A Time Machine

It was the Spring of Sixty-nine, and the azaleas between the tall palms lining Victory Drive were just opening their pink eyes.

It was a time for new beginnings.

I had only just gotten out of the army a week before, and knowing no one in Savannah my own age and having no new friends, and few old ones, if any, and with nothing better to do, and little money in my pocket, I was hitchhiking to the beach when I first saw her.

I was young, and she was old, even then, yet curiously, we were both the same age.

She was dark green, almost black– and as the story was told, she had languished in an old wooden barn in Pooler, “Georgie” with a cracked block ever since the Winter of ’48 when a hard freeze took Georgia by storm.

The old farmer who bought her had saved up his money, five and ten dollars at a time, and finally had enough in 1941, but then his wife died and the war came and his boys all went away and four years later they all came back, all but one, and that year, right before Christmas, the farmer just went out and bought himself a new truck.

And then, in ’48, that same winter that the pipes froze and the block cracked, he caught a chill, and took sick, and then he, himself, up and died before he could fix her and so he never got to do much more than drive her back and forth to the Faith Bible Baptist Church in Pooler, a few dozen Sundays.  He always smiled and waved and sometimes tooted the horn at the  lady with the blue hair who sat on her porch or hung clothes on the line in the yard and looked up but never waved.  Having finally decided to wave back, she kept looking for him every Sunday for about a year, but of course, having died that cold winter, he never drove past again and then her house caught fire and burned and she moved away never quite knowing what happened, but often thinking of what might have been or what could have been with that smiling tooting waving farmer in the straw hat –and his dark green truck.

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