I love corn! My earliest memory of corn is vivid and indelibly imprinted on my brain. I was four years old and living in Kansas City, Missouri. My brother, Robert, and I were just two little kids sitting in the back of some old grey car. I don’t know the make of the vehicle, but I can still smell the interior of that car.
My Mom was in the passenger seat looking a bit stiff and uncomfortable. There were some dead squirrels on the floor of the back seat. I don’t remember my dad getting out of the car to shoot them; I just know they were laying there. Robert and I were so quiet, you wouldn’t even know we were there.
Who wouldn’t be? Dad screamed at us, “You kids! Don’t make a sound or I’ll take the belt to you when we git home!”
He pulled the car over to the side of the road. Mom turned to the back seat and put her index finger to her lips. We got it. I felt my heart pounding in my chest and hoped the loud noise it made in my ears couldn’t be heard by my dad.
The back door flung open, and a whole bunch of giant ears of corn were dumped into the car on top of the dead squirrels. The door slammed, and Dad pulled the already running car onto the road and sped off. Although I knew we were doing something bad, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of that corn; sweet and delicious right out of the field.
When my friend, Bill, told me he was driving through Iowa on his way home to California from Michigan, I gasped, “Corn!”
“Uh, yeah … corn. There’s plenty of corn – miles and miles of corn. Corn as far as the eye can see.”
“Please, please, please – could you bring some? I love corn!”
He laughed. “I’ll see what I can do. There may be a problem getting through the agricultural check station crossing state lines. I don’t want to get arrested for trafficking corn,” he joked.
Bill came to see me a few days later and brightened my day with an armload of corn.
I don’t know if he schlepped it from Iowa or picked it up at Safeway. It makes no difference – it was just as sweet! As is Bill – he also brought me flowers. I like those better than dead squirrels.