“Another cup of coffee, Sue?”

“Toby Terry and Dad-weren’t they playing hookey that day?
Anyway, wasn’t it Toby Terry with the rowboat?
They almost went over the dam and they had to get someone to help them out.
Or was it Robby Farney?
But Toby Terry and Robby Farney are interchangeable in most of my father’s stories.

There was a blizzard
and my father
and probably Toby Terry and Robby Farney
and somebody else were in a car-
and I wish I could remember-

I don’t know if they were driving out of Beaver River
back toward the farm, into town, or to New Bremen,
but it was an absolute blizzard, snow up to the wheels wells-
well there may not have been wheel wells on the car they were driving-
and they went over a gigantic bump, they hit something huge
which made them stop and get out.

And they discovered they had run over the village drunk, Finn Umpstead,
who lived in a shack in a gully and stole eggs from farms.

He was worse than a hobo.

I don’t think Finn was his actual first name. He was Scandinavian. And they called him Finn.”



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