Peg Barbour wasn't about to stay in the house any longer than she had to. Any break from school demanded spending every waking moment outside. In the summer that was especially true, no matter how warm the weather.
Peg went into the garage to get her blue bicycle. She would ride to Korky's house and drag him out of bed if she had to. Her cousin was never an early riser.
Today Peg wanted to go to the Wellborn Amusement Park and ride on every ride possible. The roller coaster was her and Korky's favorite. Peg's friends didn't understand why Peg wanted to spend so much of her time with a boy, but she and Korky were best friends. They always had been.
"Hi, Mrs. Gramm," Peg greeted her neighbor.
"Hello Peggy." Mrs. Gramm peeked from under her straw hat. A wide flowered band circled the hat.
"Are you going for a walk?" Peg asked.
"Yes, I'm off to the park again." Mrs. Gramm adjusted her hat with white-gloved hands. "I must be going. I want to get there and back before the temperature gets too hot." Mrs. Gramm started down the sidewalk. She walked with a slight limp.
"Hey, Pegg -- ey!" a voice called.
Peg swung around at the familiar voice. Korky rode his bicycle into the driveway, parking beside her. He tugged on one of her pigtails.
"Only Mrs. Gramm can call me that and no one else had better start!" Peg warned.
Korky jerked away as Peg's fist aimed for his upper arm. He threw his hands in the air, signaling a truce.
"Why are you roaming the streets so early?" Peg asked. "I thought I'd have to drag you out of bed."
"Not today. I don't want to wake up to your face," Korky teased. "Is Mrs. Gramm on her daily walk?" he asked more seriously.
"She is. She walks every day except Saturday and Sunday. She said she needs two days off to rest."
"From here to the park is close to half a mile," Korky said. "At her age, it's amazing she can walk that far."
"What are we going to do today?" Peg changed the subject. She wanted to get on with her day, not sit and watch Mrs. Gramm on her walk. "How about the Amusement Park?" she suggested.
"I have another idea. This morning, movies are half price at Main Street Theater," Korky said. "We could see the new comedy movie that just came out."
Peg agreed with Korky. She had heard the movie was good.
The two hopped on their bicycles and headed for Main Street. Peg's brown pigtails thumped in a regular rhythm against her back as she pedaled.
Before they reached Main Street, the street took them through the park. The shade from the trees provided relief from the sun, which was already getting hot.
"Mrs. Gramm is resting on a park bench." Peg pointed to show Korky.
"Who's she talking with?" Korky asked.
"I think she's visiting with her daughter. She just moved to Redmond."
Peg waved when Mrs. Gramm noticed her. The young woman beside her didn't look up and continued to gently rock a baby stroller.
"Mrs. Gramm had better get home before it really gets hot," Peg said. She took a last look at Mrs. Gramm, concerned for her neighbor's health. The woman had to be at least seventy years old.