There is a small park by the river. It allows access to the river by a long boat ramp and steps parallel to the ramp. There is a NO SWIMMING sign. Two bearded men standing outside their truck at the head of the parking lot have unloaded inner tubes and stand and talk.
I walk down the steps to the river and wonder if tubing would be good there. There are many shallow and rocky areas as well as deep channels and pools. I walk back up the steps and along the shore, the path mostly wooded. I notice areas for picnics, with grills for cooking and picnic tables. There is an area for volleyball, and an area for horseshoes. There are two swings on one frame. I enter a short packed earth trail for a walk by the river and pass under the highway bridge. There is a small wooded spot that would be good for reading, writing, and meditation, except for the noise of the traffic nearby and overhead.
A beautiful, dark-haired woman dressed in a sleeveless summer dress, sits at a picnic table with her daughter, who wears shorts and a summer shirt. Both wear flip-flops for shoes. The mother patiently explains and marks on a page in the daughter’s notebook, homeschooling I would guess. The sun, dappling through the shade of trees above where they sit, makes a perfect picture for the cover of a home school journal.
“Are you a political man?” the heavyset overweight middle-aged man sitting in the chair at his desk at a hardware store asked, as I was leaving.
“Except for being proud to vote, I’m not much interested in politics,” I said.
“I asked,” he said, “because you are nice dressed–nice shirt, dress pants, polished shoes. You look good. Yesterday a man dressed like you came in, the governor of North Carolina.”
I started to say, “You mean One-Term Pat?” But I did not want to risk offense to someone who had complimented me. Instead I said, “Congratulations.”
“Yes, sir, he’s the most important person ever come in here. Said he had just eat lunch at a place in town and needed TUMS. I sold him some TUMS.”
The place was a convenience store attached to a hardware store with gas pumps outside, about five miles from the town he mentioned. It was a dirty, poorly lighted store. It was a hot day, so I bought a bottle of water as well as gasoline and used the filthy restroom there.
I did not ask the man where the governor had eaten. I wasn’t planning to have lunch in the town anyway.
Enjoy the full moon Friday night. The full moon of September is the Harvest Moon. Shine on, Harvest Moon.