Jan 282018

At the end of ninth grade, Mrs. Austin went to collect our literature readers. If yours was lost, you had to pay a fee, but it was a pittance—nowhere near the replacement cost. Like $7 or something, OK?

So she asked for mine, and I gave her $7 instead and said mine was lost. She said no, I see it right there on your desk, Bo. I said no, it’s, uh, lost. Here’s my fee for being so irresponsible with it. She smiled and took my money, allowing her admiration of my desire to keep the book to very slightly defeat the cloudy ethics of the transaction.

So then several months ago I got to wondering about some of my other reading and literature texts, but from earlier in my childhood. I headed back to the Episcopal Day School in my head—to the Camelot days. I remembered that they were all of a series year to year. I remembered that they were published by Houghton Mifflin. And, I remembered a couple of titles.

And it turned out that was enough for me to locate and purchase a couple of them from independent sellers on Amazon.com. Behold my copies of Panorama and Images!

Panorama and Images. (Click for larger.)

Oh, these are such great fun to look through. They’re in fine condition, Images in particular. It’s worn from handling (being moved around in stacks and so forth) on the outside, but I don’t think the pages have ever been turned in it. (The virginal issuance panel on the inside cover lends credence to this supposition.)

I think Images is intended for fifth grade, and Panorama third. Seems like Fiesta was between them. Here’s a page showing them all.

There is a lot of great literature here, as well as wonderful artwork. And there is the occasional little flash when I’ll turn a page or read a sentence, and really remember, viscerally, what it was like to be nine years old.

From Panorama. (Click for larger.)

I’m not sure how many of those moments await me here. That’s why I haven’t just sat down and read them straight through, and have no plans to. I want the buried treasure to last as long as possible.

 Posted by at 11:56 am
Jan 012018

Last night was a quiet New Year’s Eve. During prime fireworks-lighting time, it was about 15 ºF with a 15-mph northern wind. That shuts folks down pretty hard. I didn’t complain.

I have goals for the new year, but nearly none of them are constrained to the calendar. It’s becoming clear to me that my Halloween decision is a significant turning point. Some of that is physical, but I think more of it is mental. It’s empowering. I’m excited on a fundamental level about again pursuing goals with vigor. Some are service-oriented. Some are professional. Some are spiritual. Many are aspirations that I’ve allowed to lie dormant for too long.

(And I think this is the second time I’ve posted vaguely about this. I promise I’ll share specifics here too, and I’m much closer to doing that.)

I have what I feel like is the prerequisite mental attitude. It’s an attitude I didn’t realize I was missing until I experienced it. It’s…smoother. It’s a tack that allows for life’s little tragedies without tanking my curve. It’s a perch that enables me to better see manageable chunks. It’s where I needed to be a long time ago.

But I’m not lamenting that. What was that about raging against the past? No. “I would prefer not to.”

Instead, I’m thankful that I’m here now.

Happy New Year.

 Posted by at 7:34 pm
Jan 032017

I was born in Decatur, but my family moved to Anniston before I was a year old. So it’s the first home I can remember. I took some time last month to drive around and look. Here are a few through-the-windshield shots of some innocuous-looking locations that are full of memories for me. (Click image […]

 Posted by at 11:13 pm
Feb 112015

You don’t have to read BoWilliams.com very long to learn that chili con carne is one of my favorite foods. It’s rare that a whole week goes by without me having some. I recently made a pot and it occurred to me that I’d never posted my recipe. Here it is. Good stuff! To make […]

 Posted by at 7:36 pm