Monday, June 17, 2013

Excerpt from Esther's Town

My mother regarded father as a dangerous man at the wheel. But she also was accustomed to horse-and-buggy tempo. One time while driving north on Sixth Street, he stepped the Hudson up to forty miles an hour. He suggested it might be discreet not to relate this foolishness to Maude. But he took pride on our annual trip to Des Moines that we needed only two hours to reach a country schoolhouse south of Algona, sixty miles from home. We always stopped there to use the two outdoor privies. On the Des Moines jaunt, we invariably had to bring out the side curtains and button them on to keep us dry. It always rained. Our route was identified by markings on telephone poles that pointed out the Lincoln Highway, the AYP, the Daniel Boone trail, and other competing traveled ways. Whenever the telephone company replaced a key marked pole at a highway intersection, we were in trouble: to turn or not to turn. Muddy roads sent my nervous mother into spasms of fear. But we always made it out without disaster.

Esther's Town, by Deemer Lee

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