Sometimes, it takes some time to remember some things. How it escaped the plunderer’s eye, that knew the contents of every drawer, closet, and cabinet, except for my brother’s because I had no interest, is interesting. But it was always there, as some things often are.
I remember my Mother mentioning Thomas Wolfe when I was a kid. She showed me a biography of him that had a section in the middle with pictures. One of the pictures was of a notebook where Wolfe had drawings of penises. I guess that type of memory would stick in my brain, but that was about all that stuck.
Recently, I saw a movie about Thomas Wolfe and the editor that helped him publish “Look Homeward, Angel”. I knew the book and the author, but realized I’ve never read the book or the author. So this was my next purchase download.
Reading bits between naps on a plane with my husband to see my parents in Spartanburg, South Carolina, I found the structure impeccable and voice, poetic.
When I told my parents what I was reading, they said the “Angel” was just about an hour away in a cemetery in Hendersonville.Then, my father said he had worked with Fred Wolfe, Thomas’ brother. Fred is Luke in the book. They worked at Foremost selling Ice Cream and Fred attended my parent’s wedding.
In the late 60s, when we were getting ready to be stationed in Turkey with the Air Force, Fred gave my parents a copy of “Look Homeward, Angel” with an inscription and a couple of photos. One of the photos is of Thomas and Fred, their heights in inches written on the back. The plunderer had missed all of this.
So I planned a day trip to the cemetery with my husband on my birthday, which was two days later.
It was a relatively short trip on a cold, cloudy day. The cemetery was dead and flat except for a few scattered trees and shrubs. Most of the tombstones were low and old and worn. Some were just rocks with small indents.
Wolfe’s Angel stands higher than anything else in the graveyard. It is surrounded by a tall iron fence and set on top of a four foot monument to Margaret E., Wife of E. H. Johnson, who is buried to the right.