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A Little Romance: Gilbert goes to Chance
To see a fair young maiden, Gilbert endured much to make the 10 mile trips from Acree Road to Chance. First, by shanks mare. Second, in new brogans bought at the Montpelier General Store. The third by stiff-legged mule. All increasingly painful.
Click on headline for complete account anonymous is about to unfold here
My brother, born in 1927, spent a great deal of his childhood with his grandparents, not far removed from the Adair-Russell line. One set of his grands lived near the intersection of modern-day Hwys 92 & 768, just east of Montpelier, the other near the north end of what is now known as Acree Road. He delighted in telling about the times in the 1930s he and Gilbert, an older friend and kinsman by marriage who lived nearby, journeyed to the fabled kingdom of Chance. (As I recall, a pretty young maiden of that community had caught Gilbert's eye.)
On the first trip, they traveled shanks mare -- a distance of some ten miles -- but on the way out of town, they stopped at the famed Montpelier General Store and for reasons known only to Gilbert and God, he (Gilbert, that is, not God) bought a pair of brogans, shod himself on the spot with their ankle-high glory, and off they went. Well, the brogans, being brogans, were a bit stiff and resisted breaking in, and before too long, Gilbert's feet commenced hurting and then started blistering. According to Brother, his traveling companion was hobbling pretty badly by the time they got to Chance, and his feet were so badly blistered by the time they got back home it took several days for them to heal enough ol' Gilbert could walk without pain.
Needless to say, the experience stayed with Gilbert, so for the second foray into the land of Chance, he chose to ride. Unfortunately, his only option was a stiff-legged mule. They had hardly cleared the Montpelier city limits until the jolts from every step the mule made began to get Gilbert's attention and long before entering the gates of Chance he had wailed a multitude of times, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, my a** is killin' me!"
To the best of my knowledge, Gilbert never again cast a shadow inside the boundaries of Chance.
Epilogue: In the 1990s or early 2000s, Brother, in the company of others, made his first sojourn to the Chance community since Gilbert's ill-fated experiences in the 1930s and had his picture taken at the Last Chance store building, an experience I'm sure he remembered the rest of his too few days. Since Brother's passing a decade ago, I've oft wondered what kind of reunion he and Gilbert had -- and if they've made any trips together in that far distant land where the roads are soft, the new shoes are supple, and the mules ride easy.
This story was posted on 2017-04-09 04:25:46
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