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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (May 23, 1962)
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN SCRIP
WEDNEHAY. MAY 23, 1962
' you're wise, you teont marry until you are 30 and have been as sinful
as possible, but I suppose that's too much to hope for.
They were traveling north across the state,
heading for the little town that lay nestled
in the crooked arm of the river, fifty miles
away. Mr. and Mrs. Howley were in the
front of the car, he at the wheel and she
against the opposite door. Their twelve-year-old
son, Charles, leaned from the back seat
over the space between his parents and kept
np a running, description of the billboards
as they passed.
"At makin' love ... Pa ain't no whiz . . .
but he knows how ... to keep Ma his. . .
Burma Shave. You dent use Burma Shave,
do you Dad? How come they never have any
commercials on television, you suppose? I've
never even seen one, have you, Dad? The
sociables say, drink young. Boy, that sounds
good, huh, Mom? Hey! Look at that football
player. Smoke Camels. Coach Miller smokes
too, Dad. Not at school, but I saw him down
town once. Talkin' to some girl with a cig
arette in his hand. He isnt married, is he?
McCormack-Reavis Funeral Home. Well, for
Pete's sake! What a thing to put on the high
way. Kinda gives you the creeps, don't it,
Mom? Look at that! Peanuts!"
"Charlie, we can read, you know."
"Sure, Mom, I know that But gosh, I didn't
know they had Peanuts on signs like that.
Did you, Dad?"
"Did you know they had Peanuts on signs
"No, I cant honestly say I've ever seen
any peanuts on signs."
"Not just any peanuts, Dad. The one in
the funnies. You know, with Charlie Brown
and Linus and Snoopy."
"Don't bother your father when he's driv
"I wasn't bothering him, was I, Dad? AH
I did was ask him if he ever saw Peanuts
on a sign before."
AND THROUGH THE WOODS .
Is by DAVID WILTSE, a junior from
Falls City, in Arts and Science. This story
won Third Prize in the PRAIRIE
SCHOONER fiction contest
"I heard what you asked him. No, don't
bother him any more. It makes him nervous
when you talk to him when he's driving.
Why dont you read that book or something?"
"I read it already."
"Well, read it again and quit bothering
"Well, gee whiz, a guy cant say anything
any more." He threw himself against the
seat and stared glumly out the window.
They drove in silence 'or a half hour be
fore Charles thought be iad pouted enough.
Then, his parents having been sufficiently
punished, he spoke again.
"Why dont we turn the radio on?"
"It bothers your father."
"No, it doesnt, does it, Dad? He always
has it on when he drives me over to Richies."
"Well, it bothers him now, so stop pester
ing your father while he's driving."
"How much farther do we have to go?"
asked Charles petulantly.
"Ask your father."
"I dont want to pester him."
"Dont you be flippant with me, young
man. And dont try to tell me you weren't,
either. I know that tone of voice. And dont
throw yourself against that seat and start
pouting. If you act like that around your
grandparents, 111 have to have your father
spank you. You're still not so old, you know."
"Gee whiz. Mom. How come you're so
grouchy today? I didn't do nothin'."
"Your mother is a little upset about her
father, Charlie. That's all."
"Yeah? What'a matter with Grandpa?"
"Well, he's sort of sick, son."
"Let's not discuss it," said Mrs. Howley.
"Why cant you tell me what's wrong with
him? I wont tell anybody if it's a secret or
"He's just not feeling well. Now, I dont
want to hear anymore about it." v
"Gosh, Mom, you act like I was a baby.
He's my Grandpa, ain't he?"
"Isnt he, not ain't" said Mr. Howley.
"There's no such word as ain't."
"Well, isn't he?"
"The boy may have a point, Edith. Maybe
he should know."
"Harold, don't be silly. He's too young.
Now, I dont want to hear another word on
YU USL. V V
the subject. Do you understand me, Charles?"
"All right, then. Let's talk about some
They pulled into the little town and wormed
their way slowly through the narrow streets.
A light drizzle was falling when they rounded
the last corner and stopped.
"Now, Charles, I want you to be very nice
to your grandfather today. If he wants to
talk to you, you stay and talk to him. Don't
come into the kitchen and bother your grand
mother and me, like you usually do."
"I mean it."
"Well, gee, Mom!"
"Charles! Don't you like your grandfa
ther?" "Well, sure, but he asks so many ques
tions." "He's interested in you. You should be
glad he cares about you."
"Sure, I know."
"Now you behave yourself. I mean it. And
Charles," her tone softened, "Your grandfa
ther may look a little different. I don't want
you to stare at him."
"What do you mean? How is he going to
"Well, he . . . You tell him, Harold."
"He's had a skin graft, Charlie. They took
some skin from one part of his body and put
it somewhere else. They saved some in case
they need to take some more. It's in a kind
of loop on the side of his face." -
"My gosh! Does it hurt?" "
"I dont think so but it might hurt him a
great deal if you stare. Let's just pretend
there's nothing there. Okay?" . ;
"Well, sure, okay."
"And you will stay and talk to him, now,
wont you, Son? It will make him so happy."
The Howley seniors entered the house with
feigned delight and Charles hurried in with
Ul-suppressed excitement his parents adura
tion already forgotten. The elderly couple
met them at the door, with a hug for their
daughter and a handshake for their son-in-law.
Charles received a kiss from his grand
mother and a pat on the head from his
grandfather. He squirmed away from each.
"Well, Mr. Gordon," said Mr. Howley when
the women had retired to the kitchen, osten
sibly to cook the meal, "how have you
The old man chucked slightly. "A perfunc
tory question, Harold. Ill-timed but well-intended,
I suppose. I feel fine under the cir
cumstances. It's the circumstances that hurt,
if you'll forgive an old man his little joke.
And I rather imagine you will."
Mr. Howley smiled uncertainly. Charles
stared. There was a decidedly awkward si
lence in which the old man fixed first the
father and then the son with an amused eye.
"Nothing to say, gentlemen? Collective
mind a blank? Well, let me think. It's rain
ing, you know. Or I rather Imagine you
know. A rather subtle rain, to be sure, but
rain nonetheless. You did notice, didn't you?
You, Charles. Did you happen to notice that?"
"It's kinda sprinkling."
"Oh, aptly put, my boy. That is to say,
your father's boy. "You aren't really mine,
now, are you? But sprinkling it is, regard
less of your lineage. WeU, what do you sur
mise from this? Is it a good rain? Will it
help the crops or hurt them? It's all very
well to observe but quite another thing to
conclude, you I "w."
"I don't kno," said Charles.
"My point exactly, but then it's not alto
gether your fault, I suppose. Heredity and
environment play a rather large part in the
whole procedure, or. so Utey say, at any rate.
Two strikes for or against you before you
come to bat. Or can a strike be for you?
Never thought of that. Doesn't really sound
right but if they can be against you, I dont
know why they couldn't be for you. What da
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