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[American Story] 【整理】SENEWS-2008-0223-FEATURE On The Road (4)

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An hour later, good soil was being spread by men in big machines, men who were not used to working for free. They were working for free. I stood there and watched.

By noon, cements had been put for a tennis court. Before the sun went down, a basket court was done. Many people worked all night. On Saturday morning, a crowd of several hundred people came to work, black and white, old and young. They planted trees and grass and made pats and places to seat. By Sunday afternoon, the park was finished.

I went back there morn than twenty years later. In the shade of the trees which now were very tall, people were sitting and playing in the park. I thought back to the weekend of the park was built. A black man had looked around and said, ‘This is the best thing that happened since I came to Reno.’ He did not mean the park itself. He meant building the park.

In that first year ‘on the road’, I fell in love with my native land. I rode the Warbarch Canoebow train through Indiana. I rode the Delta Queen pedal steamboat down the Ohio river. I rode the cable cars up and down the hill of San Francisco. I spend time among Pennsylvania Dutch farmers in cuts down Pennsylvania and Greek’s bunch fisherman in top spring Florida. I met MC Pincy Steff, the roadside poet of Gouden Junction Illinois. At his door, he sold gasoline for thirty-nine cents a gallon and his poems for ten cents a piece.

That first year, I produced forty-seven stories from twenty-three states, all of them my own discoveries. The biggest discovery of all was about my self. On the back roads of America, I felt at home at last. I knew I want to spend my the rest of life ou…

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