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Friday, October 5, 2012

Old America

Riding the Prairie train in the morning with old America. The Prairie women talking while the cornfields and silos go by and the black conductor comes in and asks for tickets. It is the twenty first century but as the train bustles along toward Chicago you realize we are still just one step away from those old pioneers and farmers. The times have changed but our day to day life is much the same. We still are held together by family and the civility of small town manners. At least in the Midwest it seems this way.

And you think about this as the winter comes and people huddle in their coats and chat away the end of the week stress. And a hundred years ago was it so different? People in 1912 riding the rails toward the big city with the old people chatting and the conductor gathering the tickets and the sidecars on the rails and the freight trains with their cars of  coal piled high. Tech falls to nothing as humans roll along and look for some humanity against the wide plains rushing by our windows.

And Old America is fading. Eventually it will be gone. But for now you can still see the glimmers in the withered faces, the granny glasses, the manners, the rush of the train. And in our year of 2015 we leave the same traces that someone will see. Another  hundred years on.

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Books by William Hazelgrove