The grocery store in Murdo is where Super Value used to be and it had everything I needed except Bing candy bars. I got a pot pie and a potato. I remembered that Mom used to bake potatoes and we mashed them on our plate. Then we mashed a chicken pot pie on top of the potato. I had forgotten how filling it was. I remember having to hide behind a book in school after having pot pies for noon dinner. It was all I could do to stay awake.
I was sitting in the living room, trying to get the TV to work when the doorbell rang. I was somewhat surprised because not many Murdo people know I’m here. Who am I kidding. The whole town knows I’m here. I went to answer the door. The person standing there looked kind of familiar. I trusted her immediately because she was wearing the most accurate indicator of trustworthiness…a crown.
“Hi,” she said. “I’m Lav.”
“You’re Lav? You are the one everyone tells me has been wandering around Murdo wearing a crown and a gown ever since the all school reunion in 2016? What are you doing here?”
“I heard you bought this house and brought it back to life. I remember it like it was yesterday…or the day before. I was one of the relatives who stayed here when your mom rented the basement out during tourist season. We didn’t know the unwritten rule. We would have stayed someplace else if we would’ve had cash.”
MG: That’s what Mom said. It’s been over fifty years, but it’s starting to come back to me. Please forgive me, but there are holes in my memory. I don’t remember anything up until I sealed the deal on this house.”
Lav: You don’t? What about the orange and black Mustang you rented in Rapid? I was wondering if you had to take it back. I love convertibles.
MG: Me too…where do you live, Lav?
Lav: I was staying at the cousin’s motels, but the unwritten rule is now in writing. It was posted on the door this morning. If you don’t pay, you can’t stay…
MG: Bummer… Do you want to live here, Lav? You can have Billy’s room. I haven’t heard from him, but then, I haven’t answered the telephone.
Lav: Sure, MG, I’ll hang my crown here for a while.
MG: Good, Lav. You can help me piece my life together. There are no pictures of me from the time I was eight.
Lav: Whoa! That could take some serious time!
MG: Yeah…can you help me get this TV to work? I wonder if Murdo still gets ‘As the World Turns’… I haven’t seen it in years.
Lav: I always loved Captain Kangaroo. Remember when all the ping-pong balls dropped on Mr. Moose’s head? I laughed my crown off.
MG: We’ll have fun, Lav. We know lots of Murdo people.
Lav: Yup… and people in Pierre and Ft. Pierre and we’ll go see Sheila again. Let’s go get a rhubarb shake at the drive-in. I’ll drive.
MG: We don’t have anything to drive. I’m pretty full, but I’ll go with you. We’ll ask everyone if they remember me.
It turns out the people at the drive-in don’t remember MG after the age of eight. They also said they agreed with her mother. She was gangly. The picture below shows her teeth have grown back in. Could this be a clue?
Stay tuned as more people are interviewed and freely tell Lav and MG the untold story.