I Saw Him Again This Morning- Ken Bailey

I saw him again.jpg

I SAW HIM AGAIN THIS MORNING. The tired old man in the mirror. Unshaven. Worn. Discouraged. A sad sight.

My father used to like the WWII movie, "12 O'clock High".

In the opening, an older man sees an item in a pawn shop window.

He then drives out to what turns out to be an old, abandoned airfield in rural England.

It looks lost, forgotten, a wreck. Old buildings of rotten wood, falling apart. Overgrown with trees and brush. Long grass everywhere, even growing up through the old airstrip to the point one can barely see the concrete.

Then, we see the face of the old man. His eyes are alight with memories. We see the wind blowing his hair. It also is blowing the long grasses around him.

And then we hear the sound: airplane engines cranking up!

The view turns from the man back to the abandoned air base.

But now, the buildings are new and whole. The grass is short and trimmed. The runway is clean ... and the grass blows with the wash of propellers of a dozen fighter planes, getting ready for their morning mission!

*** I look back into the mirror. The tired old man is still there.

But, behind him, I can hear an unmistakable sound -- the throttled roar of a hundred oil pump motors!

Not todays wimpy whine of the electrics -- this is the roar of a hundred-plus internal combustion engines in unison!

I look around. The bathroom is still there.

But the house is now a house on Cottonwood Drive in Rangely.

And I have to get to middle school.

You see, Mr. Tookey has announced that school gets out early this Friday. It is Christmas Break, and there is going to be a free movie shown down at the Campus Theater.

Word has it that Rancher Santa Claus is going to show up afterwards, with his candy-filled pickup truck!

I am thirteen years old. And just about to relive the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!!

Happy holidays, everybody!

("Twelve O'clock High" story is the property of its respective copyright and trademark owner(s)).