Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 18, 2017

‘Fairfield Fantasies’

A poem by Thomas Ward
By Thomas Ward | Nov 07, 2013

Fairfield boys who wander

From the town where they were born.

May find life like lonely fabric

From which a piece is torn.


It seems there’s no returning,

There is no “going back.”

I’m living life with strangers

Who say “bag” when I say “sack.”


I’d like to locate things familiar,

A name, a face, a sound

It would ease this lonely struggle

But only strangeness is around.


I stopped at a museum,

A respite from the mad ‘hub-hub’.

Wait, what’s that strange contraption?

Why, it’s a Dexter Double-Tub!


I resist the urge to hug it

Like an old friend I have found.

I recall my mother washing

And the wringer’s “squishing” sound.


I recall my first job after Parsons

As a Dexter payroll clerk.

The Hunt boys, Tom and Ward

Ran the firm and made it work.


Mother Hunt split my name in two,

Half to each son this did entail.

Surely this did not enhance their image but

I did receive their mail.


Winter was just coming on

With snowy skies above.

I was thrilled with mitten labels

Saying, “Made by Fairfield Glove!”


What a warm and cozy feeling,

Like finding some old friends.

Nostalgic waves engulf me,

My joyous tears are not pretend.


Now I’m searching as I’m longing

For memories dear to me.

Why, there’s a bright, red hulahoop

By plastic company J. and B.


I remember well the Ward boys,

‘J’ for Jack and ‘B’ for Bill.

We shared last names but mine evolved

From over “Hungry Hill.”


Seen while strolling in the country,

Amid fields of grain.

A small metal cow atop a barn,

Why it’s a Louden weather vane!


Louden Machinery Company was

Where Dad worked for 40 years.

We lived, not high, but we survived

Through depression, sweat and tears.


Somehow he built a home workshop,

The pride of all he’d done.

Every saw, and drill and planer

Was made by Heston and Anderson.


One day with spirits really low,

My morale had gone to “mush.”

Suddenly, zest for life renewed,

Thanks to Harper Brush.


Trudging through Home Depot

With outlook on the rocks,

Life brightened in a heartbeat

With the label on a box.


“Fairfield, Iowa, Harper Brush,”

With brooms protruding out.

Like finding other long lost friends,

It made me want to shout!


My days are now much brighter

After finding these old “friends.”

It’s like a new beginning,

Not the beginning of the end.


– Thomas Ward (Fairfield native)

Mesa, Ariz.

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