I knew this idea was going to make trouble, knew it right from the start.

But the smart people at the paper, those who wear ties and dresses to work (not at the same time, mind you; don’t make trouble) decided to make a big splash, and I’m part of it.

I don’t think the office dwellers had any idea how much confusion it was going to cause in my daily street life, and with She, who unlike me, always remembers what day it is, what time it is in Maine and Los Angeles, and where everything I’ve misplaced is, I long ago decided to find that mysterious and charming.

But the big shots thought a grand new Sunday edition would be a great idea. I agree. I like great ideas.

I was once a great idea myself. Look how that turned out. More of you read me than read POTUS 45’s tweets.

It’s very important to alert you to the fact that this column is now being podcast


(and you’ll notice the podcast is a little different from what you read here in print; consider it a treat), making it possible for you to actually hear me reading the words to you. This is no small thing, as I am a former radio actor, a man of many voices, and can be quite mesmerizing.

But a caution: You will have to imagine the punctuation, commas, including Boston commas, semi-colons, etc. I can’t stop between sentences and voice the punctuation.

OK, let’s proceed.

Here is where I feel I should share some Sunday memories.

Sunday, when I was a kid in St. Louis, sucked. Sunday was a black hole in what usually was a fun week. On Sunday, the world came to a halt. Everything stopped. Even if it was sunny, it seemed like it was raining. No saloons, no grocery stores, nor barber shops. Even Kellen’s Victory Bowling Alley was closed. Sunday during World War II was terrible.

It was like one of those movies about the end of the world where everyone is dead, but inside dead, not out in the street dead, or church steps dead, just inside dead where you couldn’t see the bodies.


Later, in my Hollywood career, I learned that they did that to save money. “Dead” extras are expensive.

Even the traffic on our street stopped. Silence dropped from the trees like dead cicadas. But Kleinbacher’s gas station, on the corner of Holly Hills and Michigan, had this rubber hose that ran across the entrance so that when a customer drove in, it would ring a bell inside — bing-bing-bing — like that. I remember lying in bed on Sunday nights a good four blocks away and being lulled to sleep by that bell. Sunday started with church bells and ended with Kleinbacher’s rubber hose bell.

The highlight of Sunday for me was 11 o’clock Mass, where I served for Father Dugan (not his real name). Father Dugan had a bad shake in his hand, so I had to keep the little gold paten close to the sacrament, lest the host drop on the floor and immediately become soiled and little more than a Trisket.

We altar boys never knew why Father’s hand shook, but my mother knew, yet never told me.

But what made Sunday morning bearable was just watching Rosemary, she of the one-thousand-and-one pastel colored angora sweaters and simple strand of pearls, come down the aisle for Communion, her eyes locked on mine.

Rosemary stepped to the altar and knelt.


The organist hit the keys. The choir began to sing. Father’s hand and mine shook in unison. It was a small childhood crush, a small thing in a childhood full of big things that terrified me.

Later in high school, Rosemary and I would go to the Sunday matinee at the Shenandoah Theatre.

Once, walking home after in the twilight, she took my hand and interlaced her fingers in mine. It was my first interlacing and I’ve had many since, but that was my first Sunday interlacing and, given the subject of this column, worth mentioning.

A few moments ago She, who interlaces well and adapts to change almost supernaturally, came down the stairs, dressed to kill, and looked at me.

“Why are you still wearing your sweats?”

“I’m going to have my Saturday coffee at Starbucks with Joe.”

“It’s Sunday, Jerry. Get dressed.”

Don’t worry, I’ll adapt. She’ll see to that.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.

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