Hum Moonglow

June 1971
Alligator Ms

Four of the Eleven Swinford (Names have been changed to protect the innocent) Children's Birthdays are in June. They are all grown with children of their own, in some cases, grandchildren.

The clan gathered at Unca Honey and Auntie Virg's for a mass birthday celebration. Also in this vid, yours truly, Dot, my step-dad Hardy and Mama Lou.

This comes from the home movies of Unca Honey and Auntie Virg, and all those are silent, the movie camera they brought out once or twice a year had no sound recording apparatus. I have added one of the tops songs of the era that was one of Auntie Virg’s faves. (Hope Ray Stevens don’t sue me) It must be providence that I chose this song for this clip cos it seems perfectly set up to the images. The song isn’t long enough for the entire vid, but I’ve decided that silence belongs to the many people in this clip how no longer walk among us.

Every time I roamed far and come back I always wanted to see the home movies. Even though, I wasn’t in them very much. The process of even being able to watch the movies was quite the production. First the projector, a huge, daunting Bell and Howell monstrosity had to be lugged out, set up. Individual reels were loaded up, someone did a shadow puppet thing in the dusty projector beam between films. We never “flew the bird” we were much more refined than we are now, cos now “the bird” is so common place, we no longer consider it “common”. The whole process took hours, but everyone was together, laughing, reminiscing.

The large family in this clip is the family my Auntie Virg married into in 1961. They were a close knit bunch. When I stayed summers with my Aunt, we would visit Unca Honey’s family frequently. I shyly sat back and observed these people. My earliest memories of a traditional clan involve this family and I don’t think any of them knows it powerful impact that had on me. Thank You Swinford family.

Dr Cuz had these reels transferred to vid and Dood Cuz made DVDs from those tapes. Now I am taking my set of those tapes and putting them into wmv files. Sometimes it makes me swimmy headed to realize how technologically advanced we have become in my lifetime.
If any of the family reads this and would like their own copy of the clip without my “commentary” they should let me know and I’ll gladly cyberspace them a copy.

This was to be my last “summer” with my aunt, as by December we would be back, Dot and I, as my mom and step dad parted ways. I lived at Alligator and went to a tiny private school in an charming old building. The 6th grade went on a field trip to Jackson and met the Guv’nah.

There would be other summers, but those summers at Alligator are part of who I am now.


...Perchance to Dream

Some people dream in color, I dream in weird.

I have always been a super intense dreamer. Sometimes, I am afraid I will wake up feeling heart attacky, so intense are these nocturnal teleplays. Some are prophetic. Sometimes a dream will be so real that I wake up thinking the event actually happened. Sometimes I have recurring dreams, and continuing dreams. I once acted on an emotion that came to me in dream form. It failed horribly, but it turns out that is best. I had to take the action, though, so strong was the message in the dream.

I dream in entire movies, sometimes. Epic stories of horror and end times, snakes coming out of bathtub faucets. Sometimes I dream about evil so real I wake up shaking and praying.

I remember being about 9 in Brandon Mississippi. I’d lie in bed at night waiting to go to sleep, grateful for Tinker Belle, my mother’s Siamese cat, her favorite child, asleep on my legs. I prayed to God for no dreams. “Not even dreams as good as gold, I’ll take the gold, keep the dreams”, I’d think every night with my eyes closed tight, afraid to open them. I was scared until sleep, that I would see a ghost. Also, the back door of the house was in my bedroom and I was subliminally scared by that, I think.

While I remember that vividly, no dreams from that Vi era come to mind. I do remember dreaming about a giant living Indian Buddha statue grabbing citizens off the ground and stuffing them into its mouth. I was probably 6ish, sleeping on Evil Ann's couch. When I was seven and living on the Breaux Bridge Highway in Lafayette, I constantly dreamed I walked into our living room and my mother sat on the couch, with her ankles crossed daintily, and without her head. I screamed in my dream. Evil Ann would be in the kitchen making lumpy oatmeal, wearing a “house dress” and without a head. (Not as tragic, no scream)

For years after I graduated High School, I dreamed I had to go through it again. I kept saying I’d already graduated, no one listened. I still dream about hallways at Comeaux High, in a creepy pink, Alice through the looking glass, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey kind of a way.

During “Arid Zone” year, X1, me, JD and Kip played D and D every night (Dungeons and Dragons, World of Warcraft in person with tons of books, maps 75 different type of dice) I’d dream all night that people I knew were being killed off one by one and I was all like “No problemo, I have a save spell and a couple of potions.”

During the infancy of the “Bat(I hate that bitch) period, back when I didn’t even know what she looked like, I dreamed she was a gorgeous leggy blonde……hmm, another “opposite” dream….and after I had really and truly met her (OMG) {eyesrollingtobackofheadIcanseemymedulaoblongottathingie} well, in retrospect all I can say is the whole experience was a nightmare, a nine year nightmare, not only for me, but others as well. C’est La Vie, we’re still here.

After my mother passed away, I dreamed she was still alive, refusing to believe she had died. I’ve dreamed about places we’d lived, as if we’d moved back and now had to find jobs. I’m not lying, kids, these dreams are as detailed as a tv show.

Recurring dreams? I’ve had ‘em. Dreams so erotic I’ve woken up quite discombobulated, check. Dreams that have made me stop on the way to the morning tinkle and say aloud, “what the hell was THAT?” Sometimes, I’ve had a dream and I remember the act of dreaming, but no details, not sure if that relieves me or pisses me off.

One particularly frustrating recurring dream I am cursed with, is the “I can’t dial the freaking phone” dream. It’s so film noir, this dream. It’s in black and white, even. I think there may be trench coats involved,…any way, I keep trying to dial numbers, as I am in desperate need of help. Did I mention in this old timey dream the phones are touch tone? Go figure.

But then, there’s the nightmares so intense I used to be afraid I would wake up in the throes of a heart attack. I should keep a note pad by the bed, cos there’s a blockbuster horror epic/apocalyptic saga going on in these dreams, Bubba! Stephens King and Spielberg have decided to corroborate on the screen play and Johns Mellencamp and Hiatt are going to do the score.

Hey, if you’re gonna dream, dream BIG.