A Road in the Sky
by Sara Rubin
There I was, my little four year old self, pushing my toy reel lawn mower behind my dad in the path he had just cut with his big reel lawn mower. I liked the smell of the newly cut grass and all the little green pieces sticking to my feet, but mostly I liked teasing my dad with my song,
“I don’t like my daddy,
I don’t like my daddy”,
singing it over and over as I walked.
He had evidently done something to displease me, maybe said I couldn’t wear my good shoes outside in the grass, and I was showing my displeasure.
He was pretending not to hear me, and calmly went about his work. It seems now he may have even been whistling, at least in his head, and certainly smiling at the goings on behind him.
We made an oddly companionable pair, me singing complaints about him, and he ignoring me.
Eventually though a thing of some significance occurred!
I happened to look up into the clear blue sky, what should have been clear blue that is, and saw — a road! A road? In the sky? Well, this needed attention!
I stopped my song on the spot and shouted,
”Daddy, there’s a road in the sky! There’s a road in the sky!”
He, of course, continued to ignore his feisty little daughter until I ran up and tugged at him.
We both stood there, looking up, he with a quizzical expression. Together we marched to the front yard, over the sidewalk and across the ditch, into the road in front of the house.
Mert Herzing, sitting up on his porch across the street, shouted to Dad, wondering what was going on. — Mert always seemed to shout, and his voice was very hoarse. We kids could never understand him. It turns out that his voice was ruined in the war when his unit suffered a mustard gas attack!
He came down his steps to join us, and the three of us, Mert, Dad and I, stood on Kaul Ave. looking up.
What we were seeing would be know as contrails, trails of steam condensed at upper altitudes from the exhaust of powerful high flying aircraft…
And thus the Jet Age was ushered in for the residents of St. Mary, PA, on a summer day in 1948, as pockets of people all over town were surely noticing too, and craning their necks upward to see the “road in the sky.”