My mother and I packed a picnic lunch this morning and drove to Bollinger Mill, a flour mill built in 1868 next to a covered bridge of like vintage. It’s as pretty and peaceful as its picture, an oasis of quiet in what seems like the middle of nowhere, though in fact it’s only fifteen miles from Cape Girardeau, a good-sized college town. When we were finished eating, we sat by the creek and listened to the water rushing over the dam, then headed south to a favorite drive-in just outside of Benton (pop. 732), the county seat, where I had my annual chocolate malt. Later on we watched the 1962 film version of Requiem for a Heavyweight, and afterward we sat together on the porch swing and watched the moon rise.
Now I’m packing my bag and listening to Louis Armstrong singing “Blueberry Hill.” The shuttle bus will pick me up at six-thirty tomorrow morning to whisk me back to the St. Louis airport. I’ll spend two nights in New York, then fly down to the Georgia Shakespeare Festival to see Hamlet and Twelfth Night. I hope I enjoy them half as much as I enjoyed my visit to Smalltown, U.S.A.
I’ll check in with you again on Friday. Be well.