Sam, a reporter, meets Caroline for the first time
| Dust Bowl
Looking far off in the distance, it’s hot and dry. A lifeless landscape and even the wind carries the taste of dissolution across this place. Now, just like the land around here, I am thirsty too.
While opening another shirt button, self-consciously, I wrinkle my nose to a strong odor. It’s sweat! At a glance, I notice, while staring at me, she is standing on her porch. She is wearing a shotgun at her shoulder, a tilted burgundy french beret, and a matching skirt; she looks just like Bonnie Parker, a woman poised for trouble. She has elbow-length, sweaty, blond hair; and just like a window-washer, with a swoosh of her hand, she brushes her hair out of her face. Seeing her like this, I raise my trusty press camera but damn near drop it. I depress the shutter button, and with a click and a flash, this is the picture I take.
In her Tennessee accent, she hollers while laughing, “ y’all got any business here mister?” I can feel my nerves twitching just like chattering teeth; therefore, I show her my hands, because I mean her no harm.
Tripping over my own feet, while walking toward her, she laughs yet again. In a crackling voice, I said, “You see ma’am, I am looking for a flop” then I remove my hat.
She said, “I got a room ov’r in the barn and I’ll feed ya too. It’s gonna cost ya ten dollars a week because I have three young-ons to feed.” Then walking toward me, she blurts out, “I only rent by the week. You have to pay for a whole week even if you leave early. Also, I get paid in advance, as I said, I have kids to feed.” While smiling, she put her hand out expecting payment. “My name is Caroline Winters. That is Misses Caroline Winters.” While placing her right hand on her hip, she winks at me.
I felt compelled to introduce myself just as well. “I am Mr. Sam Roberts, a magazine reporter.” I said, “I am doing an article on families in the mid-west; I would like to interview you.” Caroline looked dumbfounded. A look as if to say “interview little ol’ me?” However, she is speechless for quite some time.