|Wally and the other cars.. on the cover of The Roundabout Waltz|
|Wally's story, unfolding|
This is the story Wally...
Wally Broom’s been driving a Get-It-There truck for 30 years. Started as a box jock in 10th grade (loading), then promoted to driver. Back then, the money was good, he got great exercise (mostly outdoors), all the guys were always joking… it was cool… and eventually he got his own route. What more did a high schooler need? He even bought his own truck… red for NCSU.
At GIT all the trucks are brown, Wally’s coveralls are brown, the boxes are all brown…dirt brown.. manure brown. All these years… still tossing boxes, still driving, still making the same ’80’s pay. Wally thinks the color is right on. Now, he thinks GIT stinks!
Wally’s wife, LuAnn works at the Minny-Mart. The kids are all gone now, well not that far.. really. Junior and Betsy live in Apex, Bud lives over in Johnson County, Dee-anna and the grandkids are in Garner, and Hazel’s here in Raleigh living in some apartment complex near the prison. She says it’s safe… She’s studying to be an architect at NCSU! Good golly, who would have thunk it! Hazel'll be the first to graduate university… Wally hardly ever sees her these days.
Wally thinks about what Hazel might be doing today as his brown GIT truck nears the Hillsboro St.- Pullen Rd. roundabout. Hazel’s just a couple blocks away, right now… He can see the big building in his mind (kattycorner from the Pullen Rd. roundabout). Tall white marble columns on the front porch, and a dome on top! Some wierd metal sculpture in the front space. Pretty fancy.
But Hazel always had unusual ideas. When the other kids were scrubbing around in the yard behind the trailer playing tag or war or some wild game, Hazel was inside at the kitchen table drawing pictures, having tea parties, or doing homework! She insisted on taking that ballet class. The whole family got dressed up to go see her dance as a fairy or something. LuAnn insisted they had to buy a bunch of flowers to give her for when it was over. Six red roses all wrapped in tissue. Cost $20! Sheesh! For three months those roses stood in a jar on the kitchen table.. dead and wilted, turning brown like a GIT truck.
Wally thought about Hazel.. maybe she was in some lecture hall, learning about walls and roofs and stairs; or maybe she was at her studio table, making some little toy model.. an assignment for a museum add-on.. Wally imagined himself driving by the building with the marble columns... He knew he might get in trouble for going off schedule, but heck, everybody needed a break, especially after 30 years! Wally swung the brown GIT truck into the roundabout, drove right past Hillsboro St. and exited to Pullen Road. He drove up to the other roundabout (by the building with the marble columns)... and then he drove around that roundabout 4 times.