Book, by Ken Bradbury, 1994

Freida Marie Crump, news correspondent from Coonridge, Illinois, takes a literary poke at 29 different topics from the law to mushrooms. This is the first book in a series of books by Ken Bradbury.


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An excerpt …

No Blues in the Gray

Greetin’s from the Ridge.

I think I got an education this week. I can go whole months and maybe even years without bein’ able to say such a thing, but this week I think I learned something’ that might do me some good even in my present “old dog” status.

Within five days’ time I get hit in the face with loads of people. For two days I worked at the Ladies Foundation Association Guild tent at the county fair; on the third, me and Wilma Higgs went shoppin’ then out for lunch; and on days four and five I visited another fair, went to see a play and attended a large in town church. In this spate of close people watchin’ I come upon an amazin’ discovery: Old people have more fun.

Please pardon me if I fail to use such conciliatory terms as Senior Citizen, Golden Ager or Gray Panther. Old is old. That’s what I am, maybe what you are and definitely what we all will be if we keep it up long enough. Old means that one thing’s been around longer than another and to my mind there ain’t nothin’ wrong with usin’ the word.

I was in charge of pies. Our tent at the fair is among the most popular since the Guild’s been around forever but the food ain’t. Hoard after hoard of folks come trompin’ up the midway in search of burgers and peach pies in the fair’s week-long run and there’s when I got the first inkling of what was to become Freida’s Great Discovery. Folks, I got so whenever a herd of gray hair started shuffin’ my way, I started smilin’.

Teen-agers have trouble orderin’ cheeseburgers and a piece of pie In the first place, county fair burgers don’t look like the fast-food-machine-stamped-and-pressed versions they’re used to. Their mouths water for the pies but with weight conscious friends around, it ain’t cool to eat it in public. Seems like they couldn’t even sit and enjoy a meal without worryin’ about who was sittin’ with who … wearin’ what and talkin’ about which. Hormones, designer jeans and gooseberry pie make an awful mix.

Young parents have equal trouble enjoyin’ their pie and I can’t really blame ‘em. Takin’ a five-year-old to the fair has got to be akin to sortin’ hogs. They wanna go everywhere but where you’re leadin’ ‘em.

Middle-aged folks …


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