Dream of: 22 October 1980 "My Old Kentucky Home"

I was living in a rather dirty house in Portsmouth, Ohio with my old friend Steve Buckner and three other fellows who seemed to be from the hilltop section of Portsmouth. We were all sitting in the living room, discussing the possibility of hiring someone to come in on Saturdays to clean the place up. Each of us could possibly chip in $5 apiece to pay the person. During the conversation, one person would first talk and then another. I noticed that no one seemed to be paying much attention to my opinion and that I had to thrust in my words. Apparently I wasn't held in much esteem by the others. Finally we decided to hire a woman to come in once a week.

The living room was a wreck. A green rug was soiled with red spots which looked like candle wax. Under the rug stretched a splendid hard wood floor. I thought maybe we should take the rug completely out and leave only the hard wood floor.

When we heard a knock at the door, someone opened the door and said, "There's George."

George Musser, Ron Stevens, Raymond Graham (former acquaintances from my teenage years in Portsmouth) and about seven or eight other fellows walked in. After I began talking with Stevens, he and I walked to my big room in the back of the house. The others apparently were getting ready to smoke some marijuana.

***

I left the house with a group of people and went to the Portsmouth River Days Festival on the levy of the Ohio River. The festival was large and seemed better than usual.

As I sat in a wooded area from where I could see the hills of Kentucky across the river, a black man playing a guitar came walking along a path in the woods, sat down near me, and continued playing. He missed a few notes but still played well; obviously he knew what he was doing. The guitar looked old and the strings looked out of order, but the music sounded good. Some others and I invited the man to join us and he did.

When we began walking in the direction of the US Grant bridge (the bridge across the Ohio River between Portsmouth and Kentucky), another black man joined our group and when we were about 30 meters from the bridge, I asked him if he was with us. I also asked the first black man if the second black man was with us and he insinuated he was, although he was unsure. Since I didn't want the second black man with us, I said to him, "Why don't you just take off."

The black fellow with the guitar also said to the second black man, "Yea, why don't you just take off."

So the second black man left us.

We walked under the bridge and arrived at the place where people usually watched the boat races during the festival. Streams of people were all around.

It began raining hard and the water flowed off the levy and down by the river bank where the people were; but the people kept coming. I had decided to stay because the River Days Festival was still the best I had ever seen. I began thinking I should come every year.

I heard some good music in the air. When the fellow with the guitar began playing "My Old Kentucky Home", I began singing along.

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