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Max and Martin

tennessee mountain top anakeesta

When I was little my dad had a few acres of land. We lived in Texas, and “the land”, as my dad would call it, was in the hill country.

Hill country was short for, a long way to drive to see hills. Once there, you would be greeted with dirt, heat, mesquite trees and the occasional rattlesnake or two.

We’d go there, as a family, to camp, to escape…to enjoy the dirt.

My Dad had help there on the “land”. Two men named Max and Martin, they were father and son.

They lived in a trailer there on the land. I remember once stopping by their trailer to say, “hi” and Max offered me some of their lunch, tuna on crackers with pickles salt and pepper. First time I had tuna on crackers like that. I liked it.

I wonder, now, if they were truly happy? Max and Martin? Their faces showed joy the few times I saw them, but I wonder about their families. Did they have more family? And if so, were they missing them at the time? Was what my dad offering a better deal than the life that they left behind? I wish I could have been older, bolder, less terrified of everything, to ask such questions.

I remember them, Max and Martin, I remember thinking as a little girl, that they are a lot like us, but not a lot like us.

I didn’t know at the time, but looking back, they had much less than we did, and lived such richer lives. The two of them, together on that “land”.