Childhood Memories – The Walking Man

6 Aug

I grew up on a farm on the outskirts of town. It was not a farm with crops and stuff. It was more of a gentleman’s farm with some cows grazing in the fields. I write that to let you know that there was quite a bit of land.

There was a grove of trees a good distance behind the house, and, in that grove of trees, sat a pavilion where we had family gatherings.image-48

When I was a kid, we hosted a Halloween party in that building that has gone down in family lore. When Halloween arrives, I will need to tell you about that. However, that Halloween party is not what I remember most about the building.

We had just finished supper when someone appeared at our front door. I do not remember what he looked like, but I remember what he was doing. He was walking across the country and needed somewhere to stay for the night.

My parents invited him in and served leftovers to him from our meal. I distinctly remember my mom apologizing because all of the meat was gone. Only the vegetables were left. He was appreciative and talked about his journey while he ate.

He had met many nice people along the road. These people offered shelter and food. When his walk was done, he was going to write a book about his adventures. I do not remember if he was walking toward the east or toward the west. One way would have meant that his journey was just beginning, and the other would have meant that it was coming to an end.

My parents did not mind him eating in our house, but they were uncomfortable with him staying there. Instead, they offered him shelter in the pavilion behind the house. I remember being there when they showed it to him, and he acted like it would work.

I probably saw him the next morning, but that is another memory that has faded away. However, I think he said that he would send a copy of the book when it was finished. We never got that book.

I have often wondered what happened to him.

Did he make it across the country?

Did he run into someone who was not as friendly?

Did he write that book?

Does he remember stopping at our house?

I also think about how the world has changed in the past 40 years.

If the same thing happened today would we let him in?

Would he be taking as big a risk by going to the doors of strangers?

I cannot remember his name, but I remember the night that the Walking Man came along and spent the night in the pavilion in the grove of trees behind the house.

7 Responses to “Childhood Memories – The Walking Man”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong August 6, 2015 at 16:54 #

    Did he sing? Was it Woody Guthrie? How interesting. Maybe it was somebody famous. Maybe it was God.

    • Rick August 6, 2015 at 16:58 #

      He didn’t sing, but it would have been cool if he had. Your mention of God brought another post to my mind.

      • Marilyn Armstrong August 6, 2015 at 17:09 #

        I was just reminded of those stories where God shows up as a beggar and the good guys treat him well, the bad guys don’t … then there’s wrath, destruction, and pillars of salt.

  2. Mark R. Cheathem August 7, 2015 at 02:19 #

    You met Forrest Gump? How did I not know this?

    • Rick August 7, 2015 at 02:51 #

      I’m disappointed that my part didn’t make it into the movie.

  3. jcalberta August 8, 2015 at 05:52 #

    We always want to help somebody. There’s risk … and I have been victimized at times, But I can’t let that stop me from trying.

    • Rick August 8, 2015 at 15:40 #

      I think it has always been a risk.

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