Saturday, 13 December 2008

13 December 2008

was a kid and rode in cars I used to imagine I held a big scythe in my hand and cut down all the trees and posts and even sliced every hill that zoomed past the window. “Yes! yes!” Yelled Neal. “I used to do it too only different scythe - -tell you why. Driving across the west with the long stretches my scythe had to be immeasurably longer and it had to curve over distant mountains slicing off their tops and reach another level to get at further mountains and at the same time clip off every post along the road, regular throbbing poles. For this reason---O man I have to tell you, NOW, I have IT, I have to tell you the time my father and I and a raggedy bum from Larimer street took a trip to Nebraska in the middle of the depression to sell flyswatters. And how we made them, we bought pieces of ordinary regular old screen and pieces of wire that we twisted double and little pieces of blue and red cloth to sew around the edges and all of it for a matter of cents in a Five and Ten and made thousands of flyswatters and got in the old bum’s jalopy and went clear around Nebraska to every farmhouse and sold them for a nickel apiece- -mostly for charity the nickels were given to us, two bums and a boy, apple pies in the sky and my old man in those days was always singing Hallejuh I’m a Bum, Bum Again. And man now listen to this after two whole weeks of incredible hardship and bouncing around and hustling in the heat to sell these awful makeshift flyswatters they started to argue about the division of the proceeds and had a big fight on the side of the road and then made up and bought wine and began drinking wine and didn’t stop for five days and five nights while I huddle and cry in the background and when they were finished every last cent was spent and we were right back where we started from, Larimer street. And my old man was arrested and I had to plead at court to the judge to let him go ’cause he was my Pa and I had no mother, Jack I made great mature speeches at the age of eight in front of interested lawyers and that’s when Justin Brierly first heard of me because then he was just beginning to take interest in founding a special juvenile court with particular humane emphasis on the problems of beat children in and around Denver and the Rocky Mountain district…” We were hot; we were

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