By William Towner Morgan
Publication by way of Morgan, William Towner
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Additional info for Salt Lantern: Traces of an American Family (American Land & Life)
When Bud shipped home a German submachine gun, it was intercepted by the postal authorities, and what would have become the neighborhood, if not the town, prize never arrived. "Johnson's army" was our young boy's version of World War II. My friend Don Johnson organized a unit at the north end of town, while other boys put together a similar outfit at the south end. Our weapon was another Radi creation: a simple wooden rubber-gun. Eddie designed a pine template shaped like a revolver that could be duplicated endlessly on a bandsaw.
Unlike most of us, Morgan had the will to begin and the grit to finish. He consequently gives to all of us a metaphor for how we also fit in, how we, too, belong to the surfaces of this extraordinary planet. As it is lighted in the prose of his fine memoir, the lantern that has served as a peculiar icon of his family's journey illuminates the world at large. Page xiii Prologue When I was a child growing up in Pipestone, Minnesota, my aunt Anne and uncle George Winters lived next door in the house my grandfather Warrington Brown built at the turn of the century.
During the winter of 1944-45, Mother and I both suffered from lung congestion and chronic colds. At our doctor's suggestion, we signed up for a seven-day stay at Mudcura, a sanatorium-spa located near Shakopee, Minnesota. 9 Situated in a wooded area, Mudcura's red-brick building, spacious front lawn, and circular drive presented an impressive image to a newly arriving patient. In a large dormitory room filled with wooden, zinc-lined, trough-like tables, naked supine patients were covered to their necks with warm mud that was gently emitted from a pipe resembling a cement chute.