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Writer Without A Clause: Essay #1

Chris practices free writing which often produces humorous or introspective results with practical applications to living life more fully.

Writer Without a Clause. Sounds sort of familiar, doesn't it? A few years back, a film came out—well, it was more than just a few years back. It came out in 1955, two years before I was born.

It was called Rebel Without a Cause and starred a young man named James Dean. Not Jimmy Dean. He's the sausage guy. I'm talking about the tough guy, James Dean. You know what's tough? The film came out a couple of months after the guy's death at age twenty-four.

So why do I bring up this guy, Dean, and his film? Because the title of the film sounds vaguely similar to my hub title. Maybe it's the stuff of a lawsuit. We'll never find out since I've decided not to pursue it.

What is Writer Without a Clause? It's me, Chris Mills, sitting here with my laptop and clearly nothing particular on my mind to write about. But I'm going to just keep on writing to see where we end up.

Fairmount, Indiana, Home of James Dean and the Annual James Dean Festival

I've already brought up this guy, James Dean. I have a bit more to say about him because he was, as I am, a Hoosier, a native of the State of Indiana. Not only that, but he grew up in the little town of Fairmount. That is significant to me for two reasons. First, It is a town very near where I grew up. Both of my parents also grew up near Fairmount.

Dean graduated from High School in 1949. My father graduated in 1946 and my mother in 1950. Yep, you guessed it. Mom and dad knew and ran around with this tough guy, James Dean.

Why do I share this? I share it as a means of holding your attention. It is my shameless claim to fame. Yes, my father played basketball with James Dean. Mom remembers going to the same church youth group with...yes, James Dean.

Fairmount, Indiana celebrates the life and stardom of their favorite son each year at the James Dean Festival.

Not only were my parents closely tied to the town of Fairmount, Indiana, but I was as well. Three of my best friends in my teenage years went to Fairmount High School, also known as, Madison-Grant High School.

Fairmount produces tough young men. James Dean is proof of that, but it didn't stop with him. Years later, down main street, drove three teenagers named Tom, Doug, and Chris. It was night time, and they were in a 1975 Caprice Classic. No, it wasn't a cool car in and of itself. But it was cool because it was rolling down a Fairmount, Indiana street, a street James Dean had driven on, and Chris Mills, that's me, was at the wheel.


You can visit the cemetery and see James Dean's grave. Or you can walk around town, which will take about ten minutes.

I suppose I could tell you about the time my father kicked James Deans butt. Would you like to hear that story? Stay with me into the next section, and I'll tell you all about it.

But I want to move on from Fairmount for the moment to another small Indiana town called, Weaver. This was a town made up of former slaves and their families. the town was right along one branch of the Underground Railroad. Many of the runaways chose to stay in Weaver.

This little town had a giant of a man who lived there. His name was, Mr. Weaver. He was the school teacher. My mother's one room school house was near Weaver. One day each year, my mother's school and Weaver school would trade schools and teachers. Mom walked to Weaver and sat under the teaching of a man she remembers well to this day. Mom is now 86 years old. She said he was an imposing man, but in a good way. She had a lot of respect for him since many of the Weaver kids went on to have very successful careers in politics, law, education and healthcare.

The town of Weaver still exists on the map. But the town is gone. I want to write a story about Weaver someday. I just have no idea where to begin.

Some Photos of the Town of Weaver, Indiana

So we have looked at the inspiration for this hub which is the man,James Dean and his film, Rebel Without a Cause. We have also seen how this man crossed paths with my family in the little town of Fairmount, Indiana. And Fairmount was not the only small town in Indiana. The village of Weaver is significant as a place where runaway slaves and later, freed slaves, settled and made new lives for themselves.

It is a special thing to be able to talk with our parents and grandparents to find out these nuggets of gold in our family histories. Mine is not the only family with such stories, but...my story will likely be the only one with James Dean in it.

James Dean Fight Scene: Rebel Without a Cause

I promised to tell about the time my father kicked James Dean's butt. Well, it never happened, but I hope that kept you reading to the end. Thanks for sticking around.

© 2018 Chris Mills

Comments

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 26, 2018:

I'm on it, John. Looking forward to what you've written.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 26, 2018:

Hi again, Chris. I sent you an email with my chapter adding to the story you created for collaboration. Check it out and let me know where you want to go from there.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 26, 2018:

Hi Ann. This one was different from my other free writing because I committed myself by posting the first capsule and then went on to the second, then posted again, etc. That is a bit risky because I could end up going nowhere and boring my readers. I don't know if I will do it exactly that way again. Thanks for stopping by.

Ann Carr from SW England on November 26, 2018:

Great piece of free writing, Chris! Love the chatty style of free writing; that's what it's all about isn't it, freedom?

Well, that's some claim to fame! Never seen the film but I should.

Looking forward to more free writing stories from you, Chris.

Ann

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 22, 2018:

Dora, I'm glad you liked how this little experiment worked out. I'll probably try it again in the near future. Happy Thanksgiving today.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 22, 2018:

I like the conversational tone. You're talking and I want to listen. Interesting story line also.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 22, 2018:

Sean, Thanks for checking out my hub. I love freewriting. I am glad this one turned out. I wrote the first capsule and published it, so it was a bit of a risk. I didn't know if the rest would be any good. I'm glad it seems to have been an enjoyable read. I'll probably give the Writer Without a Clause idea another try in the future. It's great to see you today along with many others I have missed over the last few months.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on November 22, 2018:

This is the reason I admire your talent, my brother, Chris! You can take a no-story and turn it into an I-want-to-read-till-the-end situation! Ha! Ha! I love the way you write. I wish you the best ideas.

Admiration!

Sean

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 21, 2018:

Doris, I am glad you enjoyed this hub and that the ending was acceptable. It's good to see you here today.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 21, 2018:

Shauna, One rule of writing is to keep whatever promises you make to your readers as you write. Well, I broke that one big time in this one with the fake story about my dad and James Dean. Glad you enjoyed it anyway.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 21, 2018:

Liz, Thanks for visiting. I'm glad you enjoyed my meanderings.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 21, 2018:

Venkatachari M, I am so glad you found your way to my hub today. Sorry about the fake news, but I couldn't resist.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 21, 2018:

Eric, it's great to see you here today, and I'm glad you enjoyed this pointless hub.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 21, 2018:

Elijah, I am happy to have been able to share some Indiana history with you. Thanks for visiting.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 21, 2018:

Bill, it is geat to see you here today. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 21, 2018:

Paula, I am so glad you found this hub. I can tell you are a fan of James Dean. Glad you enjoyed it.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on November 21, 2018:

Chris, I enjoyed your wanderings, no matter where they took me. I'm a little older than you, so I can attest to how heartbroken we kids were at his untimely death. I believe we girls saw every movie that James Dean made back then. As far as your dad kicking James Dean's butt, you had me going there. What an amusing way to end a hub!

Wishing you and yours a great Thanksgiving this year.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on November 21, 2018:

Chris, this is awesome. I love how you tricked us at the end. It seems your muse is having fun with you. This is a very clever piece.

Liz Westwood from UK on November 21, 2018:

I thought your ending was amusing. Great ploy to engage reader interest.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on November 21, 2018:

A wonderful and very interesting story. And, without a clause! I was waiting to read that incident of your dad kicking the butt of a star personality. But it ended up fake news.

However, I enjoyed your narration skills in creating a wonderful story out of nothing special. Hats off to you, my Bro, Chris.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 21, 2018:

I could not believe your started out with a picture of the Weatherford Hotel Downtown Flagstaff. --Oops, I bet same architect, same stone we called "Santa Fe".

I think I was about 8, '65 when my brother told me "That guy is dead". About '65. If they were in movies they had to be alive I thought.

You are a grand story teller. I just love how you weave (Weaver?) real into real good writing.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on November 21, 2018:

I'm glad your "winter didn't have a cause", Chris, I would not had gotten the short Indiana history lesson you so brilliantly presented. You do history proud, my friend, thanks for sharing it.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 21, 2018:

Wishing for you a brilliantly Happy Thanksgiving, Chris!

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 21, 2018:

Ok Chris, sounds good.

Suzie from Carson City on November 21, 2018:

Chris.....Ahhhhh, "James Dean." Not many individuals become a much-adored icon by the age of 24. His untimely death has gone down in Hollywood history as one of the most tragic and shattering, ever. That your parents actually knew James is IMO, a stunning piece of information!

Yes, he is a legend and his few movies are absolute treasures. I have his biography and consider myself a lifelong devotee. I will wait impatiently for your coming attraction!

Wishing you a fabulous Thanksgiving & much joy throughout the Holiday season. Peace, Paula

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 20, 2018:

I've got an introduction to something but I have no idea where I'm going with it...which really is just what we want. I'll work on it some more since it is only a paragraph now. If it looks hopeful, I'll email it to you.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 20, 2018:

Yes, I agree. Any ideas?

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 20, 2018:

This could be a good time for another Hansen/Mills collaboration.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 20, 2018:

I think it is quiet here at the moment, Chris. Thanksgiving holidays and all. I have only had a couple of comments on hubs in the last three days and there don't seem to be many new ones being written either (well according to my email of those I follow.) I am itching to write something but have had trouble finding inspiration...this gave me an idea so we will see what happens.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 20, 2018:

Becky, I bet everybody has a story about crossing paths with the rich and famous. John Davidson...I went and looked him up and found a photo that just made me smile. Long white hair at age 74 just a couple of years ago. Thanks for reading

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on November 20, 2018:

John, we need to hear that entire story. Sounds awesome. I wrote this in real time, posting a capsule at a time just to see what happened. My reader base is so small these days it took hours for even you and Becky to find me. Well, my fault and no one else's. Great to see you.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 20, 2018:

Damn you, Chris. I only stuck around to the end to hear about the time you dad kicked James Dean's butt, and what do I get...a fight scene from the movie :)

Seriously, I love where our pen can take us when we think we have nothing to write about. This was very interesting...but too short, I was enjoying it too much to stop. My claim to fame. One of my uncles (Dad's brother) kicked Jimmy Carruther's butt (1953 Bantamweight World Champion)....on a fight outside the ring. True Story https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Carruthers

Becky Katz from Hereford, AZ on November 20, 2018:

Amusing musings. We all have had our brushes with fame. Mine is a couple of singers. I was walking down the street in my hometown and ran into John Davidson. Another time, I was helping my husband sell some things at a flea market and in saunters Debbie Reynolds. All right, I was raised in Reno, and a lot of famous people were walking around. They were headliners in the casinos and were wasting some time, playing tourist. Debbie was a collector of antiques and bought some dishes from me.