The Blue Bird Flower by Craig Downey

The Blue Bird Flower

The Blue Bird Flower
A concoction of stories comes to light when two brothers find some letters in a trunk in the attic.

Plug, one of the two brothers who found the letters, writes a “cover letter” to some unknown, un-named man. The cover letter is attached to this bundle of letters written to a Mrs. Ainsworth by a man named Chuck. When a beggar-man somehow comes into passion of the letters, he sells them to this author for $1.

Open each letter that centers about a man with a questionable occupation (an office in town, money to gad about, married or bachelor, and lives in some era), who addresses each letter to a particular Mrs. Ainsworth (who may be his aunt, sister, or just a friend).

With a few exceptions, each story is a tale unto itself and mostly in or about Wetowannabee, a town in upstate that is not listed on modern maps or in past land records. Discover more about the town and Chuck, the man who writes letters to Mrs. Ainsworth as you leaf through each letter that unravels an incident that he heard about or observed or that someone else has written. He takes no blame or credit for the story; some are merely his observations on a specific condition of life or after life.

Craig Downey

It was my good fortune to be born to a penniless man whose father had 12 children, was a carpenter, taught school and many other things to feed his family. On the other hand, my mother’s family were successful farmers. The Great Depression was not kind but somehow they muddled through.

Craig Downey

I say fortunate because we lived in a pump handle house where the outhouse was a sufficient distance from the back door. Life was tough and I sat on the front row and watched as my parents struggled, I was no stranger to hard work.

Gary, Indiana was the place of my birth and home until I had a family of my own. We struggled but not like my father. Now a retired shuttle engineer, I always managed to find a job.

I hopped from job to job looking for what would be a job of interest to me. After college, I took a job as electrician, then on to the Ford Motor Co. where I maintained the electronics that controlled the machinery that made cars, then it was Union Carbide where I maintained their instrumentation, on I went to General Manager and Head Instructor teaching radio and television and then to calibration of electronics instruments used in the missile launch division of the Air Force. A year in Fort Yukon as a site representative for RCA and on to California where I worked on the Titan missile installations; next was Cambridge, Ohio in a calibration test set up engineer department manager for the calibration lab; then I hit pay dirt and spent my last 35 years as a calibration engineer and later shuttle electronics design engineer. Just off hand, I would say it has been a fun ride.

After raising 6 children and retiring from a small company that had a right fine contract with NASA, I was called back to work the next day; four years later, I retired again only to get contracts to write standards, test procedures and such which I did at home. Finally in 1997, I packed it all in and retired for good.

I wrote a book on the Mercury Project and am working on another book, “Observations, Maximums and Contemplations of an Idle Mind,” which I hope to finish shortly. Boredom is not an option. And now you know.

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