Big Inca

To: The Boss

From: Bill

Date: August 6

Like most old mill towns, yrUBbury has been occupied by immigrant ethnic groups. There aren’t many good old WASPs left. The ones who could, took the money and ran. Others realized what working in those mills really meant. Peanuts. Lousy hours. Very cold in the winter, and sweltering come summer. And they moved to the Midwest, where better fortunes could be made. Or Manhattan. Nobody admits liking Mud Daubers.

The new arrivals must have envisioned yrUBbury as it had been before all the development. The hillsides must have reminded them of their native lands. In many ways, they made their new home more colorful. In many ways, it continues its slide into drab. An interesting dynamic is at work here.

But that was a long time ago. Maybe you can look at the ethic lines through the city’s congregations – First Church and Precious Blood, on the square that’s not square, Living Water Assembly at the edge of town, Orthodox on Congress Street, and the Unitarians and a synagogue along the river on Court Street.

Precious Blood, by the way, seems to be a merged parish, compressing waves of Irish, Italian, and French-Canadians here. They may worship together these days, but that’s about it. If city council’s any indicator, there’s a lot of political infighting and bickering largely along ethnic lines. Nothing seems to get done there.

Still, many of the old factories remained, transformed for more up-to-date products, like toxic chemicals. It doesn’t seem to matter. The old wooden apartments are where we live, like most of the population. About a decade before I showed up, the last of the old businesses had pretty much fallen to competition from imports. The Italians, especially, seemed to have targeted yrUBbury for extinction – at least, in the shoe biz. Even so, for a half century now, they’ve owned almost all the bars in the city – not the Irish. I don’t know what to make of this. Anyway, it’s a good place for pizza. As for the others, I’ll have to investigate.

By the way, I get the keys to the store tomorrow. Be glad to move some of these antiques out of the apartment. Get a real office set up, too.


The full Big Inca versus a New Pony Express Rider novel is yours at Thistle/Flinch editions.


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