(Old Farmhouse by Mc Morr )
This morning, like a lot of Americans, I woke up to National Public Radio. Midway along as my coffee steeped in the french press, I heard this essay “Discovering a Mother’s Hidden Talent” from Storycorps, an oral history project that I always enjoy.
I knew Rene would be listening, at work, this morning as well, and I thought. I’m going to parody this thing. I know she’ll catch the reference. So, after checking my email, and seeing a note from her, asking if I would bring in her belt, I wrote this:
You need me to bring your belt into work? Sure. I’d be glad to.
That reminds me of a story. It was 1962 in rural Appalachia. My overalls kept falling down to my knees. We were dirt poor, and inbred. Our opportunities were few, if any.
But I woke up one morning in our clapboard cabin, the icy wind cutting through my pj’s like a whip, and there, next to my threadbare jeans, my momma had brought a belt down from one of the high hooks in the barn. And at the end of the decrepit leather strap was a gleaming silver buckle. My dear departed poppa’s buckle – all that was left after his tragic juggling while threshing incident.
So that’s why, even today, when someone asks for me to bring them a belt, a tear comes to my eye.
… you can hear this, and other stories in the book “Listening Is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project” or online at NPR.org.