When I was around seven years old my parents decided to turn our attic into two small bedrooms for me and my big sister. I was thrilled. Not that sleeping in the catch-all room with the sewing machine, chest freezer, ironing board and baby pictures didn’t have a certain cachet. The barely toxic aromas of spray starch and machine oil scarcely register as deficiencies when you’re a heartbeat away from Fudgesicles. But my own room, upstairs, away from the maddening crowd …that would elevate me far above my bootlicking lesser siblings and their balding Barbies.
I might have savored the prestige if not for those night noises. The bumps, the thumps, the skritch-scratch, the creaks. Something up there was scaring me. When I asked my father about those sounds instead of blaming the wind, squirrels or overzealous insulation he casually tossed off, “It’s the Green Man.” Soon a green troll-like creature loomed large on the big screen of my imagination. The Green Man scuttled around the cubby holes at night. He was mean and ugly and he wanted his attic back. A few nightmares later, my father realized that his hasty explanation had mushroomed into a world class bogey man. That’s when my father did something brilliant.
A present for me appeared under the Christmas tree from The Green Man. Ok, so it was a promotional freebie from one of my father’s funeral business vendors but no one else got a Wilberts Burial Vault notepad with cool metal clip and felt backing. My sister status went through the roof. My image of the Green Man morphed into a kinder gentler green thing, more gnome than troll. The noises were him patrolling, protecting, keeping watch. Every Christmas thereafter I got something from The Green Man just in case my faith in him had slipped during the year.
My father is 87 years old. His hearing is poor and he can hardly walk and yet I still can expect a Green Man package this Christmas under my parents’ Great Value assembly-required tree. The gift has been an appointment book for about the last 30 years. I know its size and shape and always scan the presents for it. It better please please be there. Though I have my own home now complete with converted attic, I still count on that Green Man to have my back.
– Margaret Baker. LBSPY #60. Dec. 2014.
HASHTAGWV ART & ENTERTAINMENT Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Christina Entenmann-Edwards has been a WV resident since September 2008. She was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and is no stranger to hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit. In 2006, she graduated from Quinnipiac University (Hamden, Connecticut), Cum Laude, with a B.A. in History. In 2010, she graduated with an M.B.A. from Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia). In February 2012, Christina launched HashtagWV as the area’s first full-color, free arts and entertainment tabloid + online platform. Christina completed the Leadership West Virginia class of 2021, which is an innovative program that grows, engages, and mobilizes leaders to ignite a life passion to move West Virginia forward.