It’s monday again and, as promised, it’s time for the third chapter of my serialized story Grandma’s Note.
If you haven’t read the first two you can find them here:
Back in his car, and back out on the highway, Winston was deep in thought. The car stereo was turned up loud, playing a cd with some classic old jazz session that his grandmother had given him as a birthday gift a whole lot of years ago, before she had started to lose her wits. Winston didn’t know much of anything about jazz, and always struggled to remember the names of the performers in the session when he didn’t have the cover of the cd readily at hand to consult, but he liked to listen to it in the car and it always helped him think. Especially so in this very moment in fact since it had almost always been playing in the background at his grandmother’s house as she was telling the stories he was now trying to recall.
The first thing that had caught his attention among the writing on the note, other than the four signatures, was the name of the place where something of immense importance was supposed to have taken place so very long ago. Black Reef Island. Had he seen it that morning it wouldn’t have meant a thing to him, as he had never seen or heard it before that day, but reading it on the note he had remembered seeing at least the name Black Reef on a number of signs along the highway. It had referred, he remembered, to what was probably a town a few hundred miles further up along the road, which would place it in the middle of the river delta if he wasn’t mistaken. Considering the name he wouldn’t be surprised to find it on the river itself, he thought. Of course, the signs had said Black Reef with no reference whatsoever to any island, and there was a chance that the two weren’t at all related, in which case he was now driving hundreds of miles for nothing, but he had figured it good enough of a lead to take a chance on.
Also catching his attention had been the year mentioned on the note. 38. 1938. At the very beginning of the second world war of course but without more to go on he figured that to be a coincidence more than anything else since the war hadn’t had much of a presence in the area, and certainly not as early as that, and he couldn’t remember his grandmother ever mentioning anything that he had connected to the events of the war either. No, he was rather trying to put it in relation to what might have been going on in his grandmother’s life and, born in 1916, he worked out that she would have been 22 years old at the time. 22. He tried to picture his grandmother as a 22 year old and found it a lot easier than he would have expected, but then she had always felt like a young spirit, in both heart and mind, right up to the point when she had very much not anymore. Winston felt a sting of sadness remembering her last few years but quickly shook it off as it was not what he wanted to focus on at the moment.
1938. What was going on in that area during that period of time? He wondered to himself and probed his memory for what he might know in terms of local history. It must have been very much still in the middle of the depression, or at the very least have felt like it to those living there at the time, with the institutions of the formerly so prosperous ship building industry along the river crumbling one after another. As sheltered as the people of the area had been from the horrors of the war, they would surely still have lead a rather bleak existence, he figured. But then again, something appearing as a matter of life or death to a bunch of twenty somethings wouldn’t necessarily have had anything at all to do with the local sociopolitical climate, would it? No, the more he thought about it the more he started to accept that he couldn’t begin to put much together at all with what he knew so far. All he could do at the moment was to enjoy in silence some of his grandmother’s favorite jazz music on his way to Black Reef, and hope that he would find something that could point him in the right direction when he got there.