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[American Story] 【整理】SENEWS-2008-0223-FEATURE On The Road (2)

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“And I try to do it well.” I asked him, which brought him more satisfaction, being a professor or being a cleaning man? He smiled and said, “It is not fair to ask me a question like that. I think I would have to say, that every age in life has its own rewards. I’m still looking ahead.” This 85 year old man said, “I do not want to die. There is too much fun in the world, and a lot of good folks, a lot of them, and good books to read, and fish to catch and pretty women to look at, and good men to know. Why? Life is a joy.”
Charles Corot also visited * town * near the mouth of the Mississippi river. All the houses there are built on sick wooden *. So they will not be washed away when the river floods. The community can be reached only by boot or sea plane. That is where he met Andy *.
Andy * was a hunter and fisher man. He read books written in the great language. And for 10 years, he was the only teacher in a one room school. Why did he stay in such a lonely place? Well, he said, “they have trouble getting teachers to live here. Somebody has to teach the children.”
As they continued driving across the United States, looking for interesting stories, the “On the road” team found a green mill on the little river in the state of *. The man who operated the mill was Captain Frank *. He was 81 years old.
The * mill ground corn for settlers in 1681. A hundred years later, it ground corn for the army of General George Washington during America’s war for dependence from Briton. And it was still grinding corn almost 200 years after that. It must have been the oldest continually operated business in the country. Yet, the mill didn’t interest me as much as the miller. He had been working beside his middle stone for 65 years. Was he tired of the job? “Yes,” Franklin * said, “Yes, there really is no profit in it any more. But these farmers depend on me, you see. There is no other place around here to grind their corn.”
In Professor John Franklin Smith, teacher and the * , and miller Franklin *, I saw American * I had not known before. They were linked to the places where they lived. And they worked not so much for themselves.
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