whistlestop caboose

The view from the back.

My Photo

www.zidao.com Apprentice harmonizer, for sheer fun. Journeywoman writer, for work and pleasure. Starting point was Iowa, current stopping point on this journey is Switzerland, with frequent pauses around the world to watch and listen to the crowd, and occasionally make comments.

Tulips 2006 for Gran ellengwallace's Tulips 2006 for Gran photoset

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A world of small Christmas tales: Spanish bird

Spain, 1968

It was 1968. Florence and Robert Wallace had never traveled together outside their own country. He had been in the Mariana Islands in World War II, building airstrips, but that did not count as travel because you were always somewhere that the government called American, whether on a navy vessel or a Pacific island.

Mr. Wallace sold Caterpillar tractors, literally tons of them, and watched as they lined up along the straight strip of dirt that would soon become Interstate 80, crossing America. One day he was told that as one of the best people Caterpillar had in America, he would be sent to Spain, with his wife, as a reward, for two weeks.

It was a magical if not always easy voyage, with white buildings that trapped sunlight and unsmiling widows dressed in black in Franco's country. Young girls were beautiful and wore goldleafed earrings, said Florence, who brought some home for her daughters, along with exquisite tiny scissors that could be used for paper-cutting designs. There was a suede jacket in an odd shade of green which never wore out because no one could find anything to wear with it, except from 1971-73, when chartreuse with mauve and orange did not look out of place.

And they brought back this bird, starting their daughter's tradition of collecting Christmas tree ornaments on her travels.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home