At Fair Oaks Lodge Christmas trimmings are going up and programs are beginning to sound the holiday theme. Even so, what with Thanksgiving Day last week, I planned a piece about being thankful, something comfortable by the people's poet, Edgar Guest, like "Gettin' together to eat and rejoice/ An' eatin' an' laughin' with folks of your choice." Maybe a more modern piece, such as "May your yams be delicious/May your pies take the prize/May your Thanksgiving dinner/ Stay off your thighs!"
Then, somehow, Thanksgiving got usurped by Halloween, and a thought about jack o' lanterns was crowded out by the question, "Do you believe in ghosts?" Asking Fair Oaks folks that question brought immediate answers.
Marian, in a room at the end of a hall, gave forth with a resounding "No!"
Manny, the guy across the hall, replied "Ghosts did you say? You blamed right I do! There's one old bugger in this very room, behind that curtain. When I know my roommate is out and that half of the room is empty, something goes moo-moo-moo."
Jack, in the next room is watching a ball game, but takes time to say, "Nah, I really don't think so. Has anyone seen one?"
Lucille shook her head in the negative, and Ruby took a minute to think about it, then said, mostly it is someone dressed up in a sheet.
On the next floor, Chet looked up from his book to ask "Ghosts? That's the way God tells us things. A ghost is God's messenger."
One of our Helens said, "I think there might be, under the right conditions," while the other Helen thought it was all in a person's head. Glen's explanation was that when someone thinks there is a ghost, it is more than likely a reflection from somewhere.
Now, I have a surprise: My smart Macintosh computer knows about ghosts, not wide area ghosts, but some right here in Wadena and surrounding towns.
On dark nights the skeleton of an old woman can be seen walking down the middle of Jefferson Street playing a plaintive tune on a flute. Also, a muscular lumberjack walks down a path in Sunnybrook Park before sunrise once each year.
Bluffton's ghost is a homeless guy seen tossing chunks of wood in the waters of Blue Creek, and a lady with an almost transparent body makes calls from a phone booth. Hewitt's ghost is beautiful. She spends her time stacking cement blocks in Wing River. She also has been seen pulling weeds in front of the post office. Hewitt residents must not mess with this lady.
Verndale is named as the site where a lady with only half of her head was killed in a gruesome accident on her way to Aldrich. More than one report has been made about the young Indian warrior who yells from the top of Mt. Nebo.
For some reason, Deer Creek comes out with the most lurid night life. A fluorescent human body in a winter coat sometimes guzzles gas from an unleaded gas pump at a station in Deer Creek. A man who was cheated out of money walks a big dog down main street three times a year.
Charlie is the last one to interview on my list at Fair Oaks Lodge. When I asked him about ghosts, he replied, "Sure, there are ghosts. We don't have to see one to believe it, like we cannot see the Holy Ghost but we believe in it."
Charlie recalled never seeing a ghost on any of the roofs he has worked on.