Rural Georgia, 1954. Gas is 22 cents per gallon. Plaid dresses are the rage. Men still wear their trousers up to their armpits.
It’s a good year for America. There is a lot of money going around after the war. Cars are being churned out by factories, all painted bright and happy colors, with tailfins so big they could slice low hanging telephone wires. Everyone's feeling pretty good about life. Cholesterol is still king.
Enter Marian. She’s not that old and she’s alone. She is a Georgia woman, and you know what they say about Georgia women. They are proud.
Her husband was killed in a Korean war, and she is childless. All she wants is a family of her own and to get in on all the good vibes going around in jolly ‘54. She wants a picket-fence. She wants two-point-five kids. She wants someone to love. And above all, she wants to ride in one of those huge cars with the exotic tailfins.
But alas, all Marian
has is an old farmhouse that her late father left her. No family. And Marian suffers from the aftereffects of childhood polio. She has a pronounced limp. Her legs don’t work well. Marian has found that most bachelors in her era are not interested in a woman who limps.
So she is afraid she is turning into a spinster. An old maid. A fuddy-duddy. Arsenic and Old Lace.
On top of all that, her farmhouse is going downhill. The siding is rotting, the roof leaks. She doesn’t have the wherewithal to take care of this homestead, let alone to manage her chickens and victory garden. She could ask for help from her church, but Georgia women, as you’ll recall, have their pride.
Autumn comes. It brings crisp weather and new possibilities, which come in the form of two drifters. They are young, with fedoras and duffle bags. They are lanky, with…