Horned toads, roadrunners, turtles, frogs, and other critters crossed the dirt road where this group of young girls walked. The smell of hot dust and dill weed filled the air. In those days, of innocent, long summers, all the kids went barefooted, unless they knew they would have to walk on pavement, or go somewhere that shoes and better clothes were required. A small group of girls gathered in town to walk past the three story school, with the tall chimney on top; across the wood and iron bridge over the dry creek bed; up the dry sand and clay road; past the dump ground and a couple of pastures, to an old house. There, three of the girls went inside to visit an older woman, while one, who didn't know the woman, remained by the gate, hoping that a snake or spider wouldn't appear. The girls walked, most of the time, in silence, occasionally breaking into their thoughts with whispers and giggles about boys, their hopes for the future, things they liked to eat, movies and movie stars, or about things that had happened at home. They didn't mention the woman. Walking to the house in the country and back was just something to do on a long summer day.
This is an ink sketch, depicting a time when friends, slowly walked out in the country to visit a woman. Back then, there were lots of horned toads and roadrunners and big red ants-all kind of wildlife to be found. That was long before fire ants came to this part of the country. There were a couple more girls in the group, but this seemed to be enough for my drawing. One curious, near-sighted girl is closely observing a turtle by the road. Two older girls walk together, sharing secrets. One girl hangs back a little, making sure there are no snakes ahead. You can see the school, which was Calvert High School, and a few rooftops above the trees back in the town.