American Flatbread Flatbread Kitchen
Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend, 1995
Tonight’s menu and baking are dedicated to:
I stopped by Hap Gaylord’s farm this morning to get a dozen fresh eggs.
Mrs. Gaylord opened the door for me before I had a chance to knock.
“I saw you coming,” she said.
I smiled and said “thank you” as I walked in
(what simple joy there is in entering another’s home without a knock!)
“Do you have eggs today?”
“I am sorry I do not have the exact change.”
(The price is one dollar and twenty-five cents.)
“It’s alright.” (She is gracious) “I have change.”
Now Hap comes into the room and says “Helloooo Georrrge.”
I say it back. “Hellooooo Hap. Good to see you.”
We talk a little about the weather ( it is very warm for January) and local politics (bears)
We smile and laugh sincerely and revel in each others company.
“I grew up walking these woods.”
“Of course, back then things were different.”
I smile and nod and let my imagination follow his voice.
“Let me show you some pictures.”
He carefully takes an old leather book off the credenza and gently opens it. It is filled with photographs.
“This is my father.”
“This is my Grandfather. I knew him well.”
“This is my Great Uncle. And standing next to him is his brother.”
“They fought in the civil war at Gettysburg. Had eight horses shot out from underneath him.”
On the back of each photograph were their names and relationships to others.
“That is my mother’s handwriting,” Hap says with a smile.
“All these fellas were farmers. They cleared fields and built barns all over Waitsfield. Even now when I pass those farms I think of them.”
I left after that and as I drove by the old farms along my way home I understood that they are not only homes today but also markers of memories. Memories that hold great power and beauty for anyone who cares to remember.