He didn’t want to let me go... quite as quick as I got myself let go. Mildred was in on it too; she hovered between the wet spot and us, facing us and... switching eyes by turning her head back a forth. I watched her with my hand on the truck door handle and...: BEFORE MR. could conversationally ascend the chatter ladder he purposed to LEAN upon my departure I ...ascended to within my truck cab. Without hesitation or courtesy... I turned the truck on, dropped it into drive and took my foot off the brake causing the truck to slowly edge forward. MR. backed away from the truck in a twist to his left that left him out of reach of my open window. I kept rolling... away.
Although I could see in my rearview mirror that his mouth was still moving and that Mildred was now coming down the road at a motivated pace including her head turned to one side to assure a sure view of my... departure, the rolling truck filled the center of the dirt road with the sun shining on the cab as I left the shade of the old maples. I went up the road to Steward’s ‘old barn’. I loaded truck... upon the truck... already in my ...truck. Quickly. And left.
I did not go to the transfer station. I went to an old barn. I opened that barn’s large front door and backed the truck in... and half way down the inner barn. I stopped, turned the truck off, got out, looked in passing at a pile of previously deposited truck from Steward’s barn. My glance finalized at the empty space at the near end of the truck pile. I then... calmly, quietly, gently and ...without inspection... unloaded the truck from the truck into this empty space. WHEN I reached the roadside gathered truck in the bed of the truck that had been underneath the Steward’s barn truck... I placed that truck separately across the center isle of the barn in another small pile. WHEN I had nearly finished doing that I took the ‘dumped’ board pieces off the little barn cupboard... missing its door and having my shirt stuffed in it.
I took my shirt out of its ‘stuffed in there’ state CAREFULLY. I peered over the side of the truck into the little cupboard noting the jumble of jars, tins, bottles and further junky old barn cupboard truck. I spied my seek. I sneaked my left paw into the cupboard to retrieve that seek and... did.
UP COMES my arm. UP COMES my paw. Up comes my seek. “MR. THANK YOU.” I say out loud as I ...cradle my small seek and turn toward the front open door of the barn with it spillage of daylight. Stepping forward to the front of the truck I ...continue to slip further forward into the light as I... turn over; roll over... and over... in my hands my seek that has now become my radiant find, my goblin of gold, my ‘trash picked treasure’.
What my eye actually beheld was a small (seven inches tall) handled jug with a supple ovoid form and finger handle at its top that was covered with flaking old paint. This paint was not simply old paint but was... Victorian era oil painting painted old paint... portraying blossoms of flowers (wild rose?) entwining the exterior surface of the jug with its blossoms on the wandering vine that... was rapidly perishing by flaking off as the very seconds ticked by... before my eyes... to flutter like snow to the barn floor. I, using my spy eye, wrapped all encumbrances and features toward a summation of identification ...fully and formally... denoting dashes of details... that included appraisals of the form, size, handle –with detection of the old hairline crack midway upon it – the bottom’s proper and pleasing ‘age tone’ and usage wear... the hiding glaze and its color and depth, the cork top; its lip, that lip’s flare, the heritage of the Victorian oil paint.. and the... care and the dare of I alone pacing forward into the barn door light as this IT of ‘I find’ boondoggles my information highway with the total aura all of... ‘I know’.
I did ... and do... know. It is Kennebec Valley for sure and most probably the Saffords of Monmouth (Maine); a so typical of that form, size, glaze; a ‘redware jug’. More poignantly; a ...northern... New England redware jug; a Maine redware jug. An adorable small classic New England Maine Kennebec (river) Valley redware jug just the same as the sames that I have plucked ...with such luck... from the forlorn and the lost garrets, sheds, cellars and barns OF THAT VERY VALLEY ...as here too from THAT farm’s ...roadside barn cast truck pile ...in ‘THAT VERY VALLEY’ too.
I had...at the very roadside first... discerned all that was just now noted... by intensely focused casual glance... to intentionally save the jug upon its rolling shelf clutter travel; from barn to truck... pile... to truck... bed... to, NOW... truck cab. It... now wrapped in the shirt.
And heading home.
To arrive home.
To be home.
To have her; my wife, come right out to ‘see’ ‘what’ “Anything?”
“Yes here”. I say unwrapping my shirt to show... and tell
First the story.
Then its story.
Then my story.
“The piece of peach pie”.
“WELL YOU HAVE to take the PLATE back.”
“Not today I’m not”.
“EAT the pie and take it back. I’ll wash it.”
“You have to.”
“I will wait and do it... in six weeks or so; a rainy cool mid October day. A cold one with drizzle.”
“Oh yes”; (she understands the craft. Tee. Ness.)
“They’ll be inside that day. I’ll stop in the morning, well before lunch. There’s plenty of stuff in that place. ... I’m going back to Steward’s for another load”.
AT Steward’s ‘old barn’ I was “sure enough” loading truck when up come MR. in his TRUCK with... no chair. “SAYS TO TELL YOU SHE WON’T HAVE IT UNTIL TOMMOROW”. Pause with a visual survey into the open barn behind me. “WHAT YOU GONNA DO WITH ALL THIS TRUCK?” he continued as he turned to survey the whole UPPER interior of the old barn.
“Haul it off.”
“Lot of work.”
“Part of the deal.”
“YOU DO PRETTY GOOD HAULING OLD TRUCK?”
“GOT A LOT OF OLD TRUCK WE DO.”
“Yep: I seen that.”
“SHE WON’T LET IT GO YOU KNOW.”
“Taking it with her”.
“NO. IT STAYS. NONE of her people EVER TOOK ANY OF IT with ‘em.”
“Lot of it, huh”.
“YOU PAY A LOT FOR THAT TRUCK?”
“Enough; TOO much.”
“They BEAT yah.”
“WELL”: Pause. “I GUESS:”
Mr. turned slowly toward his truck. He walked slowly to his truck. He got slowly into the truck. He backed slowly out and SLOWLY turned around. And finally... slowly... left.
The next day, in the afternoon, he brought the chair up to Steward’s barn and I bought it.