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  • Writer's pictureWJ King

ETERNITY IN CLEVELAND

I was born in Lakewood hospital in 1952 that year may vary in my auto-biography. I grew up on W117th St., the border of Lakewood and Cleveland and enjoyed a wholesome childhood. Grade school at Garfield Elementary went fairly smoothly, worthy of mention was, in the sixth grade being a few feet away from President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade passing my school. I’m sure the memory of me waving at him stayed with him until the end. I fondly recall being recognized as a regular at a tavern up the street two weeks before my fifteenth birthday. Girlfriends, fights, drinkin’, drivin’ a cab, drinkin’, women and bartending. I took the test for the Cleveland Police with three-thousand other hopefuls. A fella two chairs to my right seemed to be off on the wrong foot when he dropped his wine bottle. I didn’t get hired in the first wave and future hiring was tied up in court. Probably resultant of my friend two seats down objecting over the test being BYOB.


I worked at a bar in Lake City Michigan, blah, blah, met a pal, gotta reference blah, blah, spent twenty-six years counting convicts for the State of Michigan blah, blah. I am now seventy years old with the mind and robust fitness of a sixty-eight year old. I just got off the phone with, oh let’s call her Laurie because that’s her name. We discussed a piece of property I was bequeathed some time ago. “Bequeathed” is a nice word but it may put me in the hole five grand. Get it, get it. Oh, we didn’t get that far yet.


The piece of property of which I speak is a cemetery plot and Laurie is the cemetery’s sales representative:


Laurie: Are you being buried or cremated?

Me: I don’t care but I haven’t ruled out taxidermy.


Laurie: Will you be having a service or gathering?

Me: Can I have a float?


Laurie: Buried or cremated, you’ll need a headstone. If you’re cremated you don’t want to be

bumping around in someone’s closet.


Me: A closet! That's perfect. I hear her murmur “this is why I got divorced. I don’t think

she knew, she was thinking out loud. Quite assertive, yeah, she could be the one.



In terms of a gathering she said a float would be wonderful and was pretty sure she had a phone number to put the Goodyear blimp on standby. I wasn’t born yesterday. I’m thinkin’ she doesn’t have the number but was trying to get me off the line. But I could be wrong.

wjk/1/19/23/441


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