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Thursday, April 27, 2006


The smell of tar in the air takes me home, pulls me down the railroad tracks into the distance, into the past.

It's country to me. Summer. When heat softens the tar on the tracks and fills the air.

I remember walking the rails to Hannah's house. Putting pennies on the track to flatten when the train passed over. Waiting out a passing train in the creek underneath the tracks, the reverberations pounding in my ears.

The smell conjures music, battered guitars playing folk ballads and old harmonicas wailing out plaintive train whistles.

It reminds me of the loneliness of hobos walking the line, tagging the underbellies of cars and hopping aboard to traverse the country.

I was near the railroad last week, in an old, restored train station by the river. The view shimmered in the heat.

Twelve hundred miles away, and I'm still thinking of Kansas.

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Blogger Lesley said...

I mentioned this to Garrett after reading your post and it triggered all sorts of memories for us, too. I remember walking near those railroad tracks between your house and Hannah's. It would be so wonderful to visit those old haunts together again....

8:32 PM  

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