The delicious odor of baking bread found its way into the bedroom where young Cappy Brady was snuggled deep within the covers. The redolent, pungent smell of the bread served as a gentle nudge toward the inevitability of consciousness. But Cappy resisted, willing herself to remain in limbo somewhere between sleep and wakefulness, barely aware of the sounds her mother was making as she moved about in the kitchen.
Saturday was a lazy day for Cappy. She was doing everything she could to forestall any hint of lucid thought but something kept bringing her back to awareness. She listened. It was an annoying ‘snapping’ sound. A few seconds would go by and she would hear it again.’Snap’! And then another, ‘snap’. Each incidence of this strange sound brought her closer to being fully awake.
Then, from the kitchen, she could hear her mother saying to her eight-year old brother, “Earl Jr., stop popping that egg! If you don’t catch it one time, it’s going to be all over my clean kitchen floor!”
Cappy, ever curious and always observant, continued to listen.
“I’ll never miss it, Mom,” she heard her nuisance of a brother say.
“I got what they call ‘soft hands’! I can catch anything! This egg’s part of me and it won’t ever touch your clean floor, I promise!” ‘Snap’!
Fully awake now, Cappy was intrigued. What was the little monster up to now? She was accustomed to Earl Jr.’s ever changing collection of frogs, snakes and even spiders. But what was he doing with this ‘egg’? Oh well, she would learn soon enough. She looked across the room to see if her older sister, Ida Mae, was still asleep. No, her bed was empty. Must be off with one of her boyfriends, Cappy thought.
Still reluctant to emerge from the luxuriant comfort of her bed, Cappy indulged in the activity that had become her favorite pastime, sorting out the complexities of her life.
She was thirteen in this year of 1928. Her father, Earl ‘King’ Brady Sr. had settled his family in the small Idaho town of Lewiston some four years earlier after Cappy’s mother, Roxanne, informed him that she was absolutely done with South Dakota. She was not going to herd her children into an underground ‘hole’ that he described as a ‘storm cellar’ one more time, tornadoes or no tornadoes.
Earl Sr. examined the determined countenance of his wife and knew that argument was pointless. He began to make the plans that would eventually take his young family away from the harsh winters and the quixotic danger of South Dakota’s tornadoes.
Much was done in a short time! Earl Sr., employed as a sign painter, gave notice that he would be leaving. The owner of the large rented home on Maple Street was told that the Brady family would be moving further west. Anything to large to take with them was either thrown away or given away. Buckets, ladders and wash tubs were disposed of. Space was found in boxes for anything considered too precious to part with.
All the suitcases and boxes were tied or strapped to almost every part of the family’s old Cadillac, making it appear more like a tour bus than the vintage sedan it actually was.
Then there was the problem of Earl Jr.’s Border collie, Pal. His father didn’t want to take Pal along on what promised to be an extended journey west. Earl Jr. rarely challenged his giant of a father, but he was steadfast in his insistence that Pal was going on the trip with them! With bottom lip quivering and a tear falling from each eye, he informed his father that if he left Pal behind, he, Earl Jr. would stay behind with him. The two of them would strike out on their own!