All American

Hi Mable:

 Hope this finds you well. I guess you heard by now Abner and Ellen are gone.  Abner went last Fall, Ellen didn’t outlast him by much—she moved on last July—appears she died a day or two after the fourth—flag’s still hangin there on the porch.  Carter the substitute mail carrier found her—he’d noticed she hadn’t brought in her mail for almost a week and the car was still in the drive. Pretty good turnout for the funeral—buried her next to Abner of course in the Turkey Creek Cemetery.

 Funny how these things work out—you remember all that mess back in the late 80s—Abner and Jonas feuding over where that boundary line crossed the pond between their properties. Abner swore Jonas moved the marker. For the life of me I can’t understand why they just didn’t get it re-surveyed. There they are in death—still neighbors—in those plots they picked out all those years ago—back when they were friends

 Both those guys were so up in arms—so convinced the other was wrong and a damn fool. You’d never guess they were close growing up—all through high school—playing on the football team together.  But there they were—the day somebody called the sheriff—beating each other bloody, rolling around in the cattails—both of ’em screaming he was gonna kill the other.

They never did speak to each other again—not even when Joan died in that accident over at Zion Crossroads.

Jonas went downhill after Joan died. His boy Albert said his father blamed himself for the accident on account he didn’t get a leaking break line fixed on Joan’s car.

 Jonas pretty much quit keeping up his place—went to drinkin pretty bad. Albert had to come over to mow the yard and clean up the house. Everybody said it was sad the way Jonas would sit down there in the old Gravel Hill chapel all day sometimes—all alone. That place hadn’t been used in 25 or 30 years. It was where he and Joan got married back in the early eighties.

 Albert couldn’t talk any sense into Jonas—try to get him to stop drinking—try to get him to see a doctor about depression medicine. He wouldn’t listen to Albert or anybody else—just sit there in that chapel or stand there by Joan’s grave holdin his hat in his hand staring at the stone like Joan was gonna come up out of the ground.

 So wasn’t anybody surprised when he hung himself in the shed there right beside the pond. Abner found him and cut him down. Seems just before he died Jonas wrote a note to Abner—stuck it in his mailbox—sayin he had moved the property marker—he was sorry and hoped he’d forgive him.

 After that Abner looked after Jonas’s property—kept it mowed off and the roof on the house in good repair until Albert and his wife and kids decided to move back home a few years later. Now Albert’s lookin after Abner’s property—we don’t know what Abner’s girl wants to do with the place. She’ll probably sell it—I suspect Albert would be interested in buyin it if the price is right.

 Anyway—there they both are now—buried up there on Turkey Creek right next to each other—after all those years of anger and pain and hate—then sadness and regret.  Both of ‘em buried in their little plots of land.

Don’t guess there’ll be any arguments about those boundary lines.

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