Dave to snap a picture, using my cell phone, to commemorate the moment. We stood in front of a log cabin just across the road from the St. Deroin school house. When I downloaded the picture to computer, it was slightly dark so I began mess with the brightness and contrast. The instant I did, this image appeared.
No, the scary part is not that my make-up has sweated off, my hair is flat and I'm *gasp* wearing a tank-top in public. It's the shadowy image behind me.
Is that Haggai Craterman, biding his time in the cabin across the road, waiting for the school marm to return so he can exact his revenge? If you asked me on any random day if I believe in ghosts, I would answer with a quick and decisive "of course not". But that picture's just weird.
As for this week's movie - I was scheduled to watch Murder on the Orient Express, which is waiting patiently on the DVR, but it just didn't happen. The one evening that we found time to watch a movie, Dave requested a movie a friend had loaned him and I agreed, assuming I would find time for my movie during an afternoon. However, the movie we did watch turned out to be even scarlier.
Taken is the story of a 17-year-old girl who takes a trip to Europe against her father's better judgment, Sure enough, she's kidnapped and sold into prostitution within the first day and Daddy has to go to her rescue. Fortunately for this girl, she has a father with an extreme skill set - detection, computers/electronics, survival, and multiple ways to murder people without rumpling his shirt. Normally, I would have seen this movie as just another shoot-em-up thriller, but with a son set to go to Europe next summer, it hit a little close to home. Although, as our 6'3", 250 lb. son is fond of saying "Fat kids are harder to kidnap." So maybe I don't have much to worry about.