I write little essays about things all the time, save them in a file, and forget about them. Then, when I’m looking for ideas I go through them and have a little fun…
In the Great Garage Clean-Out of 2013, I came across a box full of picture books that I had loved as a child and was saving for the days when I had my own child. Keeping things “just in case,” was not part of the bargain Brian and I made about things, though. The bargain we made was that we either had to use it, display it, or donate it. Most of the books I was fine donating, but there was a collection of books that were full of gorgeous pictures on glossy paper. “Drummer Hoff” was in there. That was my favorite as a child, and a Maine alphabet book, and “Shh, We’re Writing the Constitution.” So I decided I was making paper flowers out of them to display in my home.
“I found Drummer Hoff!” I said to Brian.
“What the hell is Drummer Hoff?” he said.
“Drummer Hoff fired it off,” I said. “It’s a book about a cannon.”
“I see,” said Brian.
“Private Parage brought the carriage, but Drummer Hoff fired it off.”
“Corporal Farrel brought the barrel, Private Parage brought the carriage, but Drummer Hoff fired it off.”
“I get it,” said Brian. “Please don’t do another one.”
“But it’s so pretty, and then at the end they fire off the cannon and the explosion takes up the whole page, and the last page is the broken cannon all grown over. There’s a bird on it, and some butterflies.”
“They broke the cannon? I can’t believe they broke the cannon. They’re doing it wrong.”
“I blame it on Captain Bammer. He probably rammed it all too hard. Or Colonel Chowder with his sub-standard powder.”
Brian performed a feat of eye rolling. “So basically what you’re telling me is that you were already a history nerd when you were six?”
“That is exactly what I’m telling you. In related news, I have found my dream job. It’s a calling, really.”
“What’s your dream job?”
“To become the lady at the Yorktown army encampment who sets of the cannon for the demonstration.”