Thursday, July 26, 2012


Here's an excerpt from something I'm working on:

. . . you have to know that in that time and place, they were Ma and Pa.  Most everybody's parents, unless they were thought to be putting on airs, were Ma and Pa.  Baths were taken on Saturday nights.  You went to church on Sunday mornings.  Yes you did.  Public schools were mostly walked to, had one classroom and two outhouses.  Catholic kids, though, were most likely to go to St. Michael's.  Several rooms.  Indoor plumbing.  Hail Mary, full of mackerel.  We all got along fine and settled minor differences with fistfights.
   In our little school, Miss Nedra Quartz held sway over the eight grades, or as many grades as had students in a given year.  She was it.  Teacher, nurse, theatrical director, janitorial overseer (we kids were the janitors), cop.  Palest woman I ever saw, when she wasn't red with rage, which was fairly often.
   And yes, we did walk to school.  Just a mile and a half for me, through snow and rain and dazzlements of all sorts, for a few years.  Then, Miss Quartz's brother bought a station wagon which became our schoolbus.  Comfy, but without dazzlement.  Unheard now, the curses of blackbirds, the scat-song blessings of bob-o-links.  Un-sniffed, the  wild roses in fencerows, as we traveled the graveled and dusty distance in a wood-sided Ford, assuming everybody in the whole world liked DDE, DDT, and Wonder Bread . . .     ~ Ralph Murre

1 comment:

Mimi's Golightly Cafe said...