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Monday, June 28, 2010

John Werbowski

John couldn't help but pace the width of the gateway in frustration.

"Damn! The cursed man should be here by now!" His feet would not hold him in one spot and he resumed his pacing back and forth....
 ...Back and forth across the entrance to his farm.

 And keeping the vigil with him was his mongrel Jack.

 "Jack!" Mr Werbowski always talked to the gold colored mutt like he was a human. "Jack! Do you think it'll get here today?"
But, of course Jack had nothing to say. Just a tail wag and a lop sided grin that was more from thirst than anything.

Mr John Werbowski, thirty seven years of age was a successful farmer. He raised crops that provided many bushels of grain. His cows and sheep gave more than enough milk to use at his own table and a bit to churn yellow butter from and sell at the market on Saturdays. The jug on the mantel was stuffed to the brim with coins and he had possession of a rare thing: A bank account.

Mr Werbowski was well respected and held a position on both the church board and local council and his opinions mattered. Tall and well built, with sandy brown hair and ice blue eyes. He was his mother's son and the spitting image of his father and yet, no one here had wanted him!

 He had waited too long you see. Worked his whole life so far to make a go of this parcel of land and yes, he loved it! Loved the dirt and the blades of grass and even the breezes that blew the dust in his eyes! He loved it! With Jack by his side these last ten years, he had carved out a homestead from this backend piece of America.

...And now that he figured it was time (and it was the time for a wife and please, some children,) the girls were just that, girls and all the women were already married with young-uns and haggard faces and bodies.

"Eh?" John whirled, his eyes searched the dirt road leading from town. He hand shaded his brow against the morning sun and ... "Yes!"
He slapped his thigh and anyone standing there would have just been compelled to guffaw! Mr Werbowski actually danced a jig! (Jack the dog sat plop on his haunches. He had never seen such goings on!)

The horse and nondescript gray cart slowly approached the farm gate and really, Mr Werbowski was wringing his hands by the time the postmaster commanded "whoa!" and wrapped the reins on the doorpost of his wooden mail wagon.  He smiled a toothless smile and greeted: "Hallo there John! I think that letter you've been waiting for has come." He lifted a small white envelope high as if it was a prize. "Do you suppose this is it?"

Mr Werbowski lurched toward the wagon and grabbed the envelope. His senses were tickled with a hint of fresh lilac. His nose involuntarily lowered to the thin parchment of an envelope adorned with fine, fancy handwriting and drew in a heavenly scent. "Ah!" Tears filled his eyes.

"Lord and be govern!" The postman exclaimed! "Well! I never! You have to sign! " He waived a stumpy pencil and Mr Werbowski snatched it up and scrawled his name on the dull paint with the others.

The postman, unaccustomed to such a spectacle of emotion, yanked the reigns and the poor horse lunged in his traces. The small wagon left a dust boil in it's wake, but Mr Werbowski was not paying any attention.

He gently ran his finger along the fold of the envelope and gingerly pulled the pages from the folds. "Jack! Do you suppose?"

He started to read:

"Dear Mr Werbowski,

          My brother has said many good things of you and your wonderful farm in Missouri. It sounds truly beautiful and not at all like my home in Belfast. I am grateful that my brother has sent enough money for me to come to such a wonderful country full of such plenty and has befriended a kind and successful man such as yourself.

        I have considered your kind offer of marriage and have spoken long with my father and priest and I write to you now to let you know that I will accept!

         I come by train and I am hoping you will be at the station to pick me up. I must apologize for traveling with a trunk and hope it will not be an inconvenience.

         Your offer is very kind and I await our marriage and new life. I promise to work very hard and make you proud of your new Irish wife.

        Yours truly,
              Katie Donovan

    Mr Werbowski scuffed a big fist against his cheek, vainly trying to wipe the tears coursing down his face.  His hand reached down to rub the old dogs head.

"Jack my boy! We best get home and throw the windows wide! We're going to have a Missus!"
 Can you see his signature? What were all those signatures for? Who were those people and what did they do? I can't help but wonder..... Do you?

These photographs were shot with my Nikon P-90 digital camera and downloaded directly from the camera and then to this blog. My aim is to take my reader along with me on the journey, so although I am aware of my framing of the shot, content and quality, I am most interested in sharing the experience.


Brian Miller said...

what a fascinating

Jenn Jilks said...


Anonymous said...


Unknown Mami said...

That was fantastic. I really enjoyed it. Thank you!

Eva Gallant said...

Loved the story! You conjure up such good ones.

The Lucy and Dick Show said...

So! This is what the Mandarin translates out to:
"Death is sad, but did not live happier sad"

Thanks to everyone who leaves such inspiring comments. I'll have to try to keep this up!