Meet Jennie Hamilton from All That Is Hidden  by Laura DeNooyer-Moore

Welcome, Jennie. I’m so glad you can be part of us immediately for an interview.

Jennie: The pleasure’s all mine. Granny sakes alive, I’m glad to be taking a break from a scorching day of weeding within the backyard, snapping beans, and watering my azaleas and buttercups. There’s at all times a slew of chores awaiting, however I like it. The youngsters and I dug up dandelion roots for espresso. We wash and peel them, then roast and grind them. We’re fixing to clean sassafras bark, then peel and boil it for tea. And add a proper heap of sugar, after all.

Sounds such as you hold fairly busy.

Jennie: As busy as a one-armed wallpaper hanger with the seven-year itch. If not the backyard, it’s the cooking and cleansing and different chores across the farm. In the present day I’ve a hankering for pork stew, beans with bacon, and hushpuppies—my husband Drew’s favourite meal. And I reckon I ought to follow our clogging routine for the city’s Fourth of July Pageant.

I’ve heard that you simply favor doing issues the normal approach. 

Jennie: Maybe to my detriment. I’ll blame my mom for that. She says I do her proud as a result of I nonetheless cling to the previous methods, the house cures, and spring tonic that cures no matter ails you. I take it over to the neighbors, too, each week. The youngsters and I string beans for leather-based breeches, and I fancy an quaint potato gap for winter storage. I nonetheless plant by the indicators, too. And in 1968, that’s saying one thing.

Looks like Nick and Tina assist out so much, too.

Jennie: Nick’s eleven, and he’s a proper sensible helper when he’s not sporting out his arm attempting to grasp the fastball together with his good friend Todd. And Tina, effectively, she’s ten and never given to a lot laborious work but. She preferslollygagging. However children want a lavish of play time. As her Uncle Ross says, he does extra work by chance than Tina ever does on function. Typically she claims she doesn’t hear us at chore time. Issues rose to such a pitch final week, her daddy took her to the physician to have her ears checked. That cured her.

Little doubt it did. 

Jennie: Fact be informed, I kinda hope she’s deaf to all of the goings-on round right here. I imply all of the discuss in regards to the proposed theme park. Of us are buzzing like bees in a tar tub about Phil Kepler and his new-fangled concepts.

Who’s Phil Kepler?

Jennie: He’s a northerner, from New York Metropolis, the getting-aroundest man I do know. He’s been dwelling down right here for a spell however has all these connections up north. The difficulty is, Phil Kepler may discuss a fellow into shopping for a heater for the desert. Why, final 12 months he satisfied me to disregard the indicators and plant my beans on the brand new of the moon. The few beans that did develop plumb rotted and specked. Did you ever hear inform of that? That’s the final time I’ll abide such an addlepated notion.

Why, there’s Tina now, traipsing within the again door. Two hours late for chores like typical, and doubtless desires a molasses cookie in addition. Tina, come on over and discuss to the great woman whereas I examine on these squawking chickens. I’ll be proper again.

Hiya, Tina. You appear out of breath. The place are you coming from in such a rush?

Tina: I simply rode my bike house from the sandlot, down the highway apiece. I’m the one woman on the staff ’trigger they had been one brief. The boys tease me, particularly that bully Stan Randall.

Sounds tough, all that teasing. What do like about being on the staff?

Tina: I really like baseball, and I’m a great hitter. And never all people’s imply. Todd’s gonna owe Nick an ice cream sundae at Simpson’s Ice Cream Parlor come autumn if Denny McLean will get thirty wins this season. He’s a Detroit Tiger, in case you don’t know. Oh, man, I gotta sit down. I’m all tuckered out.

Baseball and bicycling will do this to a physique.

Tina: It’s not simply the bicycling . . . it’s . . . effectively, since Mother left the room, I’ll let you know. Don’t go telling no person, however Nick and I, we’re all wore out from visiting Ole Joe yonder on the mountain. We received up in the course of the night time to swipe the neighbor’s greens and ship them to Ole Joe in a wheelbarrow. It’s our secret, and we’ll be in huge bother if anybody finds out. We didn’t get house until six within the morning.

Why do you do this?

Tina: We don’t rightly have a alternative. No telling what Ole Joe will do if we refuse. He’s good to us, although. He tells us tales and he’s gonna—by no means thoughts. I can’t let you know that half. Nick and I swore to not inform anyone. However now we have mighty superb visits with him.

As long as Mother and Dad don’t discover out, we’ll be okay. It beats getting caught after that egg pitching contest within the hen coop final summer season. That was Nick’s concept, not mine. Oh—by no means thoughts. Mother’s again. I’m going exterior now.

Jennie: I’m again! And off she goes. That woman . . . she’s at all times flitting about, like she is aware of I’m gonna get after her for lacking chores.

Glad you can return, Jennie. Are you nervous in regards to the proposed theme park?

Jennie: Only a smidgeon. Drew’s on city council, and he’s given out to be the perfect one for speaking sense into people. Some say Phil doesn’t have an opportunity, like a bug arguing with a hen.

How would this park have an effect on the small city of Currie Hill?

Jennie: The park would swallow us up, like a fox after chickens. Phil says the consultants  studied on the state of affairs and located this space to be finest suited to such a park. Plus, good for the economic system and all. Offering much-needed jobs. However that may be the tip of Currie Hill as we all know it. And most folk don’t need such drastic change. Luckily, Drew’s been serving this city for twelve years now. Of us take heed to him.

Twelve years? That’s about so long as he’s been again from New York, proper? What do people take into consideration his time up north?

Jennie: These days, nary a soul makes point out of it anymore. However again then, people didn’t know what within the Sam Hill to make of him. It took a strong very long time to win again their belief. No person right here confidences somebody who’s frolicked within the huge metropolis, and he was gone a coon’s age. Fifteen years, to be precise. 4 years serving within the Military, then eleven extra attending college and dealing as an architect.

What did folks say when he received again house?

Jennie: Every little thing you’ll be able to consider. Speculations and assumptions flung everywhere, most of it slack discuss for sure. Some say Drew was certainly dwelling excessive on the hog, or dwelling a lifetime of crime. Y’all understand how town corrupts.

My mother and father cautioned me about courting him. “As fickle because the wind,” they stated. “Taking on metropolis methods and coming again right here. Those that succeed within the metropolis don’t belong to the mountains anymore. Those that fail don’t belong to both them or us.”

However I latched onto Drew like a cocklebur in sheep’s wool. With no regrets. Loving him is as straightforward as falling off a log.

Of us aren’t bothered anymore by his earlier absence?

Jennie: He’s confirmed he’s considered one of us. However—effectively, I’ve to confess . . . I concern there are people on either side of the fence. And typically his mom shakes her finger at him about these mysterious years of his as if he had been nonetheless a bit boy, as if it had been as easy a matter as returning stolen cookies from the cookie jar.

The factor is, he received’t speak about his time away, by no means did. It’s behind him now. That’s how it’s. . . . We are able to solely look ahead. In the future at a time.

It’ll be a reduction for sure after the city council votes in just a few weeks. Then I reckon Phil Kepler and that park will hightail it out of city. For good.


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