It's almost impossible nowadays to imagine what life was like for the simple, hardworking people who chose to make their living on the wide-open and sparsely populated prairies of the American West, where next-door neighbors might be as close as ten miles away, or as distant as twice that. It made them . . . different.And it often made them old before they saw old age coming.
Dinner In Town is about Whit and Ona Mae Willins, an elderly Texas panhandle ranching couple who have lived in the same place for more years than they can clearly remember. When Ona Mae begins feeling the years, and starts noticing unusual yearnings to for a little change in her unchanging existence, she talks Whit into taking a day off and going into town to do nothing in particular.
Whit reluctantly agrees, which is just the beginning of Ona Mae's problems.
My first short story to be published, Dinner In Town is based on a story my dad told me about the time his aunt and uncle walked all the way into town from their South Carolina farm, and had their first meal in a cafe. They survived, too.
Dinner In Town was picked up by a regional Texas literary magazine called WFLAR (Wichita Falls Literary and Arts Review), and it paid me $125. Not bad!