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

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


American Story : On The Road <2>

Written by Charles Kuralt





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【整理】--春山如笑

 

'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 am still look 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 Kuralt also visited the pilot town of Louisiana, near the mouth of the Mississippi River. All the houses there are built on thick wooden legs, so that they will not be washed away when the river floods. The community can be reached only by boat or sea plane. That is where he met Andy Spirer.

 

Andy Spirer was a hunter and fisherman. He read books written in the Greek language. And for ten 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 a little river in the state of Maryland. The man who operated the mill was Captain Frank Languill. He was 81 years old.

 

The Linchester 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 Independence from Britain. 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 did not interest me as much as the miller. He had been working beside his mill stone for 65 years. Was he tired of the job? 'Yes,' Frank Languill 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 Andy Spirer and miller Frank Languill, I saw Americans of a sort I have not known before. They were linked to the places where they lived. And they worked not so much for themselves.


[ 本帖最后由 春山如笑 于 2008-2-25 13:09 编辑 ]

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