Simpler Times - Dr. Rebecca Foster

Each month we spotlight one of our members. This time around, we feature a story from Dr. Rebecca Foster. This month’s story, Simpler Times, won first place in the Clara Barger Memorial Award in 2022.


he picture had hung in our living room for years. I remember the day dad finished the painting and placed it with such pride over our mantle.

“Now mind you, it’s still a little damp, so don’t touch it.”

“Small town America,” he would say nodding his head, I being only seven at the time, nodded my head in agreement: although I had no idea what he meant.

Now in my fifty’s and with dads passing, I realized the painting depicted a much simpler time. I gently touched the paint, hesitant at first, as if it could still be wet, letting the colors transport me back to the days of my youth. A time when the fins on the automobiles were much longer than our egos and the innocence of life could be contained within the seven “city” streets, one stop sign and a railroad track. A lifetime ago spent exploring the numerous dirt roads that lead to my friends and families homes. Secret fishing holes where one day with our sun dried cane pole, bent hook, leaky red /white bobber we knew we would catch the next world record or at least supper for the night. The water was cool enough to chill a watermelon or take the heat and dust off as we swam and splashed with cousins and friends.

Summers were spent riding bikes and wandering in the Ben Franklin store with a pocket of jingly change gained through daily chores. Unknown to us then, the building of character and learning the ethics of work tempered with responsibility. Although we were considered a small town we had big ideas. However, if we got to feeling too big of ourselves, parents would cure that problem mighty quickly. Gently I smiled. My cell phone rang, my wife and kids were on the way with the movers. I hope dad would be proud. I’m moving back home.