Betty Ago: Pictures

Some books have such well-written, vivid descriptions that no drawing or photograph can compete. I am again reading a book with a friend. The vocabulary is wonderful, and we can both “see” the scenery as the strange story unfolds. It is a relaxing experience and the time goes quickly.

A very long time ago in a place far away, the pictures told most of the story in the comic books that I adored. I never owned one. It was not allowed. However, circumstances came to my rescue. I had an Aunt who owned a variety store. Candy, ice cream, cigarettes, bottled soft drinks, newspapers, magazines, and comic books were her inventory.

It was a long trolley ride to get to this store, located in a small town across the street from a large church. My Aunt’s home was behind and over the store. Sometimes I stayed at her house over a weekend or for a week’s vacation.

My Aunt was not one to waste an opportunity. Therefore, she put me to work. I was especially useful on Sundays because after mass the parishioners would stop for newspapers and candy. I might have been all of 10 years old and I loved making change from the big brass cash register. I was OK with most items, but I was not yet able to dig the ice cream (I retain an appreciation for anyone who has to do this job. Kudos to our CCRC servers who bring me my favorite flavors).

When the store was closed for the day, my pay was one candy bar (Milky Way, please). However, the best part was that I was allowed to stay in the quiet, partly dimmed store and read! Archie Comics, Wonder Woman, Superman, Stretch Man (not as famous but very funny). I read them all — quickly. Wonder Woman was my favorite. Who could resist the pull of those wonderful magic bracelets, or the fascination of the invisible airplane? I did not need the candy, or the ice cream. I just wanted to stuff my eyes with the colorful adventures. Perhaps my ability to “see” pictures when reading words is related to all of the amazing pictures still stored in my head.

As much as I love ice cream, a good story is still my favorite dessert.

Betty Ago


Betty is a real person who resides in one of our Brookdale entry fee communities. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Brookdale Senior Living.

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