by William Snyder

BOB: My name is Bob Smith, care of Claude and Esther Berry Smith, Box 231, Hughes, Arkansas. I’m twenty-five years old and I have an eighth grade education. My daddy run me clean out of town. Bought me a one way ticket on a Trailways Bus. Told me he’d buy me a one way ticket to anyplace in the U.S.A. Even rode with me as far as Le-Hi. (Pronounced Lee-High) to make sure I didn’t pull a fast one and slip back after sundown. He said Hughes wasn’t big enough for the both of us. Hughes is tee-ninecy all right. But I didn’t think it was that small. Last I seen of my Daddy was when the bus puled into Le-Hi. he got off the bus and bought me a Dr. Pepper and this comic book. (pulls a comic book from hip pocket) He said, “Well, so long, Bob. I’ll see you in the funny papers.” Before I could even say anything he skipped across the highway and was thumbin a ride back to Hughes. That was the last I seen of my daddy. The very last I seen of him before he took off for Hughes. I bet he was back there before supper. I know he’s back there by now. (Pleasantly, He looks at the kitchen table) I wonder what Momma and Daddy had for supper? Fried chicken most likely. I sure do love friend chicken. I sure do miss Hughes. I never been no further than Blackfish Lake cept the time Momma and Daddy took me up to hear Reverend Moore Preach a revival at Proctor. Momma’s a bug on religion, but old Reverend Moore’s one somebody sure igged her. Reverend Moores the shoutin foot stompin kind of religion, and Momma’s is the toe the line, hoe the row kind. They don’t even sing in Momma’s church. It was started up right there in Hughes by Reverend Bitsie Trotter. He does odd jobs with a pick-up truck during the week. Folks said the reason he didn’t allow singing was cause he couldn’t carry a tune.

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