Memories

  • Ashes - ...and still my eyes were overflowing, so anyway the lights here and there along the strand were blurred. The Ferris wheel down at the pavilion was a diminutive, shimmering ring of light.
  • Dancing in Moonlight with Apaches - “My God. There’s an Indian.” I twisted quickly to my left and saw him. He was leaning to the window of the car, his palms flat on his knees
  • Excavating Cuba - “Can you help us?” he had asked, and after a moment’s hesitation, Patterson asked simply, “What do you need?”
  • Goldie - We had not seen her coming. She had apparently followed us from the home place, turning silently into the grassed path leading between Goldie’s enormous bushes of “snowballs.” A little bitty thing coming slowly. The last flowering bush, as Effie moved past it, was alive with bees.
  • Grief - He sat across the living room from me, leaning on his cane. He was pale, his voice feeble. He had been a hearty, forceful man. I had never heard him plead.
  • Just for Tonight - The world my father and his brothers knew in the first quarter of the twentieth century was a quiet world. The rustling of a bird’s wings as it started from a windowsill by a boy’s head could startle him awake. Walking across the yard at noontime, they could hear chairs being scooted up to the dining table for noonday dinner.
  • Once upon a Time in Charlotte - Mother did not want to sit in the man’s lap but she didn’t know how to say “no” to a grownup. When he ran a finger along the under edge of the elastic on her panty leg, she jumped down and ran home to tell her mother. “Stay here. Do not leave this house,” her mother commanded and then she was out the screen door and down the front steps and walking down the sidewalk fast and hard.
  • Sheri - I would see her sitting off to one side, in a corner of the room, watching, listening with glowing eyes.   As the years went by and she was 10 and 12 and 14, I would glance at her sitting in the shadow, on the fringes of our total absorption in one another, her eyes filled with us...
  • Summer Rain - When I heard the rumbling on the rails that ran down the center of the street, I turned my head slowly to the right and it was already there, the engine and then the cars, yellow as boxes of Crayola crayons sweeping past me and I turned, yanked open the door of the store and shouted, "Hurry, hurry!"
  • Summer Rain – The Farm - I straightened and discovered that the late afternoon sunlight had turned the earth and our faces and hands and Whitey's straw hat to gold, the rain sparkling as delicately as points of light in the glow.
  • The Florida Fling - “In less than an hour the hurricane struck. The safest place Miss Elva could think of for us was under the bed, so under the bed Davis, Bill and I went. As we lay there, we could hear the timbers creak in the house. In one terrific gust of wind, the upper part of the house almost parted from the lower half. We could see the timbers rise, then settle back again.
  • Train Whistles - The other day I heard that 250 communities in this country have banned train whistles.