Partly cloudy in morn. Hotter. Up at 8:15 and M.J. and I were ready to leave early. So there, Mum! Wore my white jersey. Slept on pompadour and ruined it. To Sunday school at 9:30. Kimmie came. Late starting. Orchestra rendered a selection. We 3 went in Miss Mellie’s class. Miss M. thinks the world is in such a mess that we’ll never get out of it — the mess, I mean. Little Robert and Nancy Rodgers, Dr. Jim’s children, were in Sunday school. Robert has the biggest brown eyes and he was just all curiosity. After Sunday school quite a few people who remembered her — it wasn’t mutual, though, cause she was so young when they left — spoke to M.J. We stood and talked with Kim. George is still going on the hike. We decided to go to the tower. George said Bob Rutherford was going and we asked Jo. Also Martin. Kim had called Marcia. She came to church with her grandmother. She looks older than 17. M.J. and I went down to the Episcopal at 11 and Pop took the service. Everyone spoke of the fine sermon. There were 28 out. Some cute little children. One little boy asked his daddy who that “boy smoking the pipe” was after the service — referring to Pop, who was quite flattered! We all stood around a few minutes afterwards and talked. The Killifers, etc. knew Mary Jane. The Rockwell’s drove us home. Helped Mum with dinner. About 1 we ate. Ice cream for dessert. Had good table conversation. Then M.J. and I did the dishes. We both dressed in slacks — an old pair of mine fitted her perfectly. About 1:45 George popped in, all ready to go and I put him to work drying the silver. Left about 2 with orders to be careful. Martin joined us across from the Presbyterian church and we continued on down to Kim’s. Met Kay at her house — she couldn’t go. Her mother told me yesterday that Kay had gotten her baggage tags and was to live in Wales 313 — just across the hall from old 310. She walked down to Kim’s with us and we got in a huddle about Stephens. Pan was sitting in the swing, looking a bit pale. Kim issued forth in slacks and bandana, giving us all a nasty shock. 🙂 We all kidded and had fun. Martin and I had a pillow fight. George threw the pillow and hit Kim — a beautiful one in the face as she was coming out the door. Presently Bob Rutherford appeared. George was sitting in the beach chair and Martin tried to lift his foot — a human impossibility. Anyway the chair couldn’t hold up under it — two loud cracks and the chair had collapsed. Poor Martin, he just about followed suit. It was so funny, though! A series of telephone calls eventually brought Jo up the hill and we were ready to start. It was almost 3 by then. Went over en masse to Margrove St. and picked up Marcia. Kidded with Mrs. McCluen a few minutes. We finally set out with the 3 boys in the lead. But it seems that their immediate objective was Miss Goodwin’s, not the tower. Kim and nearly knocked her over in our glee — she’s just back from a summer course at the U. of Mexico! and had a perfectly wonderful time. She brought us ice water and we lounged on the porch. Then she lured us in to see some of her souvenirs. We finally got started — about 3:45!! It came to me very strongly while we were talking to Miss G. — I’d like to be a school teacher. It has always fascinated me. And if I weren’t going back to school in the fall I’d just be lost! George, Bob and Kimmie charged ahead. M.J., Marcia and I followed and Martin and Jo brought up the rear. Thus we struggled up the first steep climb — by Massop school. Marcia was done in by the time we reached the reservoir road. She had a pain in her side and in various and sundry other localities. The backs of my legs were giving me trouble. The advance guard waited for us at said road and then we started on again in the same formation. There wasn’t much of a path on that stretch. We had a good view of the tower from one spot and many discouraged groans were emitted — it did look a goodly distance. Well, presently we looked around to see Martin bearing down down (or rather up) upon us all alone — Jo had resigned — she had to be home at 4:30 anyway. We eventually reached the road near the top and struck off to the right in the general direction of the tower. The formation underwent certain changes but George and Bob were always in the lead. It was awfully hot — no breeze at our level — and my hair weighed a ton. Up and down, up and down and sometimes fairly level. Once we all stopped together. Marcia was practically dead. Bob and George found a terrapin turtle and a stick bug. It looked just like a stick — with legs. Martin killed it. Then we did get separated. It was lovely up on top of the mountain with a beautiful view on both sides. Then we hit the jungle. Martin dropped back with us and sort of did the trail blazing. Where there wasn’t a path we made one. Well, at long last we reached the spring at the clearing and found a man and 2 little boys there. They loaned us their can to drink out of. I felt like the wreck of the Hesperus. We were so dirty. Then through the orchard where the man had a flock of goats grazing. They gave us the eye. Finally we hit the tower road and that was truly the last long mile. It was even worse than the climb up the mountain cause the rocks hurt our already tender feet and we had an awful time of it. Of course, the boys got there ages before we did. Reached our objective — a more welcome sight I’ve never beheld — about 5:30. We all climbed to the top and sat ourselves down to get the full benefit of the heavenly breeze. The view on all sides was beautiful. I had a loose nail in my shoe which had already ruined my sock and was well on its way to ruining my foot. The man appeared on the scene again and he turned out to be a lookout man with the key to the cabin atop the tower. He let us all in and explained the workings of the fire locater. He was certainly a talker. It was hot up there though and the windows wouldn’t stay open. So we descended again — George by way of the steel structure rather than the steps. The man showed us where lightning had made holes in the ground. George fixed — supposedly — the nail in my shoe and about 6:30 we started on the downward way. The man took it upon himself to direct us — the shortest way — and even went partway down the mountain with us. Well, you couldn’t say we walked down — it was more of a gallop for once you got started there was no stopping you, unless a tree happened to intervene. Mary Jane grabbed at a protruding limb once and it gave way and there she was clutching a rotten branch and feeling very silly. Marcia went down on her nose once and we all had minor casualties. Part of the trail was covered with pine needles and it was very cool and quiet among the trees. We reached the foot of the mountain in record breaking time. And there a bobbed wire fence confronted us. We all made it safely except the luckless Marcia and she got stuck, coming out with a nice tear in the back of her shirt. We followed a sort of lane to a gravel road. George had to be back by 8 to work so he and Bob went ahead. Martin stuck with us awhile and then joined them. My legs felt as if they would drop off. Then we turned off on another gravel road and it was lovely. The fields were so green and the mountains a darker shade. The clouds had all disappeared and the twilight sky was a faint peach. We four swung along and talked politics. Marcia is a staunch Democrat but was outnumbered. We had fun. She’s ever so nice and M.J. is so cute. I felt better than I have for over a week. At the last bend before the main highway out by Ona’s we found our male companions waiting for us. All I wanted was a huge watermelon but inquiry revealed that no one had any at home. The new moon was just coming over the mountain and was too lovely for words. It was fast getting dark. We followed the highway into town. The boys got ahead again but George waited at Martin’s for us. We walked to the P.O. with Marcia. Men stared at us and made comments on our appearance. We were messes!