There was however, one pour soul who didn’t appear to have a home. He was found dead on the railroad tracks. Obviously on the losing end of a drunken assumption he could outdo the oncoming train. But for his belt with the branded “Jim” no one knew his name. He lay in state upstairs in our little building for several weeks as family after family would come to try to identify and claim this poor soul. Children would hold their daddies hand tightly as they were led up the stairs to view the stranger. Today those children, now in their 80’s still remember Jim.
As the years went by, Jim was all but forgotten. Folks who owned this building recounted stories of strange and bizarre happenings. The photographer upstairs for 16 years said she had all kinds of interesting things, but never could identify. When we prepared to open the store, things would shift, sometimes falling to the floor right in front of us. Some days we would find our cash drawer over by a dollar or two…sometimes under by the same. That might seem normal for a store to have that happen, but when you received no cash that day, it becomes harder to explain.
Then one day a woman remembered who she thought our ghost was. “It must by that Jim,” she decided. “I remember the whole town trying to figure out who the fellow was.” We elected our ghost to be Jim. We called him by name. We told him to watch over us. We asked him to stop making the cow sounds we’d hear from time to time. Jim has become somewhat quiet of late. We suspect it is because he has been remembered and even though his earthly figure is buried in an unmarked grave, he lives here with us for eternity. This month, if tradition follows suit, he’ll start being more active. He must love the holidays! He’ll spin the twirling ghosts a bit more, he’ll blow out the jack-o-lanterns when there is no breeze at all, he’ll roll the eyeball soaps around the floor – this year to the delight of Lenox, the store kitty.
We like Jim. We respect that this is his home and we are merely one of his visitors. We look forward to many years with Jim and hope he doesn’t tire of us. I’m not too sure I want to get on his bad side! Have a happy Halloween season and remember the ghouls around you!!