Sunday, March 6, 2011

Channeling Harriet

As we drive by the new school on McKeen named for her, which we do frequently, we can’t help but wonder what Harriet Beecher Stowe would think of the school if she could see it.

As we sat down to reflect on this, our phone (the wireless one!) rang with an eerie, other worldly tone.  Somewhat startled, I picked it up.


A wispy, ghost-like voice responded.  ‘Tell them……, tell them…’

‘Who is this?,’ I asked.

‘Harriet,’ the voice replied, ‘Harriet Beecher Stowe.’

‘Are you kidding?,’ I replied.

‘No, I’m not, not by a long shot,’ the voice said.

‘How in this world could you be calling me?,’ I responded.

‘I’m not calling from this world,’ she said.

‘Why are you calling me?,’ I asked.

‘Well, I was resting in what I thought was eternal peace, when something startled me.’

‘What was it?’

‘It was a wake-up call about something going on in that town of yours, something that is supposed to honor me.’

‘Can you be more specific?’

‘Yes I can, sonny.  I wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” but I never expected that your town would build Uncle John’s Monstrosity to honor that heart-felt work.’

‘What are you talking about?’

‘Don’t be coy; you know what I’m talking about.  That new school.’

‘So you’re not happy about it?’

‘No I’m not, and I don’t see how anybody else with a spoonful of common sense and good taste could be either.’

‘You said “tell them, tell them…” when I answered the phone.  Who do you want me to tell, and what do you want me to tell them?’

‘Tell the School Board I want my good name back, you young whipper-snapper.  Tell them to name the school after someone else.’

‘Why do you want it back?’

‘So I can go back to resting in peace, if you don’t mind.’

‘Yes, ma’am, I’ll do what I can,’ I replied.

And then a haze of static drowned everything out, and suddenly, the line went dead.

And so we say, good night and good rest, Harriet, wherever you are.

1 comment:

  1. They only named it after her because it would have been premature to name it the Joanne King Memorial School.