Folks took it in stride the first month without rain in Baugus County. The second month that’s all anyone talked about. People stopped talking about it the third month. Looked like a bona fide drought.
We keep the dealership garage open late Fridays. Tommy Jancock came into the garage about closing time. Tommy strikes folks as simple. He’s not. Considering what he’s been through, he does well, provides for himself. Runs errands for folks in town. Does heavy garden work. Works hourly for anyone needing help. Tommy’s muscle for older folks, businessmen, and farmers. Works cheap, works hard, works good.
Clarice, my office manager and cashier had already gone home. I ducked into the office when Tommy walked in.
“Here for Ms. Waters’ car,” Tommy announced.
“All ready to go Tommy. Tell Ms. Waters, she’s good for another five thousand miles.”
“Hot eh, Tommy?”
“Yes sir, but it’s gonna rain.”
“Weathermen don’t think so.”
“Been cloudy every evening for two weeks. We have any rain yet?”
“Weathermen say wrong kind of clouds.”
“What makes you think so?”
“Can feel it.”
“Capitol City Weathermen say the air and humidity ain’t right. They say as much chance of snow as rain.”
“Too hot for snow.”
“Know that Tommy. Weathermen are making a point.”
We’d worn the subject out. Tommy didn’t talk long about much. The accident that took his folks cause for that mostly, more I think than the fact the same accident left him, well, slow. I gave him the keys to Ms. Waters’ Buick.
The mechanics hanging around waiting for dusk and cooler air before heading home spoke briefly with Tommy, then left themselves. After closing the showroom, I piddled in the office until I heard Norman, my shop foreman, start the overhead doors rumbling closed.
“All locked up! Heading out!” yelled Norman as he passed the office.
After setting the alarm, pulling the side door closed, hearing the lock snap shut, I stepped into the evening air.
And into the rain.