He had reached an age well past the three-score and ten that the Scriptures referred to as the allotted span of man’s life on earth. So it was understandable that he spent more time these days looking back than he did in looking to the future. He wondered if others were affected by nostalgia as strongly as he was of late. For the third time in a week, he had come awake in the middle of the night, staring at the ceiling, tears flowing down the sides of his face and onto the sheet. Oh how he longed to see again the people and the places in that little Ohio River village where he spent his boyhood days.
The village, he felt certain, was still there, although it had been more than 60 years since he’d seen it. He believed Hooperville will be standing there, on the second rise back from the river – at about the halfway point between Pittsburgh and Cairo – when the Rapture comes. But the people … well, he supposed the people would most all have passed beyond the veil by now.
It was the summer of 1945 that had been calling to him most vividly from the past. He could remember the events of that summer as though they happened yesterday. How could he ever forget? It was a summer filled with more adventures than any boy had a right to expect, thanks mainly to the unloosed imagination of one Vince Royalton.
There was mystery to that summer, too. Do the spirits of the dead really hang around, trying to tell you something or accomplish something? Or is that just some deep process of the imagination at work?
By Sam Piatt