Across town: Bossy’s grandfather, Walt. A real prankster, this kid. A natural athlete and hell-raiser. The first one up in the morning, the first one diving into an icy ocean, the first one across the Ben Franklin Bridge on ribbon-cutting day. He hops freight trains to school and lobs eggs into Grand Opening crowds and aims his slingshot at the alley cats that perpetually threaten his grandfather’s prize Carrier Pigeons.
He’s holding one of those pigeons in the photo. Walt is eight, and this is the year he develops pneumonia. He’ll miss a whole term of school trying to get squared away, and as the summer approaches his doctor recommends country air for full recuperation. Walt’s grandfather—the Chief of Police—calls up a favor from a family friend and Walt is shipped off to the Lawrence Farm, where he learns to drive a truck down the rows of vegetables, pausing as overflowing baskets of potatoes are loaded onto the back.
At night he sleeps in the garret with the farmer’s son and a hired hand. As he looks up through the roof he can see stars, and yet when it rains he never gets wet. He’ll make a full recovery in time for the start of school, and for summers after he’ll return to this farm to work the fields.