Saturday, February 3, 2018
A picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words. This one is worth more than that, and way more than the unwritten eight or nine hundred that I chose to sacrifice last week while I played hooky from GLGT to drop in on a road trip undertaken by our eldest granddaughter, Sophia. She is in the process of switching jobs and coasts and was driving with all her gear from Los Angeles to New York. According to Alexa, that’s 2,797 miles by the quickest Interstate route. Sophia, giving the interesting priority over the hasty, added the better part of another thousand miles to that. She picked me up in the Little Rock airport on Monday morning and we drove north to my old homestead in Baxter County, now occupied by my cousin Millie and her husband Doug, lovely people with whom we had a delightful, mellow visit. It was a joy to introduce Sophia to parts of my youth that thus far have been for her only legendary. We stomped around the farm a very little bit, enough to verify visually that my own couple of hundred adjoining acres still seem to be there, and indulged in a long show-and-tell with family memorabilia. The next day we drove eastward toward Memphis—meaning that we had made half of the full circuit of the most beautiful parts of the Ozarks. From Memphis we drove next morning to Murfreesboro, in Middle Tennessee, where we had lunch with John and Betty Dixon, the parents of our daughter-in-law Katie. I don’t know any technical term for that particular status of relationship, so “superb hosts” will have to do. Thence Sophia drove on eastward without me, and I flew home from Nashville the next day. I reckon I made only about fifteen percent of Sophia’s miles with her, but I think that neither she nor I shall soon forget them.
O, yes, the photograph. Here are granddaughter and grandfather on the bank of the White River at the spot where the Shipps Ferry Road deadends, about seven miles south of Mountain Home, Arkansas. The ferry had long since disappeared like so much of my childhood. But Old Man River—he just keeps rolling along. May the beauty last forever.