MORE OF WORZELS’ STORY-AND THE WORT HOTEL- by Worzel

Yes, it was fun running footloose with Godfrey that year…but there was a reason Id’ left my little house, I was bound for the city to begin my career. A  Librarian I wished to be.To sit and read all day quietly. On occasion help someone get a book down. There would be coffee parties, a boss named George, a tidy apartment downtown. On weekends Id’ sit in the park, plays and films there to see, no grumbling  dad glued to paper or the T.V. No Mrs Gibberflat warming up sheep’s milk for me. No noisy siblings, no peaceful Valley River.. and sadly I had to tell Godfrey.

..Only the wind is forever, Godfrey…we stood in the doorway of the Wort Hotel.The slanted floor boards beneath me creaked, wall paper stained where the ceiling leaked, it smelled of eggs in there, and Laurie The Cook was yelling again on the stair. Time waited for Godfrey not happy at the Wort Hotel.

We had laughed so much at the shared delights of a year in a small prairie town. Betting on seed caps in the cafe’ , making perogies every  Sunday, cleaning rotten canola from the combine, blizzards!, Saskatoon Berry Pie, prairie moon low in the sky.  My suitcase sat squat, outside on the walk, Godfrey strangely unable to talk…he was always the one moving on, but when the west-bound bus stopped in Ceylon, I would be gone. Yes, only the wind is forever Worzel, he whispered through the tears that fell, on that winter night we parted, on the worn down carpet of the Wort Hotel..

..In the many years we spent apart, as unknowing to us his legend grew,I had my Library, my city friends, I call them his “Lost Years” he spent in Peru. No quiet apartment it turned out for me it was,but a shabby house where the rent was cheap. Two bedrooms for my roommates and I, and a loft painted black where only the bravest would sleep. We drew seagulls on the living room walls, to counter the vibe from the loft above. We had a wood stove and a yard gone to weeds, but Id’ learned from Godfrey how little one needs to be happy.

He was a  nice polite chap, in the Library he sat, I noticed his brown muddy boots and his cowboy hat. I looked up his name, Garnet Odd on his card, and took note of the books he was interested in. I hung about Tuesdays to wait for him, hung about near the return bin. And it was a chill night in the shabby house, December 8th 1980, a group of us snug round the little pot stove watching “Marcus Welby, M.D.”.  Newly engaged  to Garnet Odd, I was happy, contented and thrilled..when a friend showed up crying, let the cold in the door, to tell us John Lennon had been killed.

I remember the jolt of the cold in the door… It snowed on our spring wedding day, my old Dad grumbled, Mrs Gibberflat cried.There were pickled beets on the buffet. And when it came time to dance, and while the band took a break, I looked to the hall doors half hoping Godfrey, would show up for dancing and cake. He did write, infrequently, of his adventures when finally he reached Peru. We moved to a ranch in the sweet Cypress Hills, and the years did more than just flee, they flew. One morning Garnet looked over at me, said Worzel dear, we forgot to have children,  I said thank you yes, it is true, but  okay with me if it is for you. One day a strange vehicle, a courier  van, stopped in the dooryard of our place, I signed for large parcel sent from Peru, no explanation it was Godfrey’s old red and plaid suitcase…MORE STORY LATER, from Worzel.

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