Val hanging laundry,
Manhattan, Illinois, 1963
Riding a bicycle down a narrow two-lane highway in the midst of thousands of acres of corn fields is like entering another world that is familiar, yet hauntingly different. In late August in Illinois, the corn is tall, ripe, and deep green. The roads are straight and cross each other every mile as they divide the flow of corn over the nearly flat landscape. The only things to distract one from the corn, solid blue sky, and black road, are the endless power lines held high above the pavement by their tar-covered poles. The wind never ceases and the only sounds are the blowing corn and the wind in one's ears. There are no birds, few insects, and only isolated cars. It's lonely and peaceful, to the point of being meditative.