July 16, 2017:
He was so kind.
That day he'd received a model plane with an engine that flew. He'd saved and waited and that was the day it came. A Sunday on the sidewalk outside the church.
I was so excited! I loved airplanes and wanted to grow up to be a pilot.
"Let me play, let me play!" He did: I flew it before he even did.
But something happened and it became damaged. I damaged it somehow and it would no longer fly.
"I can fix it," I said, a little frantically. He'd saved and waited and let me fly it first, and now I'd broken it before he'd even had a chance.
I failed. He asked for it back, I gave it to him guiltily.
"That's alright," he said. "I'll fix it later."
He was the only one who would spend time with me. There were no kids and the grownups wanted me silent. I heard years later he'd died of wheat dust contamination in his lungs.
His name was Erwin. Of all of them there, those country people, he was the most kind.