Somewhere in the shadow of Mt Denali lies Healy Alaska. Some, might call it “Our Healy” Those who, being born and raised in this small town, along the banks of the Nenana River, situated very close to where the Anchorage-Fairbanks railway-line runs.
“Gosh Lola. Visiting my parents in Healy, that is Our Healy! What a trip that’ll be, but we shouldn’t just drop in without calling first, you see my parents are….
Lola had heard endless accounts of how his parents were. Two Geologists whose love of alcohol and rubbing their rocks together, or whatever they called that kind of thing in Our Healy, but she didn’t want to know anymore details than that. She was on a mission, and was certain that the answer to her Quest lie in Healy.
“Hi Mom. It’s me your son, B.” said into the receiver just outside some derelict Filling Station, one that once had a dinosaur on its roof. “Look here Mom. Lola and I are in Healy, and….Yes, Mom. In Our Healy, and we were wondering if you and Dad were up to a visit?” listening while his mother said this and that, but mostly just this…
“Don’t worry about a thing, Lola. They are rolling out the Red Carpet for us as we speak, but we should stop off at the Healy Liquor Store and Massage Parlor and get a present for them, or something?”
Lola would have suggested a good rub-down and a glass of Healy’s finest Chablis, but B. seemed anxious to be on his way to his parents, before….
“Before what?” she chanced to ask, but he just went about whistling that top-15 tune, Along the Gravelly Shores, as they pulled into his parent’s driveway, elegantly paved with crushed Diorite, or was it Tonalite from the quarries near..
“I knew he couldn’t tell his Diorite from his Tonalite” said his father, who yelled out of the front window, just as we had stopped to examine the amounts of quartz, feldspar and hornfels in his…
“Come on inside, before you catch a death of Monzonite!” called out his mother, who loved that joke almost as much as she loved drinking her Old Red Sandstone Whiskey from Devon England…
“Lola, Dear. It’s so nice having you here in Our Healy, isn’t it Dear?” His father just snorted and nodded in her direction, before turning towards the TV and its Evening News that…”Most likely Fake News about what goes on in Washington, anyways”, he snorted again, while..
B. and I went into the kitchen, where his mother poured us a glass of Healy Spring Water with 2 ice-cubes in each glass.
“B. tells me that you are fond of ice-cubes Lola? Don’t worry. There are more where those came from” said while she plunked 2 into her own drink of Old Red Sandstone Whiskey, and leaned back against the wall letting her hair down, as it were.
B stood back up and said, “Mom. Is my pet Frog Ribbit still out back somewhere in the frozen pond?” he asked, and she nodded. He excused himself briefly, leaving me alone in that Classic Healy Kitchen with his mother.
“Now Lola, tell me why you’ve come all this way to Our Healy, when you could have called us on the telephone? We do have all of the modern conveniences, you know?”
Lola just fidgeted a bit in her chair before saying, “I need to know his real name. Not just B. that everyone else seems to call him, but his real, dyed-in-the-wool, Christened name!”
“Well, years ago when we talked about having children, we discussed what name might fit our yet unborn child best. There were Bills and Williams, and Feldspar was a popular name back then, but his father only said, “Well, was that Orthoclase, or Potassium Feldspar?” which was thinking like a Geologist, but not as a parent. We’d spend hours looking in books for Baby Names using the finest Geological Terms, but nothing seemed to fit him when he finally arrived. Then I had an idea, and that became his name!”
Lola leaned closer to his mother, when suddenly B. rushed into the house saying, “Mom. Mom. A bear must have trampled down the Penguin Fences! They are scattering like ice-cubes fallen out of an ice-cube tray!”
His father ran out of the living room when he heard the news, yelling, “It’s most likely those Gabbros again! They are a polished lot, aren’t they? What with their elegant home with its “Black Granite Steps” while the rest of us know that there is no such thing as Black Granite……….-
-but Lola frantically said, “His name. What was his name?”
-but his Father and Mother just ran out of the back door, while Lola just stood there thinking, “Just another interruption! I might have known!”
All night long B. and his Family were out and about in the minus temperatures of the Healy, that is Our Healy Area. When the sun finally rose the next day around 11am, B. came home again saying, “Well, we found all but one of them. My parents are going to keep on looking, but Mom told me to go back to our home again.”
On the train Lola looked over to B. who was sleeping on the seat across from her. She still didn’t know his name, but it had occurred to her, that is really wasn’t important anyway, as long as they had a good life together.
As this blog was fading into completion, she heard him mumble: “Bill. Mom told me once, didn’t she, or was it Balderdash, or Bauxite, or……