The Rockport Miracles-A Fiction Fable by Bob Scrubbs
Part 1: Episode 1 of 3: “The Pigeons That Saved Rockport”
It is during the calm between storms that I do my best thinking. I hanker for the better angels of my nature as I hunker down in the last of the great houses still standing. The storms have destroyed all of the grand homes along the lake cliffs of Rockport, but my grandfather’s mansion remains stoic, severely damaged, but standing nonetheless. It’s a house that was built during the glorious end days of the gilded age, when men skilled with brick and mortar had blue-collar Leonardos and Michaelangelos working among their ranks.
I can always move away from the storm path where it’s safer, either a few miles west to River City or east to Cleveland. I’ll stay because our old people stayed. I’ll never move from Rockport.
There’s an old story about Rockport’s earliest settlers. In the early 1800s, the first farmers of this area experienced a year without summer. A volcano had gone berserk on the other side of the world spewing massive ash plumes that deprived the earth of the sun’s warmth for months. Everyone damn near froze to death in the middle of July! When the crops failed and starvation blundered up the road like an unloved relative, panic set in.
That’s when Rockport’s first miracle happened. One day the sky suddenly turned black as an enormous migration of passenger pigeons, confused by the strange weather and having mistaken Rockport for Bermuda, landed in vast numbers along the lakeshore. Every farm family grabbed clubs and by sundown there was enough pigeon stew, pigeon pie, and pigeon fritters to hold the community together until the sun came back to its senses.
So, here I sit like broken china among elegant ruins, praying for another Rockport miracle to save us, before Lake Erie attacks again.
Part 1: Episode 2 of 3: “The Curse of the Jazzman”
Illustrations By Greg Budgett ©2018
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