I woke up on Memorial Day and was suddenly in a panic.
I’ve been in this sort of panic before, but never to this degree. A few years ago, four to be exact, I was panicking because I did not have a place, a physical place to go to, to talk to my brother, to pay my respects, if you will. Dan, my oldest brother, had passed away the year before, in 2011. His wife had taken his ashes with her and … there was no marker here. By the next year, I had added a plaque for Dan at the base of the tree in the Rose Garden at Julia Davis Park where my other brother Bill’s plaque has been since 1996 (he died in 1995).
My mom and dad share a plaque on another tree in the rose garden, so the gang’s all here, so to speak. In addition, Dan’s daughter got him a bench. It is off of Warm Springs, close to the path where he and I often walked.
But this time, my panic was about Bob.
He does have a bench — it is the one outside the Flying M coffee shop, Bob’s unofficial office and hang out. He loved that place and ever since I met him — and for many years before, I am sure since it opened, he haunted it, sometimes coming and going several times a day.
I am positive he haunts it still. In a good way, of course.
And so, that is Bob’s Bench. It will have a wondrous plaque stating that fact someday soon — Noel Weber, Jr. is working on it as I write this missive. Bob, I know, is happy that Noel is the one creating it. But in the meantime, it is a bench with no marker.
Nevermind. I decided to go there on Memorial Day. Talk to Bob. Pay my respects.
I sat on Bob’s Bench for awhile. Closed my eyes. Willed him to come to me, to speak to me, to give me a sign or a great idear.
Pennies, he whispered.
I checked in my purse and sure enough, there were three shiny, brand-new pennies, glittering like gold.
I looked around and when I thought no one was looking, I walked over to the corner, bent down to “tie my shoe” and surreptitiously placed a “heads-up” penny. Then, I did the same with the other two only once I bent down to pick up something I saw on the sidewalk — what is that? — and placed penny No. 2, and the final one was placed after I “dropped” my pen.
All were in a line of sight from where I sat on the bench — see, that’s how it is done. Because that way you can sit in the same spot and “catch” any of them — or all three — without moving and without causing suspicion.
I had so much fun, watching so many people come by. Unfortunately, they all passed their good luck by and no one stopped to pick one up while I was there.
But I’ll be back.
And even though I did not get to share in that moment of joy when one finds a good luck penny, I had joy in my heart.
All Day Long.
— Jeanne aka Scarlett Jones aka bob’s wife