So the fine folks over at Beginnings Publishing Inc., have honored me by publishing my story, Life Needs More Diving Boards, on their site. I'm told that it will also be included in the next print version of their journal, hopefully in late spring or early summer.
Many years later... Yeah, so Beginnings is now Endings. In short, they bit the dust, both their online site and their never-to-come-to-fruition print version. BUT, Life Needs More Diving Boards is still available for your reading pleasure. You lucky dogs!
Life Needs More Diving Boards
The town of Ironbridge sprang to life in the foothills of Mt. Racine during the coal boom of the 1850’s. Coal had been discovered east of Ironbridge in 1855 by one Noah Jordan and, like many towns of its time, it grew from a need to house the men who blackened their lungs each day in the underground mines. For those first 100 years, and indeed for many years after its incorporation in 1964, Ironbridge was home mostly to men who were more comfortable in shit-stained boots than wingtips, and who took a plug of tobacco with their morning coffee; farmers and ranchers and the women who loved them enough to give up most of life’s more urban pleasures in exchange for open spaces and outdoor plumbing.
And so it was for nearly 130 years. In my youth, “downtown” Ironbridge boasted little more than a post office, a general store, a handful of family-owned businesses and a two-man police force to keep peace. The pizza joint, with its checkercloth and sawdust, (the jovial, red-faced owner’s two young sons perched on milk crates washing dishes) and a cowboy/biker bar, the only real enticements to lure outsiders across its boarders.
But with the coming of an 18-hole golf course in the late 1980’s, the country club and its element soon followed. The populace pendulum had completed its swing, and the dusty streets, where once tread bar room brawlers and cave-dwelling pirates, gave way to weather forecasters and rock stars; their sports cars snaking the freshly tarred streets of a shiny, modernized Ironbridge.
I arrived in this soon-to-be-ex-cow town somewhere between these two epochs. My parents had married and begun bearing the first of their three children just a few years prior to the cultural explosion that would come to be remembered as “The 60’s.” While many young people spent this period in our history immersed in the experimentation of mind expansion and free-love, my parents experimented with cloth vs. disposable, and immersed themselves in the challenges of parenthood and the purchase of their first home. And it was into this first home, a brand new ranch-style in the shadow of Mt. Racine, that I was born.