Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Way It Was....

It has been a busy week with rehearsals and many things I could talk about, but I want to share just one small event.

Two nights ago I had a show on the poetry of James Whitcomb Riley woven with my own Indiana stories. It was literally a "dark and stormy night" with wind and rain and tornado warnings. In the small town in which I would be sharing my stories I was stopped by a freight train. I put my car in park and watched the trains pass...felt the rumble up through the ground...all the lights of red and yellow and car lights were all woven into streaks as my windshield wipers could hardly keep up with the rain. But...I noticed movement to the right of my car. I noticed a young boy on a jacket, no helmet or adult supervision..just a young boy racing to a hill of gravel next to the railroad yard. In the pouring rain, he tossed down his bike, climbed up on the gravel hill and watched the railroad cars speed by into the night...into the rain..into oblivion. When the train passed, he hopped back onto his bike and returned...home? I had to smile as I watched him watch the trains. So many rules for kids these nice to see a boy dreaming a top a gravel hill on a rainy night...Ernest Hemingway? Carl Sandburg? One never knows.

It made my whole evening worthwhile to think about the future writer and storyteller...maybe some day in years to come he will take my place on the stage and share stories of his childhood sitting on a gravel hill listening and watching the roar of the freight train during a rainstorm.

Lou Ann Homan is a writer, teacher, and storyteller who lives in Angola, Indiana. She is available for writing seminars, storytelling, and speaking engagements. She can be contacted at You can read more at