PASSING CLOUD-VINGETTES FROM THE ROAD-COMPILED BY WORZEL

He has learned to like it when it rains-older now, the times Godfrey stayed indoors he could always’ find a book and a quiet nook to read, with pot of tea and pack of biscuits. Or he would dream out the window of a world washed clean. Hostel smells,burnt toast, coffee, baked beans. The lingering aroma of many pairs of boots, wet socks, fish and chip wrapping, woodpile in the corner.

. He liked to count the languages, and accents of the travelers booking in. Thud of dropped backpack, zip of soaked rain gear. A shivering cyclist  carries her dripping bike up the stairs. Young woman slides  reserved into the snug common room, plinks a note or two on the ancient, dusty piano, silently laments the lack of T.V.. She sighs out the window at the weather, rummages through the tattered, out dated magazines ,”Where are you from”? she asks Godfrey.

He liked to stay in Hostels when it rained.   HOBO GIRL WRITES TO WORZEL- When I met up with Godfrey, twas in a nasty snow storm, he was chilled in the kilt and shorts he chose to wear. He had just hopped off a freight train, out side Vermillion Bay , as my partner and I had , to camp in the middle of no where.

We warmed up round a trash can fire, I loaned him my extra trousers to wear, for the time we spent camped out there. He introduced himself as Godfrey, and that he disliked beets. He was taking the scenic route to Peru, between me and you quite a feat. Well aware of the distance and the fact he was heading the wrong way, he said,”My daring Clementine is patient with me, do tell me your hobo story”

So I told him of a trip long ago, in the old family car. I would count cows, my sister wheeze from allergies, my brother would be carsick in his hat. My parents rowed the whole time, one day we stopped as a train was passing on the track. In an open box-car, rolling by slow a hobo couple sat. They waved to me and I waved back.

..Now as I wander across the country I often look for them, in camp like this or city dive. I wonder where they ended up, if they are still alive. When the snow storm ended, we slipped away at dawn, if Godfrey sent you my trousers can  you send them on?. Send them to my sister, Box 28 Mahone Bay N.S. VHX-3ZY, and tell my sister, all is well and the hobo girl says Hi.

PASSING CLOUD- Godfrey chose not to fly, it was about the journey for him, not being transported some where.”If beets were served on a crowded plane, I would have no where to hide”, Godfrey told us he disliked beets, as we waited for the out going tide. We are Arnold and Pamela Slapp, on our sail boat we needed a crew, we reckoned though he disliked beets, this friendly chap would do. His worn out passport simply said “GODFREY”, his kilt was held up by a cord ,all he owned was a faded plaid suitcase of books and a dented guitar which he stowed on board. We agreed to drop him off in Panama ,for he was bound for  Peru, seeking the fish ladies daughter that he once knew, he said “my daring Clementine, fish ladies’ daughter, and he showed us the oversized pink negligee’ he had bought her.

So we taught him to navigate, he taught us to bake bread, he laughed a lot, he kept the pointy end of our boat straight ahead. He told of long ago, a raggedy hobo, as a child in Wales he saw prying a coin from the tar,” he tossed me this coin I show you know”,” and said if I kept it, one day I would journey afar”.

In foulest weather Godfrey did not heave or complain. He kept watch round the clock, impervious to lightning or rain. Before Godfrey left us in Panama, on his round about way to his love in Peru, he left us this address to stay in touch, and that of Beatrice back home on the farm, and he had the name of our boat “PASSING CLOUD’, tattooed on his left arm.

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