Bio Note: I live in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National Park. My writing is inspired by the place where I live, my family history, and old memories—stories that have waited a long time to be told. I’ve published nine books, most recently Now Voyager and Route (Cholla Needles Press, 2019). Recently, I was guest editor of Cholla Needles 46, available on Amazon.
Way Down Yonder
First time I heard a living person say Howdy was at a gas stop near the Mississippi in the early 70s. We had just crossed over on a no-name ferry and took back roads through backwater hamlets unmarked on our map, rickety clapboard shacks molding in humid air. The tank nearly empty, about to give up, we stumbled on a tiny store with two rusted pumps out front— fair enough, they had the gas we needed and a helper, a tousled boy in coveralls, a ringer for Huck Finn—grinning at the East Coast mother and daughter, belting out a HOWDY! that made us grin back, spared by a prayer from what might have happened on that hot August day getting hotter by the second.
The Ice Boat, Lake Erie, 1914
In memory of my grandfather, Casimir Hendrickson
It was March, evergreens bent with snow, lake frozen, ice boat rigged and ready. “Cash” and Ed, loyal friends, launched their adventure at the Erie bayfront— a brisk wind at their backs, blowing northeast straight to Shorewood. They flew out of sight, spectators shouting, white sail raised high. Despite rough ice, they clocked 25 minutes without mishap, went faster than any car on Lake Road— made the local paper with the headline, “A Venturesome Trip.” Those small-town men could have done it again, but didn’t— they knew when to stop, how to be content with oars—puttering at their tiny boathouse, every spare moment spent by, on, or in the water. Always together, they tamed crows while building lakeside cottages, honed their recipe for dandelion wine. At the height of summer, on their rock-strewn beach, they posed for posterity, arms entwined, beaming— the lake lapping at their feet.
©2020 Cynthia Anderson
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