My brother Mickey was a precocious little boy. By the age of two he could sing “You Are My Sunshine,” make up his own jokes (“Shut the door so Daddy can’t come in.” “What did you say?” “Shut the door so the flies can’t come in.”) and recognize street signs in South Minneapolis. In fact, he was so good at navigating that he could give directions to my grandparents’ house several miles away.
One summer day, as the story goes, Mickey was very lonesome for his grandmother and grandfather. Knowing better than to beg our mother to take him for a visit when 1) We had no car and 2) Our mother was preoccupied caring for a new baby (me), he took it upon himself to make the journey alone.