Autumn is coming and winter not far behind it.
I always feel renewed this time of year. As we put the grueling heat of summer behind us and the witching season descends, well, there just seems to be a little more magic in the air.
Today, as I read of approaching cooler temperatures, my mind drifted to one of our good friends who passed away far too young — David Farr. Dave was just 17 when he died the summer of 1985. But it wasn’t that summer I was thinking of, but an earlier one, in 1983, just before Brent’s and my Senior year at Oak Hill.
Brent, Dave, and I were hanging out in Slaughter’s Ace Hardware. Dave had it in his head to make a copper dagger that looked something like this:
Which he and Brent did, using an old acetylene torch and some scrap copper tubing.
I suppose that old memory came to mind because I was reading John L. Steadman’s H.P. Lovecraft and the Black Magickal Tradition over the weekend. In it, he discussed the Simonomicon (Simon’s Necronomicon) which was all the rage back in the 80s.
We were all Lovecraft fans, of course. We chewed through the Del Rey paperbacks, marveling over the cosmic dread of the fearsome Old Ones and their cult of worshipers. So, when Avon released the Simon Necronomicon on the 1st of March, 1980 (purporting to be the ancient grimoire that inspired Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos), we snatched it up, reading it as an extension of Lovecraft’s fiction.
Some of us took it a little more serious than others.
Dave certainly did, and we were more than happy to indulge.
We spent long hours out near Dave’s house, in the woods surrounding Goose Creek which bled into the Mississinewa. Man, I could tell you more than a few hair-raising stories of our time out there.
But that’s not really the point of this blog. I’ll share some of those stories another time.
No, today I’m thinking about old friends and the times we spent together — Dave, Brent, Brian, Mike, and a host of others.
Dave’s been gone thirty years. Brent’s been gone almost 8 months. I’d like to think Dave and Brent are roaming Goose Creek again… but now I’ve just had another flash of memory.
There was a hill, just west of the old road that led down to the creek. Dave had a pile of limestone up there as an altar, with a half ring of cut wood for seating. It was winter, 1983. Cold, wet. The three of us were up there, talking, laughing, being goofy kids. They were drinking Schnapps if I remember correctly. I was several months from having my first beer, but it was that day I smoked my first cigarette… one of Brent’s Marlboro Lights.
“It’ll keep you warm,” Brent had said. And it did. I smoked for nearly 30 years after. I don’t begrudge it one bit. I enjoyed the hell out of smoking and miss it every day. Not as much as I miss Dave and Brent, but cigarettes were the best thing invented since government cheese.
Autumn is coming. Soon, old ghosts will be rising and the nights will become chill… the perfect time, I think, to take a walk through the woods out by Goose Creek and reconnect with some old memories and old friends.