Abraham Adams was born in the first decade of the 1900s, in a large, rambling wood-frame house painted green sitting on a dusty street just outside the middle of a very small town. He was the last of seven siblings. It was a time before houses were wired for electricity, a time when outhouses were about to be replaced by water closets. Running water was imminent but for now there were pumps in the yard, or artesian wells, to fill the sinks and the washing tubs. The inhabitants got around on foot if they didn’t have a horse, a mule, or an ox. When Abe was growing up every boy had a dog, every house had a family of mousers, and most homes had a few chickens pecking at scraps and bugs in the yards. The more affluent chickens received a daily tossing of scratch from Tillman’s Feed Store.
In the small town people knew each other well, and could spot a stranger the moment he came into town from the south passage or off the river. That stranger's presence and business were known by everyone within a day's time, the news having traveled casually over neig...
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...largely ignored him. With the feminine attention in such supply he saw little of his mother, who was too tired to give him much raising at that point. She did, however, read to him most evenings from the family bible after one or other of the girls had seen to his bath after supper. By the time he was seven or eight, these novelties wore off and he was left alone to manage his reading and his toilet. Nights were a time to fall heavily into bed only to rise again for school, work, or tramping the woods. Abe's world was not in his home, but in the larger world outside his home.
When Abe was a young teen he came home one evening to excited talk amongst his papa and brothers. There was a supply of wires laid about the yard and he was told that tomorrow he must stay well out of the way because the men of the family were wiring their home for electricity.
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