29 March 2019

Looking for Umbrella Jack

An old man holding a decrepit umbrella slowly walks away — no, towards? us. That's as vivid an image as I can remember, and that's all it takes to keep my spirit disturbed for years.

The first and last time I saw Umbrella Jack was in grade school. Since then I've forgotten the story, never mind any scene. I can't even recall if it's a TV special or a movie, or if I have ever seen the whole thing.

Thankfully the title is stuck in my head. So when the image creeps back into my consciousness, as it regularly does, I do a quick online search. Nada. But the Internet always delivers, doesn't it? If not sooner, much, much later.

Again, I don't know what triggered the memory but I looked for Umbrella Jack. And found him.

Like an itch scratched, a mystery solved. But better. To watch it the second time and from this vantage point — I'm having a most satisfying cry. Now I notice something I haven't before, a pertinent detail that escapes my imagination whenever I conjure the old man's figure: he walks in the sun.

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