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A Memoir

by I.M. Tillerman


When a sixty-one year old man travels 50 years into the past to stop the tragic death of his sister, he must decide whether or not it is wise to alter the past.

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From Not Look Back...

   When I showed up on that first day, clad in typically rural garb of bibbed overalls and a flannel shirt with rolled up sleeves, I – like Hester and Pearl Prynne approaching the scaffold – became an immediate bull’s-eye for a double barrel blast of ridicule. Fellow students pointed and giggled, while teachers in three-piece suits and narrow ties shook their heads, as if to say, “Oh, Lord! What have we here?” And while it’s unarguably true that six years of country school – there was no kindergarten – taught me the basics of the three R’s, “Readin’, ‘Ritin’, and ‘Rithmetic,” I was grossly unprepared for the rigors of the metropolitan curriculum, struggling, for example, with the insane mixture of numbers and letters called “algebra.”
   I eventually adjusted to city schools and even grew to like them. However, in the early months of the breakneck transition from hayseed to city slicker, as I sometimes wept in the quiet darkness of my bed, I longed with great nostalgia to return to the idyllic days at Pioneer District Country School #44, where one could implement Thoreau’s advice to “simplify, simplify, simplify,” without even knowing that one was doing so.

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