As with every town to which the Lord sent me, I took Dodge captive and did not spare any part of it, even in passing glances, as I continued walking through the streets with him beside me in the hot blowing wind of a Kansas morning.
The facade of Boot Hill, and the spurious nature of its presentation for tourists, rounded my left shoulder as I walked by.
Eventually, I made it back to the Buick and drove across the tracks where I found a large community park and recreation facility.
I placed a captive cross of Merced soil in the spread of granite and marble and brick and stone where soon I saw the rising up from their rest the many departed who, below the reach of wind and weather, now awaited resurrection.
A circuitous route back to the airport after two hours of exploration took me past the Boot Hill Casino
which sat crypt-like beyond the verdure of a well-watered prairie.
I thanked Amador again for the use of the Buick. After I handed him the keys and used the restroom, I heard the door slam behind me for the last time. Amador followed me out to the Dove. He asked me about building the RV-8, about how well it performed, and then about the mission I was on. He asked if I were coming back someday.
And then out of nowhere, Amador asked me a ten-thousand-dollar question of his own.
“Where are you going to next?” he said.
The day was still young. It wasn’t even noon yet. I tightened up my shoulder harnesses and taxied out for takeoff.
The wind was blowing. I could feel it on my wings.