April 1, 2008

Second Edition

The Run-Aways (shown above with Trixie the wonder dog)

The early years in Mansfield, circa 1943-44, were not without stress for two sisters who lived modestly on Cherry street, in a house of unpretentious size close to their fathers employment. At the early age of five and seven they had decided that they could take no more of ultimatums as they were newly emerging women of wartime America and should be allowed the independence they deserved. Of course the issue was of such a nature that the course was clear. The issue that caused the revolt was the demand made by their mother that they would be required to tidy up their rooms on a daily basis, which amounted to making their beds.

The remedy seemed clear, a clean break and a new start. The plan was implemented, but only essentials to life were to accompany them on their fresh start. To travel light was the method of choice of these world-wise new mid twentieth century women. Light traveling meant to take along only their newly acquired, last Christmas acquisitions, piggy banks and of course in their break-out for freedom a fellow traveler with a string around her neck, Trixie the fox terrier.

So off they went, the two sisters and Trixie on the road. The distance they traveled was actually quite impressive, three miles as the crow flies. Sisters and dog trudged with the sun bearing down on them, perhaps eroding their desire to be free and independent, but they continued on.

Their destination was in sight and perhaps not a moment too soon. Tired and sweaty they climbed the porch steps and knocked on the door. No answer. They knocked again, still no answer. The travelers had just assumed that their Aunt, where they were planning on a safe haven, would of course, be home.

They sat down on the steps, the two sisters and dog Trixie and tried to come to grips with this flaw in the plan. Perhaps also to start thinking about the fear of the unknown, always a big issue with women of the world of age five and seven, when pulling up in front of the Aunts house was Mom and Dad in the wonderful old car. Mom opened the door and invited/a little more than invited, maybe ordered the wayfarers to enter the car.

I never have heard, the sisters have forgotten? the next chapter in the saga, but they grew up to be fine women doing well into the twenty-first century.

The difference with then and now in early Mansfield, as in most of the country I venture to say, the little travelers were more than fairly safe walking the sidewalks in those days, where I'm sorry to say, today they would not be.

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