September 26, 2006

A Picture of my Father


A short story I wrote a while back has been published on the Popcorn Popping website. This story is, as they say, based on actual events: the Mormon chapel in Indian Hills (Glenville, New York) burning down. The fictitious town of "Galway Corners" is a combination of Galway (where my sister used to live) and West Charlton on Route 147. For a while, all my autobiographical stories took place in "Galway Corners," my Lake Wobegon. Indian Hills is not quite so out in the boondocks as Galway Corners, but not by much. The night of the fire, because of the way the winds were blowing, the fire was first reported by a patrol officer in the town of Scotia three miles away, who noticed "an unusual amount of smoke" in the air.

Incidentally, if you're wondering about the title of the website, it comes from a song that every Mormon kid learns in nursery school:

I looked out the window, and what did I see?
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree!
Spring has brought me such a nice surprise,
Blossoms popping right before my eyes.
I could take an armful and make a treat,
A popcorn ball that would smell so sweet.
It wasn't really so, but it seemed to be,
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.

It's one of those songs that's so deeply imbedded in my brain cells that the mere mention of the title will have the tune spinning around in my head for the rest of the day.

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