Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

What a Week! Every single day held a memorable event; each exciting, pleasurable, or rewarding. Backing through the days may be easier for me to remember than starting from the beginning, and  I think I may be sufficiently recovered from Sunday afternoon’s powerfully emotional matinee performance by the understudies of Starr’s Mill’s fall production to talk about “These Shining Times.”
Erin, my granddaughter, is just shy of her 16th birthday, but in her role as a 1930’s housewife who goes to work in a watch factory painting “glowing numbers” on watch faces, she behaved like a seasoned actress way beyond her years or experience. Her soliloquies were brilliant!
The one-act drama details the fate of at least four assembly-line workers who contract fatal diseases from the radium-based dust they ingest as they “lick the brush, dip it into the radium dust, and paint!” Simple as that. Pay was great, 8 cents a watch; they could make $8 a day easy. Who wouldn’t want to get in line for a “killer” job like that?
It was only after a case brought by the dying women, and a seven-year battle which finally made its way to the Supreme Court, that justice was served. The play (reminiscent of “Norma Rae”) shows how, even having been given proof of the egregious dangers the company knowingly put their employees in, the community ostracized the women. They suffered the wrath of hate-filled neighbors and co-workers who blamed them for the closing of the plant…a virtual death camp! I wept. Bill admitted to a few tears. Such talent in ones so young.
Now, backing up to our Saturday night; it was seriously Ghoulish! One of the best Halloween parties….No, THE best Halloween Party we have ever been to. Laura and Ryan Dzwigalski put on a superior show! Dead body in the bloody shower, big screen looped movie clips from the most disgusting Hollywood films ever made, beautiful and delicious food that was “crawling” with vermin. Little surprises everywhere. Such imaginations! And the guests responded to the “Costumes Required” invitation with some pretty imaginative get-ups.
Bill and I were tame as Indiana Jones and his girlfriend Marian. There was the laughing lady eating a cupcake (was it the one that ‘ might be poisoned’) her face and blouse bloody from the large scissors sticking out of her head! Ugh. Lost my appetite. Two classy skeletons, a bunch of Zombies, a very real looking Frankenstein, and our host, who is at least seven feet tall with a beard down to his knees. Just kidding. He was really spooky, though. Black blood streaming from his black eyes down his powder-grey beard. His wife (beautiful lady) was that creepy Wednesday Adams. Yikes. Chill bumps.
Well, Saturday night it turns out was a perfect antidote to Friday’s less than perfect first effort at Haunted Woods in Fayetteville. Great idea; storytellers in the dark forest. Just a lot of location problems that surely can be worked out. Crazy parking, loud band, inadequate signage, a bouncy house?? We stumbled along one path as part of the adult tour. Stumping our toes on roots, big sticks, and pine cones; we were “left behind” at one point. And no one was counting noses. Could be folks still out there. Scary. The Southern Crescent Storytellers were about the only thing that was not a disappointment. They delivered great creepy stories.
I hope the event will return next year with better planning (and some shiny bread crumbs to mark the way; maybe dampen down the noise). We all need some review and redo every now and then.
So, Thursday saw us on the road to Auburn by 10 a.m. to take my sister out for a Birthday lunch. An uneventful trip through Lutherville, then I-85, one right, a left, turn at the big Baptist church and we are there! My niece Kate and precious little Emelia were also there from Birmingham, so lunch for 4 & 1/2 at Deb’s favorite diner. Back to her house for chocolate birthday cake, and back on the road.
We stopped in Valley, AL and SURPRISE picked up John Wayne, Bill’s cowboy hero. Yep. Put him in the back seat, and with nary a peep out of Big John, we headed East. We always find something Epic! at Timeless Antiques just off 85; this trip was no different. Who knew that The Duke would take up residence with us–so maybe he is just life-size cardboard–it is still pretty exciting to turn the corner into the dining room and see him sitting in the big red arm chair. Get along Little Doggies.
OK. The backwards journey through the week is almost done. Hang On. I know you think there can be nothing that will top the last five days of this past week. Well, you would be dead wrong. Bill and I agreed that Tuesday was the best day we have had in just forever!! Better than dressing up and pretending to be characters from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” at a Five-Star Halloween Party? Better than my sister’s birthday party and John Wayne? Than Spooky Storytellers? Certainly Tuesday couldn’t top the Tony performance by my granddaughter Erin?
Maybe not. But you will just have to wait till next week to see what Super, Extraordinary, Out-of-This-World experience we shared on Tuesday of the past week…right here in Coweta County! Nope. It has nothing to do with Zombies.

*Where was Monday, you ask? Well, Mondays are for writing about what happens the rest of the week. Do you think these columns just happen by magic?