Russell Crowe is Here

No, I am not making that up.  He has been spotted here in my home town.  There is more.  My parents moved out of Aurora to a small town called Plano about 20 miles southwest.
That is where the tackle boxes are manufactured.  They lived there for well over 30 years.

Downtown Plano is now a movie set.  There is a gas station being built on Main Street that will be blown up in the making of the movie.  There is a brick façade just down the street from there that has a huge chunk out of it.  There are building fronts being built in between existing buildings and new canopies in front of others.

My brother Dave and his son Tim own and run a pump company that takes up much of the west end of Main Street.  An empty lot next to one of their buildings will soon have something that may also be blown up – not sure about that.  Dave and Velda took my sister Gayle and I out to eat and took us through the town on the way to the restaurant so that we could see the set and watch the machinery moving around in the street as someone directed traffic and the workers building the sets.  There is one main street in town.  The population was 5600 in 2010.

Russell Crowe has been spotted more than once.  Apparently he rode his bike along the Fox River in Aurora and stopped at a little place to eat.  If I happen to come upon him
sometime, I need to talk with him about Australia and see if he has ever ridden in the Snowy Mountains.  I am not going to search for him, nor will I bother him if he does  appear someplace nearby.

The movie that will be filmed there is in the Superman series, “Man of Steel” to be
released in December of 2012.  The cast includes: Henry Cavill (Superman), Amy Adams, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Christopher Meloni, Michael Shannon, Julia Ormond.  They are still in the preparation stage and have not yet started filming.

This evening I was invited to Barb’s house to show the slides from the big trip to New
Zealand and Australia.  Daughters Diana, Sherry and Debi were there as well as two Sons-in-Law and Granddaughter Rachel.  Diana was in our wedding.  Barb is Mary Ann’s Sister-in-Law.  Her husband, Mary Ann’s Brother Roger, died at the age of 51.  Roger was about 13 years older than Mary Ann.  Barb understands all too well what it has been like this last year as I have grieved the loss of Mary Ann.

I not only appreciated supper and some great desserts (including Oberweis ice cream), but
also their interest in the journey I have been on, and their willingness to sit through the slides listening to my narrative.  More than all of that, I found it comforting and reassuring to spend time with Mary Ann’s family.  They greeted me warmly.  In some way, Mary
Ann’s presence in my life seemed more vivid when I was with them – nothing weird, just a very pleasant feeling of connection.  For that time together it seemed as if I was less alone with the memory of her – it was around me in the others at the table and in the room as well as in me.

There is a very odd sort of metaphor that has popped into my mind more than once this
week.  I use it often in a variety of ways.  If normal daily life is orange juice, these days have been the orange concentrate from which orange juice is made.  Processing these experiences is very much like adding water to the concentrate so that I can savor it and expand it, providing more of life than would normally fit into any one day.  If you haven’t yet concluded that I have finally gone over the edge, this post should confirm it.

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