Never too old for
a little make-believe
A dusty dirt road connected our old home place to the Randall place a half-mile south of the main gravel road.
It was in a three-room house with an attic on that 80-acre tract that I discovered America. That old road stretched southward across my grandfather's land, and it ran through a low place that got soft and muddy in the winter so walking was the only way to get to the cows, and that chore was mine.
So many times, at the tender age of 10 or 11, I walked that road after school to go feed and water our cows. My grandson is 12, and I can't imagine sending him alone a half-mile from the house to feed a herd of cows especially with a cantankerous black Angus bull in the mix.
In the 50s, no one even looked twice at such a task for the "boy of the house," we just had our chores to do and that was that.
Actually I enjoyed getting away alone, out of my mom's sight, with no one around to watch - I became Roy Rogers, lost in the desert starving for water and food, slowly striding along, seeking a homestead somewhere out on the western prairie.
Sometime I crossed the fence and stepped out in the woods. There I became Tarzan, trudging cautiously through the jungle. There was Cheetah happily walking along by my side. I think my English Shepherd named "Pal" sort of resented playing the part of a monkey. He was a good friend though and always went along with my fantasy, besides sometimes he got to play the part of Rin Tin Tin or maybe Bullet the wonder dog.
Sometimes I wish I still had an old dusty road to walk down - away from discerning eyes, and listening ears - a place where I could still imagine, pretend, and for just a while become one of the silver screen heroes that still are so ever present in my dreams.
Those carefree days seem to disappear when we get older -such a shame - we don't see the teddy bears and the elephants in the clouds anymore. Come folks, come with me just for a while, lets go down that old dusty road and "let's pretend."
Oh look at that cloud, what is that? My granddaughter says it is Spongebob Squarepants; I say "Who?"
"Nah, come on kid, can't you see it? Look closely, it's a stagecoach, see the strongbox on top?" Oh yes! See I can still imagine and pretend.
Dewitt Rowlett of Vilonia is a native of Possum Trot Community, five miles west of Swifton. He writes of his life in rural Arkansas and is gaining quite a fan club of people who are of the nostalgic persuasion. Comments can be sent to him through e-mail at email@example.com.