He was a skilled carpenter and before he was a railroad car inspector he built houses. When he was in the garage working he didn't stop for anything and the scars on his fingers reflected it. His hands were two-hundred-year-old oaks with rivets that served as holding compartments for his violin strings once the moon rose. He only had a third of his stomach after the age of forty due to ulcers. His worry about strong houses and smooth rails, knuckled him inside and out. He never sang. Unsung words formed the floorboards of the creaking porches of all of his houses. They swayed in unsilence.
His wife out-walked words and wore down sidewalks in the town, indented colorless paths to and from the liquor store for him. Catherine Cecelia Gebhart McHugh was born and raised in Grand Island. When she was a little girl her mother forced her to practice the piano five or six hours a day and constantly permed her hair into tiny, tight curls. Her father died when she was seven and when he did her mother bought a duplex with four units and rented them out. On the ground level she ran a beauty shop, doling out petrified curls to the whole town. Catherine’s hair held those curls until a cold