It destroys a family, this kind of winter. Towns have a long memory — the Falls especially, though the memories of people are mercifully (or unfortunately) short. In a little less than seven months he and his mother and sister will move away, at the onset of what will be called the Ethylor summer. That season will be remembered.
But no one will remember this winter. Not even him. He is still a child, only in second grade, and while he will dream about this for years to come, he will not remember. The thoughts will tumble out of his mind shortly after they move across the river into Ohio.
I always loved children, always wanted to be a father. To raise some small version of myself, teach it the lessons I never learned, all part of the dream. But it was truly for their faces. A child sees the world as it should be, not as it is. They have wonder and joy in those eyes that we all lose in time. It is perhaps unusual for a man to feel this way, but I cannot help it.
When I moved to Ichor Falls, it was sadly not for the children. A local newspaper, the Sentinel, needed someone to type up obituaries, and lacking a better option, I took it. Life as a journalism undergrad is filled with these choices. I have flitted from obit job to obit job. It is not a career that draws companion. I had been working here for three months when I finally was able to move into my house. The realtor, a handsome man with a close-cropped goatee who introduced himself as August Parrish, had shown me the house earlier. It was in that district called Lower Alethia. I had needed the months to gather enough money for the down payment. He had explained its history, built before the Ethylor Summer, had even been home to an Amish school for a time. It was a nice Victorian home, and with time, I could certainly make a profit, once Ichor Falls’ housing market started filling up a bit more. The perfect time to buy.
He asked the strangest question at the time.
“Do you like children?”
“The neighborhood is supposed to have several families moving in soon, I was checking to see if that was a problem.” He flashed me a smile.
Everyone’s got something they enjoy more than they should.
For some people, it’s an oddity -– but harmless –- like that guy at the
supermarket who’s always checking the corncobs for blight until an
attendant has to ask him to please get out of the produce department.
For some people, it’s problematic -– or worse -– like that truck driver
who paid more attention to the radio announcer’s opinion on the
economy than his vehicle’s opinion on going 70MPH around a hairpin
For some people, it’s acceptable –- even encouraged –- like my late
aunt’s penchant for embroidering historical scenes, except I don’t
think Colonel Sanders fought at the Battle of Kanawha.
For me, it has been Ichor Falls, with all its small-town
idiosyncrasies and legends. I hope tourists and residents have enjoyed
reading my weekly column “Stories of the Quiet Valley,” which was an
effort to plumb the depth of this area’s history.
Hearing tales of the supernatural, or just strange, may have increased
tourism revenue and
encouraged people to travel in this area, but it should not be
forgotten that there is a
lasting impact of focusing on the unsettling events of history, so
much that placing em-
phasis on haunted houses may lower property values, and recounting the
murder sites in print can only discourage business growth.
Eventually, any journalist who values his community should understand
the fact that
some stories don’t have to be told. But your humble correspondent
thinks, despite his
training, the residents of Ichor Falls deserve to hear truth, and this
is a place where
one can have difficulty separating truth from fiction.
People have claimed that the FDA has no records of Ethylor being
certified as safe for
non-industrial use until 1938, long after the laminating industry
claimed it was harmless.
In later court battles, this theory was debunked, based on 1966
legislation releasing all
government records into the care of Rick (?) Donfeld, but at the time
Ichor Falls was
Lasting effects include a moratorium on intravenous — [recount details
of "Dawst v.
Opprobrium" case especially section IV.8.a]
Get tapes and reformat interview with Walter Mattias, check licence(s?)
- need more cereal, butter/cream ch, bagel plain NO CHIVES
- move P.O. box
- talk with CFO McKinsley about insur
- ??movie nightJennifer??
- certain problems with voice mail fix fix
Last three years of The Times indicates a serious problem with
We regret that no additional parts of Jonathan Tollant’s last article
were discovered in his studio. Law enforcement has been unable to
produce evidence that the fire there was connected to his ongoing
investigations for the Falls Inquirer.
We have attempted to reprint all of his notes here without editing to
honor both the memory of Mr. Tollant and also to reinforce our
commitment to the community of fair reporting.
Publisher-in-Chief Nigel Oglethorpe and The Times‘ editorial staff would like to
thank Mr. Tollant for his many years of contributions to that news
agency, which is now in our care. We regret that much of his research
was never formatted for publication, especially regarding the rise and
fall of this town’s logging industry.
It seems, nowadays, that Ichor Falls is a town stricken by plague. Certainly the atmosphere — the thick fog, the ever-barren trees — these things lend themselves well to horror stories. But now, with the unexplained deaths… the local stations would have you believe it’s the act of some sociopath, that the police are “breaking the case wide open.” It’s far from the truth. If you asked me, I’d say it was The Locksmith, but most Ichor Falls residents are too young to know of that horrible event — I myself am too young, in case you thought that was the wind-up to some fanciful tale. But I’ve always been fascinated by this town’s history — morbid curiosity, I guess — and have taken a look at some rather ancient correspondence tucked away in the town hall archives.
Here’s the history lesson.
Make my house from twigs and sticks
I have no clay, I have no bricks
Build my house and make it strong
It will keep you winter long
In the evening tend the fire
Good child, good child
Careful not to let it higher
Good child sings.
In the morning, early morning
Mother cries and father warning
Bad child gone.