The Grass is Greener (Saturday Writing Essential)

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on September 14, 2012 0 Comments

Challenge: Use a short story, poetry or prose to show a narrator’s point of view.

I wanted to have fun with this one so I used a first-person story I posted some years ago and rewrote it to match the challenge. Not sure if this is what Virginia had in mind, but here it is.

* * *

It was summer of 1957 when Len Maxwell’s parents couldn’t put up with him any longer and stuck him aboard an airplane with his grandmother bound for Pennsylvania to visit relatives.

They flew on a Constellation, a sample of which is in the picture, although they were on TWA so the colors were a bit different.

Those were the days before highjacking and terrorist threats so the cockpit door was left open during the entire flight and people were welcome to walk up and look out the front of the aircraft.

Young Len was given a special treat by the stewardess, who took him to the cockpit where he was allowed to sit in one of the seats and talk to the pilot for several minutes. She then escorted him back to his seat and pinned a set of plastic wings on his shirt.

Arriving in Pennsylvania, Len spent several days with the relatives on his father’s side and, when they couldn’t stand him anymore, they sent him to visit his mother’s relatives — his Aunt Irene and Uncle Red.

Living next door to Red and Irene was a man also named Red who did something unique that year. It was hot. It was humid. All the yards on the street were dying — meaning they were all brown.

His uncle was at work that day so Len and his Aunt Irene sat on the porch watching the neighbor “paint” his grass. He had a sprayer similar to that used for insecticide. He’d pump it up and then aim the wand at the grass and spray out an even coating of green dye, moving from front to rear and covering a swath of three to four feet each time.

When he was finished, Red had the greenest lawn on the block. Young Len left the next day and didn’t actually see the aftermath, but he heard there was a rain storm just a few days later and the dye didn’t adhere all that well. The street, though, was the prettiest green you could think of.

* * *

PC DISCLAIMER: No, I am not being sexist by mentioning the stewardess. There were no men at that time. There were only women and they were called “stewardesses.”

SatWE Logo  (If you want to use it) courtesy of  our friend Ruthi.

Constellation picture has been (or is hereby) released into the public domain by its author, Graham Bould. This applies worldwide.

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