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Froggy’s Pie Plate Breeze by Gilbert Byron

Froggy Hewes knew that he ought to go home. His ma needed him to kill the chicken for their Fourth of July dinner. From his perch in a tree, he listened as the orator droned on and on. “Fellow Americans, in closing,” the gentleman said, and the crowd stirred hopefully, “may I repeat my opening thesis. It is my carefully considered opinion that we stand on the threshold of a century which offers life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the greatest abundance to all of us, from the poorest plowboy to the richest merchant ~ so long as we cast our ballots as true Southerners always have.” The band played Dixie and the crowd dispersed with a wild rebel yell. Froggy knew that he ought to go home. Instead, he headed for the river. The package of pie plates, which he had borrowed for his ma, tinkled as he ran. On the beach, six log canoes were being fitted for the afternoon race to Bloody Point Light and return. The Mary Rider’s keel paralleled the sky, and her crew gave her bottom a final smoothing with sand and water. Two men were scrubbing the topsides of the Magic. Others were lacing the sails on the masts of the

Gilbert Byron Island Blossom. Discarded jackplanes told of last-minute efforts to fair the lines ~ all of the boats were sailed to win ~ no one wanted to be the last to finish. The slowest boat was awarded a ham; perhaps her crew would grease their canoe and do better next time. Froggy would have given anything he had, even the giant firecracker that waited in his pants’ pocket, for a chance to sail in the race. He sat down on an over-turned rowboat and listened to the men talk. 45

July 2015 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times july 2015