The Porch

My Southern home had a covered porch around half of the house, starting at the front entrance all the way to the rear. A large area in the rear was enclosed with screens. A short set of stairs was around this area. Inside is a two seater wooden swing. A light bulb hanging from the ceiling gave a dim light over the whole porch.

Scene I
It was after a large Sunday dinner eaten at midday. I was sitting on the top step of 8 to 10 steps entering the front. I did this frequently to view the mountains nearby. My Father, smoking his pipe, is sitting in his favorite rocker.

I see John walking along the road. Dad shouts, “John, come up and sit a spell.” John says, “Don’t mind if I do.” He rambles up the walk and steps, without recognizing me, and sits in a rocker. Dad says, “How are you, John?” He says, “Tolerable.” Now the two sit there and say not a word. Time goes by, probably 20 to 25 minutes. Finally John says, “Guess I better mosey along.” Dad says, “John, what’s your hurry?” John says, “Yep, better go.” and leaves.

End of Scene I

Scene II
The back swing was the dating center for my five older sisters. There were many young men around day and night, and of course, I was a nuisance.

On this particular evening a young man arrived to date Mary. He was new to me and I am sure Dad had never seen him before. Around 7pm my brother, one year older than I, heard Dad say, “Young man, around here we do not court very late. I will drop my shoes when it is time for you to leave.” Of course, this was in jest. But Ray and I got a very mischievous idea.

Ray and I slept in a front bedroom with a window which opens to the porch. Around 10pm we opened the window and simultaneously dropped our shoes. Looking through the dim light we could see this young man almost falling down the side steps as he hurried to his car. He never returned.

David T. Daniels
Southbury, CT © 2013

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