A note card design dedicated to my life-long friend Mike, whose mother recently passed on. My thoughts are with you, Mike.
I just returned from visiting my father in my home town. We took a drive to Keokuk, Iowa (about 15 or so miles from Carthage, IL) to look at the Christmas lights in the park.
In the car on the way home daddy just happened to share a story of how he and Sara Kilgore (Mike’s mother) used to ride to Keokuk together to go to work — Sara in the Keokuk hospital and daddy in the gear factory. He said that one time the Mississippi River got so high that the road leading to the old bridge was flooded. They parked the car and walked the bridge to go on in to work. Some people, he said, walked across the railroad trestle.
Several things struck me while listening to the story. The river is pretty wide by Keokuk; the dam making the water very “active.” I get nervous driving over the bridge, even on good days, and can’t imagine walking over — especially the old bridge or railroad trestle.
Even after crossing the wide bridge, they would have had quite a distance remaining to walk to get to their respective jobs. I doubt that Keokuk had any cabs — and they didn’t have cell phones to call someone to meet them on the other side of the river.
The other thing that struck me is that today people just “call in sick” rather than go to any trouble to get to work. This story would have taken place in the Depression Era and jobs were sacred, I think.