The Old Dirt Road

| 7/17/2017 4:29:00 PM

farm sign 

When I was a child, all roads except state highways were dirt roads. It was 10 miles to the county seat and 27 miles to the biggest town, so trips were limited to once a month. The school was only 3 miles from our home, but the bus routes covered many miles of dirt roads, and as my father was the bus mechanic/driver for my school, I learned all of these dirt roads by heart.


The roads were maintained by huge road graders that moved through our area at least once a month, occasionally more often in foul weather. If I was playing outside, then they became part of my games as I imagined them as mighty dinosaurs or alien spacecrafts moving slowly and methodically up and down the road by our property. My Daddy knew everyone in the county, so the road crews liked to park their graders by our house to protect them from vandals. Once they were parked, the drivers occasionally allowed me to climb up into the cab and sit while they visited with Daddy and drank a glass of iced tea before going home for the day.


I spent much of my childhood on dirt roads. I rode my bicycle over them, occasionally skidding out on the gravel. I still have scars. My best friend and I spent many hours wandering the tree covered lanes, chatting and picking wild flowers in the ditch lines. It was a kinder, gentler world where a child or teenager could roam without fear of abduction.