It was one of those rare “bonus” days in late January. The kind of day when the sun shone brightly and a slow moving front from the North hadn’t quite arrived, yet. The temperature had crept up into the high 50’s and he was getting warm enough in his tree stand that soon he would have to shed another layer of clothing. The deer were already “yarded” up and the honeysuckle was looking pretty well “picked over”.It was a slow day and his mind began to wander back to warmer days and times. He recalled a hot summer night, hours before daylight. He had walked in the dark with Granpa’ to the barn. The large black Percheron horses snorted nervously in the lantern light as they were brought out to be harnessed to the wagon. Jumping off of the “shotgun” side of the wagon seat, he opened the wire gate for the wagon. Tying the team and wagon in front of the house, they “stomped” their feet noisily on the porch steps to make sure no barn residue was tracked in the house.The house was much warmer than when they had left for the barn, the wood stove in the kitchen was hot, and a pot of coffee was sitting on a stove “eye’, making gurgling sounds. The kitchen had one of two, of the new electric light bulbs that was in the house. It was well lit, as was the living rom, with one bare bulb, in the center of the room. There was no light switch as you came into the door. Instead, the pull chain had a string tied to it that ran across the room, through fence staples, and hung down by the door. As grandma slid a pan of “cathead” biscuits into the oven door, she said, ” Will you fill the stove reservoir and bring in the milk so I can start the gravy ?” The well was in the front yard. Enough light shone through the front screen door, that he could see to draw up the well bucket. It contained a carefully strained and sealed gallon of whole sweet milk. Ice had been gone from the icebox many days before, so the milk had been stored in the cool well water so it would keep longer. As he poured the second bucket he had drawn from the well into the “kitchen” bucket, he brushed the barn cat away from the tightly sealed milk jug.Crossing the porch, he heard Granma’ say “better come on with that milk, or my gravy fixins’ will scorch”.Setting against one wall, the old wood cook stove was the center of activity as breakfast was prepared. It was grandma’s pride and joy, and very expensive for the time. Bought at a auction sale where a family “went west to make a better life”, it had cost nearly thirty dollars. Trimed in black and white enamel, Granma’ kept it a shinnin”, it had a warming oven above the stove eyes. That was where a hungry mountain boy might find a between meals treat from time to time.As the family loaded into the wagon, granpa’ went over a check list of things “to be sure not to forget”.Nose bags with grain for the horses, Burlap sacks to wrap a fifty pound block of ice in so it wouldn’t melt on the trip home, a tarp to cover the grocerys with to keep out the dust, or to pull over everybody if it rained, and so on, and so on, went the list. Thirty minures to the County Road, an hour to the spring where they always stopped to fill a jug with cool spring water, enough to last the day while in town. Another hour and they were coming into the City of Mena. The sun had been up for about an hour and a half, when they tied up on the side of Janssen Park near the Bear cage. It was sunny there, and a bit warm, but in the heat of the afternoon the wagon and team would be in the shade.People were already bustling around. It was Saturday, the week’s busiest shopping day for the town’s merchants. “You going with me ? Or Granma’ ?” “Granma” he said. He knew that when Grandma’ was busy shopping, he could slip away to explore all of the sights and sounds of town. Grandma’ looked over the stalks of bananas hanging from the ceiling of the store. Some still had little flakes of sawdust clinging to them, from their train trip up from the Gulf of Mexico, at Port Arthur, Texas. “Still a little green, that’s good, they will last longer”. By then he was slipping out of the side door of the store, out on to Mena street. The sidewalks were full of people, two nearby banks were open and the doors were constantly swinging as customers passed. Passing by a domino hall he could hear the loud slap of ivory on a table top, followed by, “Ha ! Whatcha’ gona’ do about that !” A whiskered man in bib overalls brushed past him as he watched fascinated through the doorway. He smelled of “wildcat” whiskey.A block or so down Mena street he could hear a country preacher telling of the gospel in a loud clear voice. A crowd had gathered around him. A sudden loud “thump”, made him jump as he passed near the preacher. “Man ! He thought, that guy can really pound that bible !”Soon he was near a Cafe that was perched kind of precariously over a small stream that ran underneath it. He could smell the “red top” chili simmering as it was being prepared for the lunch rush. That is when he heard, “you bring your coffee bag ?” It was his cousin, they had plans. There were things to see and do in town that would occupy them until the movie started. The Sarurday matinee at the Lyric was running a special, if you had a Folgers coffee bag and a nickle you could get in and enjoy the cool dark interior as well as catch up on all of the great “serials”. The likes of Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry, Lash Larue and many others would pass the hot Summer afternoon away.The movie usualy cost a dime, but with the coffee bag, he still had a nickle left. And he knew just where he was going to spend it. After the movie, he walked up Mena street to the front of the CocaCola bottling plant. There was the round topped “coke” machine that he would put his nickle in and get the coldest drink in town. It wasthe perfect ending to a eventful day in town.The angle of the sunlight told him that he would have to hurry to the park for the family would be anxious to make the long trip back home, hoping to get there before dark. The first stop when leaving the park was the store. The wagon and team pulled in line with others waiting for their grocerys to be loaded by store clerks. With the groceries loaded the last stop was to the ice house. There the fifty pound block of ice was loaded and carefully wrapped in the burlap.Hot, hot, too hot, he thought. About an hour into the trip home, as he thought about the smell of the leather harness and sweat of the team pulling the wagon, he remembered it. The block of ice in the back of the wagon. Under the tarp, next to the block of ice, it was cooler. He placed his face near the block of ice, breathing in the cold air. The last thing he herd before dozing off to sleep was, grandpa’ saying ” I was a’ wonderin’ how long before he did that”.Sitting in the deer stand, ever so quiet and still as the wild life moved nearby, he realised that the front was coming in and the temperature was beginning to fall. All of the animals know this front is coming in and they are feeding while they can. I think i’ll go home and throw another chunk of wood on the fire. The thought of a fire and supper sounded pretty good about now. Thinking about Granma’s cathead biscuits had made him hungry !