Friday, August 28, 2009

Through the Door

With my sisters in tow, I opened the door and walked onto the porch. “What are you doing?” exclaimed my sister, Peggy. Oops, what was I thinking. Suddenly I was about 7 and going to a piano lesson with Dorthea Hunt. I had walked into this house, the place where at 6 I learned correct fingering for my little hands through the next seven years later to when I was a teenager who played piano/organ duets with Dorthea. Never once had I knocked on the door when going to those $1.00 classes.
Every Saturday Mom would pack up her daughters from our Neff Road farm and take us on our weekly visit to town for piano lessons. Saturday treks to Greenville had been a family tradition for at least 2 generations. Long ago my grandfather would pack up his family, drive the old Model T to Greenville, sit on the wall in front of the Court House visiting with other farmers who came to town for the same reason. The men sat and smoked while their women did the weekly shopping. But that was then. I was the new generation.
After our piano lessons, we followed our same Saturday ritual: Off to the Hamburger Shop for a great, greasy hamburger and fries then off to Murphy’s Five and Ten. We were each given a nickel or dime and given free range of the store that had everything. Peg went for the chocolate drops, June for the malted milk balls. Me? I wandered around the candy counter a few times but usually went for the comic books.
Next stop was The Palace Department Store. Mother would shop the rounders, while I hid in them. The best part was the tri-sided mirror with side panels that could be moved.
The butcher shop where we kept our butchered beef was usually our last stop. At the back of the store a rack of coats hung waiting for the next person to enter the cold locker. We donned the over-sized coats and entered the winter world of the locker. On hot summer days it was great.

Now as an adult I was at Dorthea’s door. No longer was I a student, I had just walked into her house as I had hundreds of times before. Inadvertently, I broken into her house.
Even though I now live in Oregon, a visit home, this place that calls me without knocking is no further than my thoughts. I open my mind and walk through the door. How I miss those Saturday excursions and Dorthea Hunt.

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