Thursday, September 29, 2011
As I walked closer to the town of Hammer some of the trees I noticed were beginning to turn to their fall color. I was told there was only one family still living there and that it was a ghost town. I met the nephew who asked my mission, he said he would let his relatives know I'd be around. When I was within sight of the intersection a one armed farmer on an ancient tractor rolled by and then began to cut the grass along the roadway on the opposite side of the highway heading to the "Hammer Corner". Then two other vehicles stopped on the road and people got out along with the man on the tractor who had stopped to walk over to me. A traffic jamb on the edge of a ghost town in South Dakota. (who'da thunk?) I had them all laughing when the school bus rolled to a stop and fielded the questions by the school kids. How long had I been walking? Forty eight years. And other questions like how did I loose the top knuckle of my finger? The dog bit it off. I asked the one armed farmer where I could stay that was as close to the corner and he said I could sleep by the line of trees bordering the cemetery and there I would get a brake from the North winds. After satisfying everyones curiosity asking them to all go for a walk I made my way to the graveyard and had a few minutes to relax before I got my ride back to Rosholt fifteen miles back. Since I was in a ghost town why not stay with the Hammer family at their place. Thrier final resting place. Later when I had returned with the van and the sun made the shadows long the pines were dancing with the strong winds and I saw someone walk onto the grounds from between the row of trees I had parked by. The person sort of pulled up as if surprised to see us, then vanished from the corner of my eye as I looked dierectly at him. I had said hello to the generations of Hammer's when I walked up, this one was obviously late for the party. This was not my first stay in a cemetery. Some just can not rest. As the night wore on the van rocked and bumped with the autumnal northerly. The pines danced a happy 'jig all night. When I returned for the van this evening it was surrounded by a deep bed of fresh brown leaves brought in by the 'hammering winds.