THE GHOST OF REASON KERBY - Reason Comes Back To Visit One More Time

(09/19/2000)

One of Hur's first settlers, long-gone Reason Kerby comes back on certain quarter moon nights to the mossy rock at the head of Salvation Hollow to share his wisdom with innocent Billy Braveheart, who seeks to understand things.

BILLY: I really got worried if you were ever coming back, Uncle Reason. I really needed to talk with you.

REASON: I always come back, but I've been pretty busy with the "Welcome Wagon." New folks coming in all the time. Just last week ole Junior Coon showed up and just yesterday, Fred Barnes. They're all from around here. Ole Junior was really feelin' good 'cause he didn't have to gasp for wind anymore, and that Fred, he's a hoot. Always smilin'. Told me a great WW II story.

BILLY: Uncle Reason, I'm really worried that things are gettin' worse in Calhoun. People seem to be actin' strange and doin' things that get a whole lot of folks really upset.

REASON: Well, Billy, things are not much different than when I was holdin' out on the Kerby Ridge last century. People do strange things. Sometimes for no reason at all, it seems. One ole boy down on Barnes Run fell out with his neighbor and went up against the hill and dug his grave and went back and told him, "If you open your mouth one more time a'gin me, I'll drop you in that hole." The stories I could tell about what people do on the spur of the moment. Sometimes irrationally.

BILLY: I guess you know about our neighbor boy who is said to have defecated on the face of another boy at football camp?

REASON: Yeh, folks are really stirred up about that, and they should be. Back in my time, people would have worked through it. Maybe not easily. I can remember when one of the nicest kids on the ridge spit tobacco juice in the postmaster's eye. They got into a fist fight right then and there. A bunch of boys from down on Buckhorn jumped in to help. A couple days later that boy's dad drug him around the Kerby Ridge to apologize to the Postmaster.

BILLY: Did it work?

REASON: Well, they stayed a little miffed for a while, but that boy later married the Postmaster's daughter, and went on to become a deacon in the church.

BILLY: So what about now? Folks get really angry and want to find someone to blame, ruin their reputations and make them loose their jobs. Were people more willing to work things out, back then?

REASON: Your world is much more complicated. One thing you do almost everytime is hire a lawyer, right quick. Bob Mollohan, whose mixed it up with lots of lawyers and politicians, told me the other day that there would soon be more lawyers than people - whatever that meant. There never has been a shortage of near-sightedness, or for that matter, selfish interests.

BILLY: So here is this kid who just got out of high school, and has already done a lot of wonderful things with his life. He has really messed up by doing this terrible thing.

REASON: Well, Billy, I think he needs to be punished, but he does not need to be persecuted. And, dear Billy, he has been. I know there is more to come. From up here it looks like there is plenty of blame to go around and plenty of victims.

BILLY: We shouldn't forget the kid who was held down, and the boys who went along with the deal.

REASON: Not at all. Nor should you forget that for a time, those in charge were absent, and they seemed to not do some of the right things when they found out what happened.

BILLY: What would you have them do, from up there, Uncle Reason?

REASON: Conscience, Billy, conscience. My Boss up there says that's how He made us humans different from the animals. All those really fine people know what is right and what they need to do. After they do it then we need to forgive, Billy. Then Sunny Cal can go forth and never let it happen again. That's what! It would be nice if we could bring them to the mossy rock and work it out with each other.

BILLY: Uncle Reason, you're beginning to fade away. Please don't leave. We really need help here, you know.

REASON: I'll be back to check in later. Keep the spirit and ask the questions, Billy. I'll tell Junior I saw you, and ole Fred; he was worried about this stuff too...Good night.


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