As rhey traveled from Perrsville to Great Mills they left the sigts and sounds of te city to find themselves surrounded by woods and gently rolling hills. The pine trees lining the highway reminded Polly of her home in Mississippi, while the deep woods and occassional field made June think of her home by the cavern. Relaxed and happy, they weren't prepared for the sight that greeted them When Burrel pulled the trailer alongside a long narrow building that housed a hodgepodge of businesses.
The babershop, sporting goods store, small grocery, and combination real estate office and used car dealership were overshadowed by the sights and sounds coming from the tavern. Men in wordclothes were coming and going, shouting colorful greetings to each other. They could hear loud strains of "Chattanooga Choo Choo" coming from the jukebox each time the door was opened.
"Well hear we are," Burrel said. "We're home!" Three faces stared incredulously at him. He must be joking! Then spotting the regulation washhouse, they knew he was serious. This was to be their new residence. It didn't bother Cecil, but June and Polly both felt their hearts sink.
"I'm sorry, I know this isn't much, but it was the best I could do," Burrel explained. If he'd known, though, what his wife and daughter would soon encounter here, he wouldn't have stayed one moment longer.
Unaware of the danger he was exposing them to, he continued, "This place has become a boomtown. Before they started building the base, it was just a farming community. Hundreds of families have moved in to work on the base, and there's no place to put them. One guy owns all the these businesses and he's getting rich. He's gouging everyone with his prices, but there aren't very many other places to go."
Polly felt her temper rise at the thought of someone taking advantage of the defense workers, but before she could voice her anger, Burrel silenced her with a slow smile and gentle pat on the hand. "I'm afraid this goes with the territory. If we're going to be together, we will have to put up with it for awhile. Once we have a chance, we'll look around. I'm sure we can find something better."
I' don't think anything could be worse," Polly muttereed, only to see when Burrel pulled into their designated spot , it not only could be , but was. "Good Lord!" she exclaimed. "It's a junkyard!"
She looked in horror at the dozen or more cars in all stages of disrepair, parked haphazardly around the grounds. Situated among them were an equal number of trailers. All aroound was evidence that the residents had tried to make a home in the midst of the metal jungle. Patches of grass could be seen peeking through the clumps of dirt in the miniscule yards. Flowers were growing along the concrete patios and spilling out of brightly colors pots or makeshift flower boxes. In the only space devoid of junk cars someone had erected a swing set and improvised a sandbox from a truck tire.
A couple of men came over to where Burrel was setting up the trailer. A few minutes later Polly noticed they were hunched down helping him. With three pairs of busy hands, the work was quickly completed and the family was again settled into their home.