There he was, walking down the steep main street with a green catalpa pod in his hand that he had just picked off a tree on the way to town. He was going to “the show” where the movie cost a dime and popcorn a nickel. Of course he had to share the popcorn with his girlfriend Donna Louden. Before the movie started there would be some local questionable talent singing or tap dancing on the little stage up front. Some hesitant applause then the lights would dim and on with the show.
There are periods in life one needs to go back in time to kind of reset the thinking to a period in life when all was good. Maybe not financially or physically but the deep down good of friends and neighbors when if one suffered we all truly felt it. Conversely, when good fortune came to any of us we all celebrated and meant it. Those were the times of innocence and not only for the children. People truly wished each other well.
I drove past the school I attended and by the weather beaten now deserted home where we lived until I was about twelve. It didn’t matter how the house looked. Good memories of good people and family came streaming back just looking at it. I could see Dad driving down the weed strewn alley behind the house on his way home from the gas station and my sister running to grab and hang from the open car window for the last 20 yards or so. My bicycle came to mind. My Grandpa had found it abandoned along one of the country roads he maintained. The bike was far too large for me but I now had a bike.
Fran and I drove past cemeteries where my ancestors had been laid to rest after falling victim to everything from frostbite and gangrene to a tree falling on one down by Wolf Creek while he was chopping firewood. My family had settled the area after crossing the plains in covered wagons. We stayed in the motel in Mount Ayr. Yes that is truly a town name and very close to the town of Tingley. They like odd names in those parts. The name Dillenburg always brings a familiar smile when they hear it as we check in. The name is common down there. “Ya here visitin’ relatives?” “Nope, just came back to see the old stompin’ ground.”
Candlewick is my home and I love it but that little town of Diagonal is my roots and the place I was taught lessons I hope I have retained at least a part of.