Jack Balas, 2021;
LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI was not
on my reading pile the day I set out on my bike from my Illinois
town to the river, two days there and two back, my junior summer
in college. Hills, corn fields, little towns I'd never seen.
Met two brothers running a gas station across the road from their
house, and wound up staying with them that first and last night.
The night close to the river a farm lady let me sleep out on
a chaise on her front lawn, sloping down to a view of cows. She
even brought me a blanket. I made it to Savanna, crossed the
long bridge to Iowa dodging the toll booth & then back, even
met another kid on a bike from Michigan going cross country.
He was amazed my bike was only a one-speed. Life is good.