A Norman Rockwell Kind of Place

May 9. A friend had just finished reading my last blog about Greenburg and our soda jerk Dick Huckriede, when she saw him being interviewed on television. She said he looked fine and promised to open the soda fountain again. What a relief. Looks like we’ll have to find our way back to Greenburg in a couple of years: I think I’ll have a plain chocolate soda with vanilla ice cream, and take another picture of Dick. I’ll be sure and print up the pictures of the old place for him.

I’m not one of those people who would want to rebuild in Greenburg or New Orleans. The world is full of places I could be happy. The idea you can recreate a way of life seems overly optimistic to me. Perhaps people want to rebuild because the idea of starting anew, among strangers, is even more daunting.

I’m not sure I understand their pride in the big hole in the ground they call their tourist attraction. We leaned Zippy against the big well, looked past the protective mesh, saw a glint of light from the sky, and … that was it, a big round hole in the ground.

Now Dick’s soda fountain was a worthy attraction, a Norman Rockwell tableau where kids stopped in after school to order a suicide, dangle their legs off the stool, maybe stick their worn out chewing gum under the bar.

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