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Part 8 of Trout Fishing in America Analysis

Author: story of Richard Brautigan Type: story Views: 3

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         THE TOWEL

We came down the road from Lake Josephus and down the

road from Seafoam. We stopped along the way to get a drink

of water. There was a small monument in the forest. I

walked over to the monument to see what was happening. The

glass door of the lookout was partly open and a towel was

hanging on the other side.

  At the center of the monument was a photograph. It was

the classic forest lookout photograph Ihave seen before, from

that America that existed during the 1920s and 30s.

  There was a man in the photograph who looked a lot like

Charles A. Lindbergh. He had that same Spirit of St. Louis

nobility and purpose of expression, except that his North At-

lantic was the forests of Idaho.

  There was a woman cuddled up close to him. She was one

of those great cuddly women of the past, wearing those pants

they used to wear and those hightop, laced boots.

  They were standing on the porch of the lookout. The sky was

behind them, no more than afewfeet away. People in those days

liked to take that photograph and they liked to be in it.

There were words on the monument. They said:

       "In memory of Charley J. Langer, District

      Forest Ranger, Challis NationalForest, Pilot

      Captain Bill Kelly and Co-Pilot Arthur A. Crofts,

      of the U. S. Army killed in an Airplane Crash

      April 5, 1943, near this point while searching

      for survivors of an Army Bomber Crew."

  0 it's far away now in the mountains that a photograph

guards the memory of a man. The photograph is all alone out

there. The snow is falling eighteen years after his death. It

covers up the door. It covers up the towel.


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