Prosaic Man

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When I was growing up in east Alabama this was “Vacation Week.” Since you’ve read the prologue to my book Beaucoup Arlo & Janis, I won’t bore you with a lot of background. You have read it, haven’t you? Anyway, the many textile mills of West Point Manufacturing Co. would shut down the week of the Fourth of July, and everyone employed there took their one week of paid vacation at the same time. For my family, that generally meant several days of freeloading with the family of my uncles, one of whom lived in Mobile and the other in Huntsville. Sometimes, Vacation Week meant a fun project like painting or reroofing the house. The scope of such projects was far beyond my father and his two puny sons, but even with professional help, much work was generated for even us children, and all the would-be travel money went elsewhere. Some lucky souls—I was never among them—belonged to families that made it all the way to the beach at Panama City. We told the story on ourselves that after Vacation Week, they’d have to sweep the lint off the beaches in the Florida panhandle.