Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Where ideas come from

The idea for my column this week came to me when I visited Walmart. I know what you're thinking - I need to get a life, and you are correct, but still,  it was a good idea.

There was an elderly gentleman standing beside his ancient truck, leaning against the buggy return corral. I always park my truck close to the corrals so that I don't have to push a cart around the world to return it after I've loaded my groceries.

When I stepped out of the truck and locked the door, I got a slight whiff of cigarette smoke. Normally I don't pay much attention to it, but whatever he was smoking smelled exactly like the cigarettes my granddaddy smoked when he was alive.

The man wore a pair of overalls, and a baseball cap that was red at one point but had faded into a shade of coral. He stood there as the smoke lifted lazily into the morning sky. Looking into the distance, it appeared that he was trying to work out a complicated problem in his head.

It was Deja Vu. He reminded me so much of my granddad. The scene triggered a memory from when I was a kid watching Pap working in his blacksmith shop.

I'd made up my mind to ask if I could take his picture when I returned to my truck, but he was already gone.

By the time I arrived home, I'd written the column for this coming Sunday in my head. I have a picture of Pap, but I'm going to wait and use it when I post the column next Monday evening.

I did shoot a picture of some  berry flowers we found on our walk today.


  1. I reckon we all have 'scent/smell' memories. I can just imagine the thoughts running thru your head. Memories are great. I bet the column will be good, looking forward to it.

    Pipe tobacco, now I still love to smell that. There was a smell to the roll your own Prince Albert that is hard to miss.

  2. I've always liked the smell of pipe tobacco, but cigar smoke is a real turn-off. Interesting how powerfully smells are able to transport us back in time.

  3. My dad smoked a pipe from time to time, I think the smell of "Captain Black" would take me back to Sundays after church going bowling with my Pop.

  4. Smells seem to evoke the strongest memories. I enjoyed your description of the smoker working out a problem in his overalls and faded baseball cap!

  5. I love catching a whiff of pipe tobacco that smells like what my grandfather used to smoke. It always makes me smile.

  6. I'm looking forward to the next column.

    Ms Soup

  7. Scents to trigger memories. My mom always smelled like roses due to the body lotion she used. I even bought some for myself just to keep those memories alive. Memory is a wonderful thing and we can be thankful for them.

  8. I remember being 6 yrs old and while my dad was pumping gas he gave me money to buy my mom and dad their smokes. My eyes were just by the counter height as i would ask for a pack of Export A and Cameo. I can't stand smoke now but grew up with it. One thing I love is the smell of sawdust-brings back fond memories

  9. Smells are great reminders, that's for sure.
    The flower berry is euonymous americanus, also known as strawberry bush and hearts-a-bustin'.
    I think my folks called it iron dogwood (not to be confused with iron wood), but no one else I know of calls it that, so I don't know how widespread that common name was.

  10. Like jack69, the scent/smell memories. I'd add sound memories. When ever I hear crickets and frogs, the memory of spring frogs comes up.

  11. Scent is a powerful memory booster and I'll bet he would have loved being the reason behind a newspaper article! I'll look forward to the story in your next column! This time of year the cinnamon, burning leaves, campfires and pumpkin all bring out memories of being a child!

  12. I can see your Wal-Mart visitor ... really, I can!
    Towards the end of his life, my dad had pretty much lost all his sense of smell. I couldn't fully sympathize at the time, but now? Too sad to ponder for long.

    Speaking of daddy, I recall how much he loved his cigars. One of my jobs was to clean out the big standing ashtray next to his recliner. Maybe because it was my 'normal', that particular 'aroma' has never annoyed me.


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