Nellie Hanning in Fordair

She had a little home in Fordair, it was a one bedroom cottage from the days when houses were bought and moved to a new location. Her house sat on old railroad ties from Coulee City. It had no other foundation. It was sided with a baked red colored tar paper, and surrounded by flower beds. In the spring it was alive with scents and smells as greedy bees collected pollen. Next to her little house she had a garage, in which she parked her 1964 Rambler. One day she decided to have all three of us kids paint it silver, with brushes. The end result was visible drips and brush strokes down the length of the car. She named it “The Silver Streak” and it remained that way for the rest of her life. We would have sleepovers, outside on the slightly pitched roof of her garage. We would all climb up there on a ladder, roll out our sleeping bags and lay out under the stars. Sometimes she would stand on the roof and call out to the coyotes down by Banks Lake, and they would call back. In her house she kept cans of honey with the lid off and they would crystalize into candy, she also kept bread in the cupboard and when it got hard and dry she would make toast out of it. She would gargle with turpentine to cure a sore throat. Her best friend and neighbor was Bonny Clyde, who would greet us kids at the door usually with treats. She lived in what was at one time a store and gas station that had been converted into a house. Bonny was blind, and wore dark glasses but still seemed to be able to amble around quiet easily in her house, which still had the odd shelving and monotone appearance of the store it used to be in Fordair, where my Great Grandma Nellie Hanning lived.

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