At one time, the actual heart of the Gardner community was a small, two storied building that was both a home and general store run by the Plaster family. Eventually, a new road was constructed through the community, and the store building no longer faced the main thoroughfare. It was at this time that the Plaster family decided not only to build a new home nearby, but to construct a new store building facing the new highway, and tear down the old building in the process. Construction of the home was a family affair, with every block in the large building hand made by the sons of the family. After the new home and store building was completed, the family moved, and demolition of the old site began, but was a slow process. Eventually, all that remained of the dwelling was one room on the second floor, and the first floor room which was used as the family store, one located directly on top of the other. The upper level room had been stripped to the bare walls and sub-flooring, empty except for a few boxes of supplies used in the store below.
One day, as usual, a group of young men were gathered at the store, continuing their habit of gathering to socialize and generally kill a little time on their hands. As they sat there, around the old buck stove, they suddenly became aware of footsteps overhead. The steps were quite loud, and seemed to pace from one side of the room and back again, in the manner of someone perhaps packing-removing clothes from a drawer, striding to a bed or chair to pack the clothes, and then making a return trip for more. Mr. Plaster was disturbed, for he knew that no one should be in the locked room upstairs, and was concerned that perhaps someone was in the process of stealing the materials he had stored there. The only access to the room was through an outside set of stairs and door, located to the side of the building. As Mr. Plaster and several of the gathered men listened to the pacing footsteps, two of the men rushed outside and up the stairs in the hopes of catching the thief in action. The footsteps continued as they ascended the stairs, witnessed by those gathered below. They unbolted the door, and rushed inside, to find it just as empty as it had been for the last several weeks. There was no way for anyone to escape, and no place to hide. Whoever it was creating the footsteps had simply vanished!!
© Paulette Boyd
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