Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Journal Entry #1

Alright, this post is slightly delayed as I ended up having to work a bunch of overtime over the weekend. I didn't have enough time to properly commit to the journal, but I spent most of last night and some of this morning with the first entry. So, let's get started.

A quick note; none of the journal entries are dated. They just go right into his thoughts and are separated only the context of what's written, not by any other means that I can see. Breaking down the journal might a little difficult, but I'll do my best.

The inside cover has one thing written on it. It's a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Fate is nothing but the deeds committed in a prior state of existence."

I didn't know much about Grandpa Mack, but I called my mom last night to see if she could offer some insight. She didn't have much to add, but she said that he often talked about fate and free will a lot when she was younger.

"The river is a place I often find myself. It's quiet, but it seems like a thousand thoughts fill my head and I can hear the voices of everyone around me. Even in this place that is filled with residents, it's a ghost town. Green Wake is still a mystery, the people want desperately to be left alone, but I can see it in their eyes that they want to be connected with others. Still, no one leaves their homes.

I've yet to actually speak with anyone, though I've passed people here and there in the street. I'm curious how they, like me, ended up in this strange situation. Tomorrow I plan to introduce myself to someone, and I hope there is conversation to be had. 

I can't stop thinking about you, Anna."

And that is the first page. I looked through his photos and found this. It could be the river he was talking about, but there is no way to be sure. There are no notes or annotations on any of his pictures.

I spoke to my mom again about Anna, and the name meant nothing to her. Could this have been a life before he met my grandmother?

I hope to update with page 2 by tomorrow, and since I got my scanner working (thanks Applecare) I can post a few more photos, too.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Grandfather's Secrets

My grandfather, Morley Mack, passed away on June 7th, 2008. I was at the funeral because my mom insisted that it would be a good way to get to know the man he was. I wasn't really sure what she meant by that, I'd only met him a few times growing up. I think he'd had a strained relationship with my mom and they never really made amends.

The funeral was small. If I remember correctly, there was the two of us, and maybe seven other people. All of them as old as grandpa would've been. Mom introduced me to everyone, but honestly, I don't recall any of their names. The only reason I'm even reflecting on that day, and blogging about it, is because today was a very strange day for me.

Because Grandpa Mack had never made a will, his property was tied up by the government until mom could get all the proper documentation to prove she was his last living relative. We'd been able to go through his house not long after the funeral to make a list of everything he had, but beyond that his belongings weren't accessible to us.

Well, this morning, lo and behold, the clearance letter from the government came through and mom is officially the sole inheritor of Grandpa Mack's estate. A tidy one bedroom home in a dangerous neighborhood and a vast collection of useless junk.

Or so I thought.

When we originally went through the house after the funeral, we never noticed that there was a small crawlspace above Grandpa's bed. That's where this story gets weird.

In it we found one thing: a shoebox. A shoebox full of photos and a thick journal of Grandpa Mack's notes from his younger days. He even labeled it.

Green Wake.

Simple black cover, with the title and an image I tried to copy that is posted at the top of the blog (the frog thingee). I'm a decent illustrator, I think my rendition of it is pretty cool.

There was also a spool of what looks like film, and I've googled around and found it's an audio recording done on an old Magnetophon.

Anyway, this blog is going to be following my thoughts and reactions to Grandpa Mack's journal and photos. I've skimmed it already, and there are some passages that are really strange. I think I'm finally beginning to understand why I saw so little of the man growing up.

I'm going to read over the first page of the journal in full tonight and post my thoughts tomorrow. I'll see if I can scan in a photo or two, I wouldn't count on it. My scanner doesn't work with my Mac for some reason.

Stay tuned!