Joyce Dyer 



I hear a train whistle coming from the Eckard Baldwin Funeral Home as I step inside the door.  I know Scotty’s here after I identify the sound.  It’s his funeral today, even though he’s not going to be buried until later in the week— in West Virginia, where he was born.

A man greets me and asks if I’ve come to see Wendell Scott. We always called him “Scotty,” so I almost tell him that, but decide there would be no point. I remember someone in our family saying once that his mother always called him Wendell, but I never met her, so I can’t prove that the story’s true. I tell the greeter yes, instead. “Please enjoy his Memory Video,” the man then says, pointing to the TV screen just left of Scotty’s casket. He says nothing else. Nothing at all about the body in the room.

The Memory Video is a fairly new concept in the funeral industry, though children today will grow up knowing nothing else.  A funeral without a Memory Video will soon seem out-of-date.  Old-fashioned.  A loved one’s family is instructed to bring in old photographs, which a company the funeral home hires then burns onto a DVD. A small flat screen TV and a DVD player are wheeled in, and the video is set to continuous play. The chairs are already in place for the funeral. The family can suggest a favorite song for the soundtrack, if they choose, or the funeral home will pick one from a medley of old fifties tunes. I’m not sure what it costs to produce a video like this, but family members like a souvenir, so they probably don’t care.  And people who come to pay their respects like looking at something with a little more life to it than a body that won’t move anymore at all.

I glance at Scotty before I take a seat in front of the screen.  They’ve done something funny to his neck.  He had folds of skin dangling from his chin all the years I knew him, like the wattle of a Barred Plymouth Rock. Or a turkey or lizard.  It was an extra floppy wattle, the kind some roosters have, but it’s disappeared now, tucked inside of him somewhere, along with everything else. 

"But the loud scream of a train whistle, wet with steam, 

was always playing in the backgroud of his life . . . " 

The train whistle they’ve gotten right, though. I think Scotty’s granddaughter probably chose the sound. No one loved or knew him better than that sweet girl did. I see her surrounded by callers across the room. Scotty loved opera and classical music and listened to them both on the radio.  But the loud scream of a train whistle, wet with steam, was always playing in the background of his life, even when the radio was off.  It was as prominent as his West Virginia accent. When I hear it blow again, I glance over at Tonya and we finally catch each other’s eye.  I nod, and she smiles back.



               I heard that whistle every time I walked into his house. For many years the sound came from his basement. Later, from a train clock he kept in a corner of his upstairs living room. I close my eyes before the video begins, and almost feel as if I’m not here anymore.  I don’t want to look at Scotty pillowed by tufts of taffeta anymore, or at the photographs on the DVD, so I pretend neither of us is here. We’re in his house high atop an Akron hill.

I never visited him as a girl.  Those early years of my life were the years Scotty’s mother was alive and lived with him in the house, and nobody in our family went to see him then. On Sundays my parents and I would go on little drives through different parts of Akron in our Hudson Hornet. Most of the time we rode to west Akron to look at the homes of rich Firestone executives who owned the rubber factory where my father worked.  But sometimes Tom Coyne would head to east Akron and turn onto Scotty’s street, and then slow down in front of his house. It stood far up on a very steep rise, a tired structure buried in the side of Ohio’s glacial rock—the shape and color of the landscape itself. It didn’t look like the houses in south Akron—where we lived—that stood flat on a piece of lawn and had short drives and bright bushes all around the perimeter. At Scotty’s, there were mainly stones on the slope that led up to the house, not grass, and there wasn’t a back yard—just another piece of hill rising up from where the house left off.  Tom, Annabelle, and Joyce Coyne stared at the house on those occasional Sundays, but then drove on.

I didn’t ask why we never crept up Scotty’s treacherous driveway to knock on the door, but I always thought it might be the same reason we didn’t ride the biggest roller coaster at the fair.  I imagined that my dad had performed some calculation in his brain and determined that our car could not make it to the top of the drive.  But I had it wrong. That wasn’t the reason at all. 

"Scotty married Marie King, one of my maternal aunts,

and brought her to live in the house that his mother and he

had formerly occupied. His new bride was fifty-five years old."

               Scotty’s mother bought the house on Stetler Avenue for herself and her young son when they arrived in Akron in the 1920s, and they lived there together until she died fifty years later. A few months after his mother’s death in 1971, Scotty married Marie King, one of my maternal aunts, and brought her to live in the house that his mother and he had formerly occupied. His new bride was fifty-five years old. He’d fallen in love with my aunt Marie right after the War, but he’d waited twenty-five years to marry her.  She had divorced her first husband a second time by then (she had married Big Jim twice), so she was available for husband number three. But for some reason that we didn’t understand, he wouldn’t marry her until his mother was dead.  Only after the old woman died and Marie moved in did people in our family visit Scotty at his house.

People in my family stayed away before this because they thought Scotty was a scoundrel and a blackguard.  Why, if he were a respectable man, wouldn’t he just marry my aunt Marie and set things right?

Her sisters—my Haberkost aunts and my mother—said that Marie and Scotty were having sex. That was the thing that upset them most. Scotty had bought her that ring to make it look like something else—make it look like love—but he had no intention of marrying Marie Haberkost King. It was clear to our family what Scotty was up to.

Scotty seldom seemed to worry about how his long engagement looked to other people in town, or even to the Haberkosts. He didn’t seem to mind that my aunt’s nieces and nephews weren’t allowed to call him “Uncle Scotty.”  (We could only call him “Scotty.” “Uncle” was reserved for men who actually married my aunts, not just slept with them. By the time he did marry Aunt Marie, we couldn’t break our two-decade habit of addressing him without the title he finally had earned.) 

In the second decade of their engagement, there was a small change in the way my family treated Wendell Scott.  Perhaps there had been a family council and someone pointed out that nothing was going to ever change.  Maybe they had begun to suspect that Scotty’s mother was complicit in all of this, and she showed no signs of dying soon. She made Scotty stay with her. This could go on forever, an aunt or uncle might have said. And they would have been right.  It almost did.

My uncles—even my aunts—finally stopped looking for Scotty’s vices and began to think the protracted engagement wasn’t all his fault. They decided simply to pity him.  

"I don't remember when I first noticed that Scotty moved

a little like a train, but I'm sure it was sometime

after my first visit to his house."

The first time I went inside his house after he finally did marry my aunt, I was a grown woman. I remember how surprised I was by the crudeness of the interior. Oh, the house had carpet and furniture—just like other houses—but something about it made it feel subterranean. A remnant of an ice age. All the ceilings were lower than normal, and Scotty, tall and heavy-set, had to duck as he moved from room to room, forcing his shoulders to stoop and round as the years began to accumulate. I don’t remember when I first noticed that Scotty moved a little like a train, but I’m sure it was sometime after my first visit to his house. He was a horizontal man who kept his nose to the ground and seemed to shuffle a little, as if his feet were looking for metal tracks. He would almost skate, or glide, in spite of his weight.

Descending to his cellar that first time was like entering the hill itself through an underground passageway. It smelled like wet rocks, and I looked for stalactites as I guarded my head. It was as damp and cool as a tunnel down there, with narrow pathways through his treasures—aisles not made, it seemed to me, for grown-woman hips, but for the sleek sides of trains, or the body of a boy. Boxes and old file cabinets lined the walls, maps and sketches poking out of them. Hundreds of electric trains stood on improvised shelves or hung on hooks from the ceiling of that catacomb, waiting for Scotty to take them down.

His collection was so vast that from the first day I saw it I began to wonder how he had ever found time to assemble such a thing. My father had collected coins for twenty years by the early seventies and kept them all in three big leather suitcases.  What I saw in front of me that first day in Scotty’s basement was nothing like my father’s casual collection. It was not just a hobby of his. Scotty told me once that his mother bought him a box camera at a local drugstore for seventy-five cents just after they arrived in town, and that he began taking pictures of trains with it—which he would then sketch after the photos were developed. But he didn’t say too much about the camera.  Most the time, he told me, he drew on site. He would stay for hours at Akron locations with his pad of drawing paper, sketching railroad cars and trainmen, trestle bridges and noses of locomotives.  Railroad people came to know him.  Some who were still alive when Scotty died attended his funeral. He was meticulous in his renditions.  Every portrait of trains or of railroad men—engineers, safety inspectors, station masters, laborers—was fanatically and flawlessly detailed, as if Scotty feared leaving something out. Feared making a mistake. People at the Akron depot and other stops waited for the boy, and welcomed him. Of the thousands of sketches he drew (then stacked in drawers, neatly catalogued), almost all were of trains. The rest of the world didn’t seem to exist for Wendell Scott.  Or matter. 

As an adolescent and then an adult, he would go back to Greenbrier County every summer to draw the West Virginia stops—Renick, Marlinton, Cass, Durbin, Ronceverte.  His mother would accompany him while she was alive. For several decades he’d ride the train with her from Akron to Ronceverte, where he would change from the Main Line to the Greenbrier Branch Line, then steam north to Renick. Passenger service ended in 1951, so Scotty began making the trip to the mountains by Greyhound bus. In 1963 he bought his first car, a ’61 Chevy, and drove the route.  When he married, he put my aunt in the passenger seat where his mother had formerly been. 
He knew all the routes through Akron and West Virginia, knew the architecture of every depot along every line, knew where the water towers stood, how the tracks nestled between the hills. He memorized daily schedules for the Baltimore and Ohio, the Cleveland Terminal and Valley Railroad, the Pittsburgh and Western, the Erie, Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad. 

I don’t think he ever traveled by plane. Anywhere. He either drove or took a train or rode the Greyhound bus. He didn’t talk about the stars and sky at all, as I recall, and maybe this is part of the reason I can’t picture him suspended in the air.  Or maybe it’s because he was the first person I ever knew—certainly the first family member—who told me that he didn’t believe in God or heaven.  He said it in the same voice he used to talk about his Corn Flakes. He was not afraid or ashamed.  It just was a fact for him, this thing about God, so he delivered it in a calm monotone. Sometimes he would add the word “agnostic,” but he would never pause to explain the word to me, assuming that I knew it because I knew him. He didn’t go to church or hum hymns, or sit with me on his porch and stare with awe at the heavens on the blackest nights—the way my other uncles did.  He was smart and thoughtful, but not very contemplative, as I think about it now. Except, of course, when a train whistle blew.  It was the Angelus bell of his life, the thing he waited for, his fix. It was irresistible. The marrow in his bones.  I don’t recall a single conversation we ever had that didn’t involve a train.  

"Marie loved Scotty's trains. . . . every time the train whistled it meant

Scotty was in the house. It was a soothing sound. To my aunt, perhaps even

a flirtatious sound. A two-toned wolf whistle calling out for her."

I imagine Scotty’s mother watching the lonely, curious child she’d brought to this strange town full of rubber and trains. I think she probably always understood something of his obsession with trains. Others might have watched him and just thought Scotty was an odd little boy. But even when she bought the camera, she must have known how shy and lonely he was, known that his attraction to trains would become the sanest thing in his crazy life. He needed something of his own, something as strong and powerful as the metal of a train. He’d just left his home, after all, his family, his friends. She’d brought him here. Just the two of them, together, on this bold trip north. His trains would take the place of playmates, which were hard to find atop a hill as steep as theirs. Maybe she sensed that trains would give him pleasure, too, another thing she no longer could provide. And, later, when he roamed outside, Akron’s trains would distract him from the city’s sins and keep him safe, wouldn’t they? They’d provide the direction she could not give.  Teach him how to walk the streets in a straight way, and be a man. He would memorize the schedules of trains passing through Akron and go to meet them, blocking out the rest of the city—the bars and drunks and dark clouds of Rubber Town. He would be on time, she just knew he would. Perhaps he wouldn’t even notice that she was growing old, she might have thought, or that he was growing older too. When the boy, then the man, was occupied with trains, he was again the child she had loved and nothing had altered and nothing ever would and he was hers.  She was sure of this.

Marie loved Scotty’s trains, just as the old woman had. I knew enough about Marie and her past to understand why she always spoke with such excitement about his interest. Why would my aunt Marie not love her husband’s trains? Why would she scold a grown man for playing with trains in the basement of his own house after the first two marriages she’d had?  Her other husband (or husbands, depending on the way you count) had spent his time and money in Akron bars with women who were not my aunt Marie. His negligence had harmed every member of her family. Her three children, harmed irrevocably. But every time the train whistled it meant Scotty was in the house. It was a soothing sound.  To my aunt, perhaps even a flirtatious sound. A two-toned wolf whistle calling out for her. The sound of their intense attraction to each other, a blast of promise that she would never be alone again.

After Marie died, Scotty came upstairs. He never lost interest in trains completely, but his exuberance in everything just began to wane once Marie was gone.  I remember talking to him the day of her funeral in an alcove of the funeral home on Market Street where Scotty is now.  He refused to go inside the visitation room where her body was.  “As long as I stay outside,” he said, “and don’t go in there, she isn’t dead.”  He never moved from that chair.  Never looked at her lying in her casket. Did not attend the service that her daughter and her grandkids had to organize. 

He traveled less to find trains now—even the basement stairs were too long a trip for his old legs and veins—but he made sure that trains continued to surround him. His living room, which had from the very beginning of my visits looked a little like a train station to me—as full of train literature and schedules as the one downtown—quickly filled with new resources.  Bookshelves and tables spilled over with graphs and maps and newspaper clippings about trains. And Scotty bought a train clock that he mounted on the wall right above his rocking chair so he could hear the whistle blow. The face of the clock had a different train beside each number, each with its own distinct whistle. At 1:00 the New Jersey Central Blue Comet shrieked, at 3:00, the Santa Fe.  At 5:00 the whistle of the Pioneer Zephyr blew, at 6:00, the New York Central. An hour later, the Norfolk & Western. Every hour, a new train raced through Scotty’s house and took him where he wanted to go. The trips were not physical now, but the departures and returns were no less frequent—no less real—than they ever were. I wonder if that hourly whistle brought back to him the voices of his mother and my aunt Marie, as they joined in his obsession. 




               I told my husband recently that I regret not having visited Scotty more than I did when he was alive.  His response surprised me.  “He was a little cold,” he said.  “Not like your uncle Paul.  Paul and your aunt Ruth just sucked you into their orbit.”

I thought about what he said. Yes, there was something lovely but a little distant about Scotty. It was as if he were always about to leave for someplace I couldn’t go.  He was only willing to take his wife, her children, and his grandkids along as passengers. There wasn’t room for anyone else, and you could feel that somehow.  Oh, he was extremely kind to us, and gentle, but he didn’t adore us the way he adored the Kings. In the first years of his marriage to Marie, he talked only about trains and about Marie and her family, especially about Marie’s long (and what he thought was distinguished) career behind the cosmetic counter at O’Neil’s Department Store in Akron. 

Then grandkids entered their lives and the conversation shifted a little. When Marie’s daughter and husband both ended up working day and night shifts with the police department in order to get a little extra money, Scotty and Marie began to raise their grandchildren themselves, almost greedily keeping them for weeks at a time and converting rooms of their house into bedrooms for a little boy and a little girl. The grandkids were all we ever heard about, and maybe we grew tired of listening to stories so obsessively focused on them, stories that predictably illustrated how exceptional they were in sports and science, and how their height and their dark, thick curly hair had given them such advantage over other children (including our own, we always felt was implied). Perhaps we were made uncomfortable by Scotty’s fierce adoration and possessiveness. It seemed unnatural to us.  He was only a grandpa, after all—and a step-grandpa at that! 

One minute his passion for those kids, and his extreme indulgence, appeared to me hopelessly narcissistic—the product of an ego gone mad. The next, horribly sad, an old man’s fantasy that these children would never come to any harm, never disappoint him, and that they were going to have everything they needed or wanted in life—every single thing. I think we knew (I think I knew) that there was something we weren’t seeing or understanding all those times we saw Scotty and Marie drive Akron’s streets with their two grandkids seated proudly in the back of their car, like young royalty, on the way to being spoiled again.  All those times we watched them roll carefully down their steep driveway, the children with them, for two-week vacations to Disney World or West Virginia or a national park. For toys and ice cream and expensive clothes from O’Neil’s Department Store.  We just smiled and waved goodbye, sometimes grinding our teeth a little as we watched them disappear. 

I didn’t know for many, many years that there was a piece missing to my analysis that only Scotty could supply. I didn’t know I’d have to wait. I was close when I guessed that his indulgent behavior was a little sad—though I’m sorry to confess that this more sympathetic response on my part was only occasional—but I had no idea the extent of the emotion behind what he did, and what he felt. “Sad” was not the right word. What motivated him was not madness or sadness—or, I should say, not just those things, though a little of both.  There was something else: the missing puzzle piece that he would show me one day—pink and bloody, shaped like a child’s heart. 



               Scotty’s job at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was manufacturing rubber hoses. He once told me that early in his career he found his shift number on a tender hose of a locomotive that had passed through town.
I had to ask him what that was—a tender hose.  He told me about the car right behind the locomotive—the tender car—that carried fuel and water for the engine. The hose ran from the tender car to the locomotive.  The two cars were inseparable. Ropes of hose joined the cars the way sinews and joints and veins in a human body connected bones and muscles and heart. 

The locomotive was splashier than the tender car, Scotty said, yet the two always came as a set when you bought model trains, and Scotty loved the tender car.  He told me about The Great Train Robbery, a movie Thomas Edison made with a famous fight that took place on top of one. Excitement wasn’t what people typically associated with a car as dull and plain as the tender, he said, but you couldn’t have a locomotive without a tender car. The engine wouldn’t go anywhere for very long without coal or steam or oil and water. Boilers have to be fed, he said. 
When he saw that tender hose, with the number of his department written on it, Scotty knew there wasn’t a job anywhere more important than the one he had.  He kept making rubber hoses for forty-five years and found nothing to complain about. 

He never left his plant.

Every day, at the same time, a train passed over that trestle,

and a man, hat in hand, standing on the footboard,

right beside the cowcatcher, waved to his son."

One day, just months before Scotty died, he told me a story. I was visiting him at his home. He walked me into his living room and pointed to an old photograph above a little desk.

“I took that in Pittsburgh in the fifties.”  I followed his finger and saw a train on a high, narrow bridge. It seemed quite ordinary.

“My dad would stand on the footboard—right beside the cowcatcher—see?”  He pointed to the nose of the engine, close to the tracks, and directed my glance to the metal platform where his father would have stood in the open air.  “Right when the train crossed that bridge, that very bridge in Pittsburgh, where we lived for a little while after we left West Virginia, my dad would wave to me.”

His father, a trainman, a man he’d never mentioned to me before, had waved to him in Pittsburgh in the 1920s, when Scotty was five and six, and Scotty had never forgotten it. Once each day, as a very young boy, Scotty would eagerly come out of his house and peer up at the trestle of a railroad bridge.  And wait. Every day, at the same time, a train passed over that trestle, and a man, hat in hand, standing on the footboard, right beside the cowcatcher, waved to his son.

Thirty years after he left Pittsburgh, Scotty returned to find the bridge, the house, the valley where he watched his father signal to him once each day.  He’d clicked the photograph that was now hanging on his wall.  The photograph had been in his house for fifty years, in the same spot where he’d originally hung it.
We returned to the kitchen.  I remained quiet.  I could tell the story wasn’t finished yet.

“When I was six years old,” he said, “my daddy kissed me goodnight, tucked me in, and rode away on a train over that trestle bridge.  He never came back.”

And then Scotty stopped.  It seemed that he would say no more about the picture or his dad.  

I sat there, across from him, and saw Scotty board another train, going the opposite direction from the one his father was on. I saw the boy and his mother pack their small cheap suitcases one last time and buy a ticket to Akron, Ohio (probably with a family pass, because no one at the depot would have found out yet that they weren’t the trainman’s family anymore). Akron, please, his mother would have said.  She had a sister there.  She and Scotty would sit side by side in a passenger car, not even looking behind them to say goodbye to Pittsburgh, because it wasn’t their home now.  Perhaps it never had been.   

By the time they’d settled there, transferred from West Virginia by the railroad company, the trainman didn’t want his family. Maybe he had loved his younger son who died from cholera a little more than he ever had been able to love Wendell—such a funny name for such a funny boy, such a silly name for a mother to give a son. Perhaps he just preferred the glamour of a locomotive to the weight of freight he always had to drag behind.  Maybe he could see ahead to the vision of a woman—a witch on a hill—growing older and older and more and more stern, always watching him.  Or perhaps he didn’t think about any of this, but just kept riding one night and never came back.

He was an engine, not a tender car, for Christ’s sake.

His father knew the consequences of tenderness.  Foolishness, he would have called it.  If you turned around and came home, night after night, there would be demands that would be difficult to meet, needs difficult to fill. And soon the years would burgeon into history, and that could bring only grief. Night after night children grew older and more insolent, and there would be hard questions you couldn’t answer and unbearable sadness you couldn’t endure. Each time you returned to your lover, she would be less and less like the girl who used to rest so lightly in your arms. Someone would always be whining for a hat, a quart of milk, new shoes to wear. Hair would grow gray and thin. First the wounded foot, then the body and organs would give out. There was salt and ash in the words of all long relationships. So why would he turn back—come back—and choose to stay? Why would he do something like that? So much easier to wave, and ride away.

Scotty surprised me.  He said one last thing as I sat there thinking about his dad. “I was afraid my mother would leave me too. We never were apart.” 

When Scotty became a man, his boyhood fear of being left behind would turn into a pledge to never leave people he cared about, the way his father had. 



               Scotty stayed. He stayed when his mother grew old. He took care of her all her days. When she died, he transported her to Renick, where she was born, and buried her in Morningside Cemetery. He stayed again when his wife was in the throes of Alzheimer’s and said terrible things to him and needed constant care. After she died, he hired a hearse to take her body to the Renick family plot.  Everyone is there, and soon Marie’s daughter will follow behind a hearse and bury Scotty in Greenbrier County, too.  

Scotty wasn’t coerced to stay with his mother, the way we’d thought. From the day his father kissed him goodbye, he knew he would live with her until she died. It was what he had to do. What he wanted.

He would not leave his mother, even for a woman that he probably loved more than he loved her. More than he loved anyone or anything.  Even trains. He would not abandon, a second time, the woman who brought him to Akron, because Scotty knew a person couldn’t survive that twice. He had barely survived it once. This was the truth that pulled him along.



               Scotty made it look so easy, staying put.  But it wasn’t.  And it’s not.

We all have heard a train wobbling over tracks in the middle of the night, stopping in our town just before it races on.  The Norfolk Southern runs through Hudson on the Cleveland line and I hear it almost every night.  It takes mail, and crosses several bridges on its way.  I know its sound and path.

I sometimes think I could catch it.  Climb aboard.  Just disappear. Fly through the window and follow the sound.  There are no passenger cars anymore on that train, but there would still be room for me. It’s just my spirit that sometimes needs to go.  A spirit doesn’t take up any room.

But then I stop my ears and look around at what is here.  Even in the dark, with only the light of a streetlamp filtering through our windows, I see all that I have.  My husband’s arm bent across his forehead and a whimper on his lips left over from this hard day, books I have yet to read stacked high on my mother’s sewing stool, the pills on my nightstand that I hate to take but that keep me well, dwarf petunias and an orange begonia floating in a little bowl, the comforter that in different seasons has folded us in joy and grief,  my mother’s hope chest full of popcorn quilts and all her handiwork, a pencil and paper for images that become visible to me only in the dark, the magnolia tree outside our window where a dove will coo in the morning—the rooster of our suburban plot.

I feel Scotty’s story heading straight into my bones.  And then I fall asleep. 

"The curve of the lid will resemble the swell of coal

at the top of a tender car. As the train rides over a trestle bridge,

that convexity will hint at the valuable ore below."

And now I’m sitting in a folding chair, waiting for the funeral to begin, but so much else is happening here. 

I hear a whistle blow. I see a locomotive heading toward the Eckard Baldwin Funeral Home. It’s come for Scotty. His casket will be closed soon. The curve of the lid will resemble the swell of coal at the top of a tender car.  As the train rides over a trestle bridge, that convexity will hint at the valuable ore below.    

The locomotive backs into the room.  Scotty hops down out of his coffin and makes sure the coupling is secure, and then attaches a tender hose from his car to the engine that’s come to pull him from the earth.  He’s about to board the great Celestial Railroad—a train that even he has never ridden on or photographed. He climbs back into his casket and prepares to lower the lid.

“Trainman!” he cries.

There’s a whistle, and the wheels start to turn.

“Trainman!” he says one more time, more urgently.  “Please, trainman, come for me!”

A man covered with the dust of other trips steps from the locomotive onto the footboard, and then moves across the room to answer the call. He walks to the casket and kisses the old man’s head. Small words are spoken, but I can’t distinguish them. The trainman lowers the lid, turns his back, and walks toward the engine.

He waves as he pulls the tender car from the room.  Scotty is leaving now—leaving with the trainman. He will no longer need to wait for the hour to strike to hear the whistle blow. At every bend the train will take on its journey away from here, the sound of that whistle will be in the air, sending Scotty into deeper and deeper sleep. It’s the lullaby he’s waited for all his life. 



Joyce Dyer is the author of three highly acclaimed memoirs, including Goosetown: Reconstructing an Akron Neighborhood, a finalist for the Ohioana Book Award; Gum-Dipped: A Daughter Remembers Rubber Town, a Book of the Year finalist by ForeWord Magazine; and In A Tangled Wood: An Alzheimer’s Journey, a nominee for National Book Award. She edited the anthology Bloodroot: Reflections on Place by Appalachian Women Writers, winner of The Weatherford Award and the Susan Koppleman Award. Her essays have appeared in numerous magazines, including North American Review, High Plains Literary Review, creme city review, and Stoneboat Journal, as well as in numerous collections and anthologies. Joyce is the John S. Kenyon Professor of English at Hiram College and is in demand as a teacher at a wide variety of writing workshops across the country.