I know one thing; instead of being down in the dumps with the thought of having no prospects, I now had new hope and excitement. I could always stay home and work the farm, but I wanted out, I wanted more.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those girls with her head buried in the sand; I’m pretty well aware that dreams don’t always come true, and the truth is, being a movie star isn’t my big dream, it’s just sort of the vehicle I guess you can say, to get me out of the life I’ve led so far.
I wanted to do something with myself, something more than what the last three or four generations of my family had done anyway.
So, if by some miracle I was to become a star, I wouldn’t sniff my nose at it, but I wasn’t kidding myself that it was going to be that easy.
At least in New York though, I would be in a much better position than I am staying at home where nothing ever happens and the most exciting thing to happen is a new Ice Cream flavor down at the Dairy Barn.
After I’d talked myself into believing that this was the best choice, I finally brought it up to my parents, hoping that whichever way the wind blew, I would still have a head on my shoulders at the end of the conversation.
I decided to go to momma first, she was always the easier to get around than daddy and I was hoping that she wouldn’t just dash my dreams without hearing me out first.
Mom said she had this friend from her school days that had moved to New York years ago, and that she’d dig up Marion’s number, and ask for her advice.
I was very excited to say the least; first that they were even contemplating letting me go. I thought for sure there would be a big row, but no, momma said she’d talk to dad about it and see that I got my chance like they never did, because they had me straight out of high school and dad got stuck on the family farm.
Two weeks later I was headed to New York with my meager belongings and a head full of dreams. Not only had Marion Chester, momma’s old school friend have great advice, she had a great job for me as her personal assistant.
Apparently the last one had left in a hurry, family emergency I think momma had said. Anyway this nice lady was willing to put me up for a few months until I got on my feet.
Everything was just falling into place and I was never so excited in my life, as when I boarded the Amtrak train that warm September evening.
Ms. Chester had offered to send a plane ticket, but momma had declined, arguing that the other lady had done more than enough, which indeed she had.
I was just happy to be starting my new journey in life; I didn’t much care how I got there. The train ride was going to take days because they had to break it up. Momma and daddy couldn’t afford one of those sleep in cars, but they had a bathroom that you could use to wash up, which I made great use of.
I was very excited to be on my own for the first time in my life. The only time I’d ever been outside my little town is through the TV screen, and I couldn’t wait to get started on my little adventure.
I had dreams of making it big and going back home in style, interspersed with bouts of raw terror where I just wanted to turn right around and head back to the sanctity and safety of the only home I’d ever known.
But as the days wore on, as I watched the dry cornfields fly by out the train window, that beat of hope started up again, and I said goodbye to my youth. I was fleeing the shackles of home and looking forward to my bright new future.
I didn’t meet anyone on the train, as I had been warned by my daddy over and over again not to engage anyone in conversation. So I kept my head buried in a book the whole time, until the train pulled into Penn Station.
I don’t think I’d ever seen so much movement and so many people in one place at the same time. The sights and sounds bombarded my senses at once and I looked around in amazement, probably looking like the hayseed I always thought myself to be.
Aunt Marion, as I had been told to call my benefactor, was supposed to pick me up near the waiting area, and since neither of us really knew what the other looked like, she would be holding a card with my name.
We didn’t have web cam and what not on the old computer daddy kept in his office at the farm, or it would’ve been an easy matter to Skype or any of the other things the other kids were always raving about.
But mom said the last picture aunt Marion had seen of me was as a baby, apparently that was about the last time the two women had really had any contact with each other.
Mom had settled into her life as a farm wife, while her good friend had gone on to a big time university and later, the editing chief of a major magazine. Just being in the same room with her was going to enrich my life, so I was way beyond excited.