Dressed in black and squinting at the bright afternoon sun, the three elderly couples slowly gathered themselves together and exited their vehicles at the end of my driveway.
The entire group consisted of 3 brothers and their wives, who were all in town to bury a relative that hailed from our small town and whose dying wish was to spend the rest of eternity in our fertile red dirt.
Why these particular people were now standing in my driveway, and would soon be touring my house, answering my barrage of questions and sipping ice cold Dr. Pepper from the only set of matching glasses I have, goes back to 1939 and a childhood friend of my in-laws.
Here's how it goes. A month or two after we moved into our Queen Anne here on Main Street, my in-laws met up again with a childhood friend (call her Beatrice) and discovered that Beatrice's husband of 50 years (we'll call him Buddy) was from the same small town we had just occupied.
Get ready. You ready? Okay, here goes.
Turns out Buddy and his brothers grew up in the very house we had just bought and moved into. Gasp. Sigh.
Since finding out that tidbit of information, I had been wanting to get Buddy and his brothers up to the house for a visit and to pick their brains about what the house looked like when they lived here, over 68 years ago.
I managed to glean as much information from them as I could, however their stay was much too brief, and my list of questions much too long for the casual looksee they had originally intended for their visit.
Among the questions that I hadn't gotten around to asking was the number one question on my wife's list -- "What can you tell me about Frannie?"
Guess that'll have to wait for another visit.
As they made their way out the front door and onto the front porch, the eldest of the brothers paused a moment at the top step and gazed out onto the bustling 4-lane highway running past. He smiled a distant smile and turned to find me smiling right back at him.
"The view is in good hands," I replied as I took hold of his wizened octogenarian hand and we shook our good-byes.