Running Life’s Race With A Limp

Impressions. Polio, first round

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When the Okies left Oklahoma and moved to California, it raised the I.Q. of both states. – Will Rogers Impressions. Some are innocuous. Others are vital, setting life-altering forces in motion. An impression, when acted on, can foster adventure, inspire faith. Hardships seem postponed. Then they wash ashore and into our lives. Some in manageable waves. Others overwhelm us, tsunami-like,…

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Family Addition(s)

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It wasn’t an appealing dwelling place for a family but California’s Mojave Desert supplied one perk. Houses didn’t cost much. South African immigrants had assigned retired gold mining communities their names. A two mile drive west of Johannesburg led to Randsburg. Clyde, Thelma and seven-year-old Betty settled into their new home. He paid $150 for the house. His plumbing skills…

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A Sure Hope

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The mourners dispersed. The flower-dotted cemetery reverted to its earlier stillness. Thelma almost whispered her words. What is it, Dovie? This Presence. It’s inside me. . in gentle waves. What is this goodness and this . .safety I feel? Thelma’s question hung in the air. The shadow of a Canary Island Palm stretched across the lawn before them. She was…

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Presence

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Dovie touched the apron hem to her eyes and dabbed at gathering tears. She released it and the apron fell again, draping her cotton dress. Taking up the dish towel she wiped the last of the dinner plates. Her eyes were sorrowful. Still they displayed a quiet serenity. Dovie turned from the kitchen sink and tenderly regarded her sister-in-law. Thelma…

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A Desert Place

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Jack! Jack! O God. The neighbor screamed wildly, again yelling the appeal. The young man pivoted. His eyes followed her gesture. The canal! Irrigation waters swept Jack’s young cousin downstream. The twenty year old ran two and a half blocks before catching up with little Bobby. He pulled him from the current and onto the canal bank. But Jack arrived…

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Unforeseen Limp

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Clutching her tan cardboard suitcase Thelma boarded the Greyhound bus. With her free hand she swept a film of dust from an empty seat. Dust. It was like a crazed intruder. Nothing seemed to deter it. She settled in for the first leg of her journey. Unknowns lay ahead.  What was it like anyway? This Golden State? Clyde kept his…

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Promised Land

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Arriving at San Francisco Bay, Clyde Baxter sampled the faint taste of salt air. He slowly filled his lungs and considered the untimely passing of his parents. The White Plague (tuberculosis) destroyed their lungs.  The children received meager help from nearby relatives, themselves very poor. Clyde and his four older siblings were, otherwise, left to carry on alone. He boarded…

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Running with Meaning

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 He sprinted to the next line of railroad tracks. By now home lay miles behind him. Clyde Baxter had reached the Texas Panhandle on his westward venture. There was no going back to Oklahoma. Nor of staying in the dust-plagued panhandle. Croplands were desperate for rain. A new term was even coined.  The assault was, indeed, transforming the plains into…

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