Hodgepodge: November 12, 2012

by Roy Hodge

A few days ago I thought I had finally answered a question that I had asked much of my life. When I was very young and it was raining outside, my young inquisitive mind asked, “When it is raining, where does it stop?”

Everyone I asked looked down at me with a bewildered gaze, but no one had an answer. As I remember, some of them asked, “Why in the world would you ask that?”

A few days ago I was upstairs in my house when it was raining outside. Looking out the window that faces south it seemed to be raining hard and a lot of rain drops had accumulated on the outside of the window.

The scene was much the same looking towards the street outside the front window, which faces west.

Trying my best to be an impartial observer I hurried to the room with a north facing window. The road below was wet and I knew it had been raining, but from the window, with the trees blocking much of the view, I couldn’t tell how hard it was raining at that point of time.

Curious, I hurried downstairs, put on my hat and coat and headed outside.  Sure enough, outside the door on the south side of the house, it was raining, not too hard but steadily. The rain continued as I walked up the driveway and around the front of the house.

As I walked toward the corner and turned, the rain seemed to have stopped. As I walked further, there was rain dripping from the trees, but away from the trees there was only a slight misty rain.

I continued walking to the back of the house, back to the driveway and the door where I had come out of the house a minute ago. It was still raining steadily on that side of the house.

After all these years I had the answer to my question: When it is raining it stops when you turn the corner in front of your house. Why did it take me so long to figure that out?

Now I can work on a different problem. Where are all those missing socks, and why is it that I never lose the ones with holes in them?

*  *  *  *  *

I received a note this week from Patrick LeClair of Somers, N.Y.  He noted that this month will mark the third anniversary of the passing of his father, Alton “Al” LeClair.

From Patrick’s note: “You may find it of interest that my father never finished high school, however he had one of the best mechanical minds I’ve ever encountered. My Dad took a back seat to no one. With the exception of some brief coaching in his late 20’s, early 30’s by a local expert, my Dad was self-taught.”

In this column the week Al died, I wrote: “Al was my friend, and in recent years, the caretaker of my collection of antique clocks. Al was a skilled clock repairman and always seemed to know what to do when one of my clocks stopped ticking, tocking or chiming as expected.

“A trip to Al’s shop for one of my brood was not unlike a trip to the hospital. Many times after a quick look at the clock, Al knew exactly what the problem was and could fix it immediately, but suggested that I leave the patient with him for a couple of days so he could check it more thoroughly and make sure it was running properly.

“When I went back to Al’s shop to pick up the repaired clock it was no quick exchange. Sometimes Al would wrap the clock securely and place it carefully in a cardboard carton for the trip home.  Other times the process seemed more like picking your child up from the day care center. Al would bring the clock carefully out to the car and place it on the seat.  Then he would wrap a towel around it and fasten it with the seat belt.  And there I was, ready for the trip home – in the driver’s seat with my seat-belted passenger behind me in the back seat.

“My clocks and I had a friend in Al LeClair. He will be missed.”

To read the rest of the column, pick up the latest copy of The Valley News. You may also subscribe to the paper by calling 598-6397
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