My brother Jim came by for coffee this morning and as we usually do we talk a lot about our growing up. He was telling about a trip he and Jane made by train to Indianapolis when he was fifteen and Jane was twelve. In fact they left Fort Smith on Jane’s 12th birthday.
For two kids that had hardly been out of Greenwood it was was quite a trip. They went to visit our sister, Maxine, who was living in Indianapolis at that time. They caught the train at the beautiful old station that was on Rogers Avenue where the Convention Center now stands. They rode to Monett, Missouri where they caught another train to St. Louis, and from St. Louis they got to ride in an A/C streamline train to Indianapolis. On the first train Jane said there was a big bottle that held water to drink using the little flimsy paper cups. Jim made her use hers over and over. They drank a lot of water. I can just see Jim being the big brother taking care of his sister.
While in Indianapolis they did some sightseeing with Jim catching the bus one day and going alone. He went into Macy’s through a revolving door and rode on the first escalator he had ever seen. The next day he took Jane and again they went through the revolving door and on to the escalator. While on the escalator he told her not to “grin” so people wouldn’t know it was their first time to be on one. They also visited the Soldier/Sailor Momument and other places of interest.
He told me about a little story he had written about the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. I asked him if I could share it. He is kind enough to let me. So the following MOST BEAUTIFUL SIGHT is written by my brother, Jim Bolin.
I have been most fortunate to have traveled all fifty states and a good portion of the world. I have seen things which most people will never see. I have seen the golden gate bridge towering above the fog. I have walked along the rock-bound coasts of Maine and the white sands of the Gulf of Mexico; the rocky coast of the Pacific Northwest and the flat, sandy beaches of the Carolinas. I’ve seen the snow-capped rockies and the beautiful Alps. I’ve walked among the azaleas of the South and the lilacs of the North. I have floated the Rio Grande and ferried across Lake Champlain. I know the sight and sound of the great Niagara Falls and have driven along all five great lakes. I’ve been to Gettysburg, Vicksburg, The Little Big Horn and numerous other battle fields. I know well the habitat of the Amish, the Mormons, the Southwest Indians, Yankees and Rebels. I have sampled ethnic foods of all kinds, from the mullet and swamp cabbage in Florida to mutton stew and fry bread in New Mexico. I’ve eaten crawfish in Louisiana and clams in Maryland.
I could go on and on about where I’ve been and what I’ve seen, but nothing could surpass the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen. I was perhaps 6 years old when Mama put me on a bus which would take me to my grandfather’s home in Dyer, Arkansas. She gave me and the Trailways bus driver specific instructions about where I was to get off the bus. She told me about the service station where the bus would stop and about the road from there into town. Once in “downtown” Dyer, I would know the way to grandpa’s house which was only a few more blocks away. I got off the bus at the proper place, but noticed the cross road went two directions. I took the wrong way. I walked perhaps 1/4 mile when an old lady on her front porch shouted at me, asking who I was and where I was headed. I told her and she said I was going the wrong direction. Town was on the dirt road heading away from the highway in the other direction. More unsure than ever, I turned and headed in a Southerly direction with tears welling up in my eyes. I was lost! How would I ever be found? I walked perhaps another 200 yards when I looked up and saw the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen. It was the towering giant of a man, beaming from ear-to-ear…my grandfather! He took my hand and led this lost lamb to the safe haven of his home. I will never forget this experience no matter where I go or what I see.