Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ah-h-h-h! The Divine Colors of Autumn!

Back in the late 1990s, when I briefly lived on the other side of downtown Clarksville, I usually walked across downtown to Sunday School and Worship at First Christian Church (Disciples). Now that I'm residing on Martin Street, even closer to the church, upon deciding (at the last minute, sort of) to attend church at FCC(DC) this past Sunday I also decided to walk to church -- first time in years.

What a lovely day it was for walking! Besides the "chamber-of-commerce weather", my stroll took me past numerous trees in full color autumn change. I especially noticed one tree all the leaves of which were a buttery yellow and another which sported vivid vermillion leaves.

Then came yesterday, Tuesday. After a delightful day of work at the Tennessee State Library and a little visit to the Nashville Public Library, I drove up US Hwy. 41A to north of Joelton, then hopped over to IH 24. The setting sun's rays seemingly hi-lited the vibrant leaf colors all along the way. There were several arboreal "walls" along the way, presenting any autumn hue you might name. One such "wall" in particular presented nearly a quarter mile of alternating scarlet, yellow, russet, orange, maroon, pale green of trees just beginning to change and deep green of evergreens! Glorious!

And when I exited IH 24 at Exit 11 I got icing on the cake. The sun had already set for a time, and my turning off the interstate to go into Clarksville timed with the height of the set sun's rays coloring clouds in the western sky. Some of these cirro-stratus wisps were golden, others a lively pink.

I affirm, as I always have and always will, that none of the famous painters of humanity, not even my favorite, Spain's Vel√°zsquez, has ever painted a picture to rival the picture God paints in sunsets and autumn leaf changes!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Murder, He Wrote

After television went cable with a plethora of stations (most of which aren't good, healthy viewing) and began its decline then nosedive into its current dearth of quality, among the few shows I truly enjoyed was "Murder, She Wrote", starring Angela Landsbury as sleuth-writer Jessica Fletcher. This pure-fiction show was about as close as I'd come to any homicide... until Monday morning the 18th.

I slept more fitfully than usual -- did my body psychically know something dire was about to occur? -- and around 5 a.m., I guess, I was awakened again. This time it was due to a heated argument between two or possibly three men apparently taking place in the street outside the house. I heard only the voices, no sounds of struggle nor a gunshot. So I returned to what little sleep time was left to me.

After rising and eating a small breakfast I sat to read in the recliner near the living room front window. Then one of my housemates entered the living room from his bedroom, and informed me that there was a dead body out in our street, Martin Street. I looked out; sure 'nuf, a man's body lay crumpled in the middle of Martin in front of the house next door!

This was extremely surprising, especially as ours is a generally quiet neighborhood of older homes near Clarksville's downtown. The only disturbance since I'd moved in was the dogs next door who growled and barked incessantly. And now there was a corpse in front of that "doggy" house!

Yellow tape (crime tape) went up, isolating about 100 feet of the street plus the house. Regular police and detectives swarmed the area; one took my meager statement about what I'd heard just a few hours earlier. The body remained as it was for a considerable time. There was no readily visible stream of blood, only the crumpled body.

I had plans for the day, and these got slightly altered. As in, due to the tape I couldn't access the nearest bus stop, on Crossland Avenue at Martin. Instead, I had to walk a block the other way, to Washington and Martin, to catch a city bus into downtown and stay on it on its outbound run, to the public library. And when I came back late in the afternoon, there was still one police car, plus a fire engine, in front of the house next door. I inquired about the presence of the fire truck; a police woman informed me that it was there to hose blood from the street. (There really wasn't that much blood to be seen, but whatever.)

Now, today (Wed.) I've learned that the victim was a 39-year-old man from Clarksville; no address is given, so for all I know he lived next door. He was stabbed several times in the chest. a bit more than 24 hours after the crime, Clarksville police arrested a Hispanic man who does live next door and is of similar age to his alleged victim.

While this isn't a case for Jessica Fletcher to solve, even were she real, one might say of the case, "there goes the neighborhood!" (Pardon my "gallows humor".)

And if my coverage of this incident seems somewhat flippant or that there's inappropriate humor, please forgive me, dear reader. Such may be a symptom of shock, shock at my first encounter with a murder scene.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

C'ville: in the Greenest State. . . .

When I describe my current life situation -- specifically where I live and where I work -- to acquaintances, some express concern or even negativity about the commute. Yes, yours truly WOULD prefer a much shorter commute. But I've done long commutes to work before, both by mass transit and by private auto. So, I can live with it!

Actually, the long commute has its plusses. For one I get to listen for an extended time to music, either on the radio or on a CD.

Right now I enjoy a seasonal plus. The entire stretch of the commute between Clarksville and Nashville has woods lining both sides, and I'm unashamedly a "tree-hugger". And Autumn just began! Each day I notice more leaves have switched from summer's green to the colors which harbinger their falling.

I know the colors will be more spectacular in a week or so. But at present I'm already greatly enjoying the Good Lord's artwork. There's something about the varying shades of leafy green, interspersed with flashes of reds or yellows, that pleases my eye. Add the wildflowers of more than one species that are displaying golden blossoms in the IH 24 right-of-way, and I see a very pretty picture!

C'ville itself is nicely populated with trees, so I don't have to go far at any time from my residence to enjoy the colorful natural show. And just about every road taking one out of town takes one past arboreal splendor.

Ah-h-h-h, yes, Autumn! And dear reader, I'm enjoying it!