Sunday, February 10, 2013

true story

True story.

I live in the country, and I love to walk. An afternoon stroll around the block out here is a good four to five mile stretch, whichever route you take.

But one road used to spook me out.

The trees and vines had overtaken a ramshackle trailer settled askew a few yards off the road.

It looked something like this.
A pile of old tires spilled up against a dilapidated shed where a mud covered flatbed truck was parked.

www.flicker .com
You get the was the kind of place meant for stereotyping. The kind of place you'd expect to find some redneck, beer-swigging, abusive boor with his toothless hag and ragamuffin kids. Or, perhaps some psycho loner with his stash of semi-automatic weapons, his shortwave radio, and a fully stocked bunker somewhere out back.
Or, on a more empthetic elderly couple living in poverty who could barely afford their medication, much less the upkeep on their place. I used to cross to the other side of the road whenever I passed the place. It was that spooky. fine summer day as I passed, the front door opened and out stepped the lady of the house, a fiftyish woman in a flowered house dress and fuzzy slippers (I kid you not). She waved and called me over. I'm thinking, "This is not happening!" But I crossed the road, thinking she might be sick. Maybe she needed help. She stood on the stoop and this is what she said:

"I see you walking by every so often. Do you have any books you could bring me?"
True story.
I walked away laughing to myself. Books?? When I got home, I put together a bag of old paperbacks and castoffs...and the next time I passed her place, I put it in the mailbox for her.
Not long after that, the place went empty. Gradually bushes and vines over ran the place, and then one day it was gone. The trailer--gone. The shed--gone. The truck and tires--gone. Today there is nothing left of it...just the woods, as though they'd never been disturbed.
 Nothing spooky about it at all.
The end. 
Epilogue: I never saw the woman again. I have no idea who she was or where she ended up. And I still sometimes wonder what happened to those books. 
So if books are made of stories, I guess stories can be made of books.
"The difference between truth and fiction is
that fiction has to make sense."
--Mark Twain--
If you get a chance this week, check out my facebook page, The Empower Book Project..and watch for updates. "Empower: 32 Stories of breakthrough, Triumph and Discovery" is due out in March.


  1. It probably took a lot of guts for her to ask you for those books...but she knew a book lover when she saw one.

  2. This is a great story. Of all the things she could ask for - she asked for books. Books have so much power.

  3. What a delightful story. I guess you just looked like a "reader" to her.

  4. I love this story. I often have this experience many times while delivering mail... I think one type of person lives somewhere and discover the exact opposite. Sometimes good, sometimes not.

  5. Thanks everyone. Someday I'll tell you the story about the man who killed his wife when he crashed on the way to the hospital with her!