For Roy Van Winkle, a two-year nap wasn’t enough

Greetings from the Ridge.

He came shuffling down our street yesterday and stopped in the shade of the big old elm that’s been spreading its arms over our front porch ever since we moved here. The guy was a sight . . .his faded blue shirt a mass of moss and wrinkles, a pair of old pants that seemed to have been designed for someone twice his size, and shoes that seemed no more than two slabs of leather loosely cobbled together with spit and hope. He looked harmless enough so I filled a glass with some cold iced tea and walked out into the yard to greet him.

“Could I help you, mister?”

His smile was wistful but at least it made me feel safe. He took the glass, sipped a bit, then said, “Hope you don’t mind me sitting here for spell.” I told him that sitting was still free in Coonridge and he could stay as long as he liked. “I appreciate that,” he said. I have managed to bridle most of my impulses over the years, but curiosity is one rascal that still runs unbound in my brain so I just blurted it out. “Who are you anyway?” He smiled at me and said, “Roy. Roy Van Winkle.” I was stunned. Roy Van Winkle lived in Coonridge several years ago and as far as we could tell, he simply disappeared one day. We assumed he’d moved away without telling anyone and I’d not even thought of him for a couple of years. “You’re that Roy Van Winkle?” I asked. “Yep,” he said, “Rip’s great-great nephew.” &nbsp;&nbsp;<ahref=""><spanstyl... 13px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.</span></a></p>