Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

January 30, 2014

VALLEY: 'The Secret of the Caves' by Franklin W. Dixon

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — And then there’s Joyce. Joyce is a delightful person and a good friend who, last week, suggested that since I was writing columns about how bored I was, I should read a book.

Nice try, Joycie. But for her information, I am in the process of reading one now. Well … I’m trying to read one.

I’ve said it before: I’m not proud of the fact that I don’t read a lot (of books). I wish I did. I envy those who do. My family, thankfully, are all readers. But I’m just not that type of person. I always have the feeling that I’m wasting valuable time. Why should I be reading something good when I could be sitting there doing absolutely nothing?

But for Christmas, a friend gave me a book. An almost 800-page volume about World War II. It’s a great book, I’m sure. After staring at it for an hour or two and fantasizing how I could use it to prop up the three-legged sofa I have in my workshop, I decided to try and read it. After all, it is a book.

Now, this may sound infantile, but after I start reading something this large – and as rare as that is – I tend to grab the pages I’ve read with my fingers and stare at the thickness in a self-congratulatory ‘look-what-I’ve-done” testimonial. I’m always so proud of inane accomplishments.

But with this book, there’s a chance I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. I’ve been reading it since Christmas and thought I was making headway. I was really getting into it. But I was made aware of just how much progress I’d made, this morning, when I turned the page and read the caption on what was to come next. It said “Chapter 1.”

“Chapter 1?” I yelled to my wife. “I thought I was half way through the book and I’m only up to chapter one.”

“Well,” she asked, “what page number did you read just before that?”

“Hmmm, let’s see,” I said, curiously turning back to the previous page. “I just finished page XIV.”

So I did my little grab-the-pages-I’ve-read-so-far trick and realized I had a long way to go. A v-e-r-y long way to go.

In fact, I’ve a strange feeling several more wars will be fought and books written about them before I finish reading this one.

I think the last book I read had two brothers in it: The Hardy boys. I did the same book report on that sucker all through grade school and college.

In fact, one of my professors thought it was excellent.

“That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever read. Handing in such a juvenile paper as a serious project-report is nothing short of genius. It made my day. You’re lucky I have a sense of humor. Thanks. Now give me the real one.”

For someone like myself, who writes a weekly newspaper column, I’m a disgrace.

Ironically, I’m actually in the process of writing a book. It’s based on an Italian Renaissance artist whose heavy drinking leads to bizarre symbols in his art. Unfortunately, when he sobers up he has no idea what they mean. I’m going to call the book: “The Da Vinci Load.” Thank you.

Maybe Joyce is right. I should probably just read a book.

The bottom line is: I don’t see myself finishing the one I started. But the good news is: the three-legged sofa in the workshop is level.

And that’s the way it looks from the Valley.

Tom Valley is a Medina resident who doesn’t even know how to book dinner reservations. Contact him if you’ve read and know how “The Secret of the Caves” ended at: Tvalley@rochester.rr.com.

Tom Valley is a Medina resident who doesn't even know how to book dinner reservations. Contact him if you've read and know how "The Secret of the Caves" ended at: Tvalley@rochester.rr.com.