In ‘91, the Collywobbles purchased and
began rebuilding Boonieville -- complete with a quarry and
mill -- practically brick by brick. Their last
contribution to urban living was an imperial three-story
hotel. The town, which was renamed Collywobble in their
honor, was destined to become the final stop of the Lust,
York and Owyhee railroads. It began its decline one cold
winter night in '17 when a fire destroyed the Collywobble
Arms Hotel. During the spring of '21, the Hope family, the
last in town, packed their belongings onto the last train
for the Owyhee Township Theirs was the last sprig of great
expectation for the town. For many years after, the only
thing that remained was a large cement power plant
building, the mine dump behind it, and the aural memories
of gulls chasing fishing fleets.
In '37, an early-morning backpacking Art
Finery turned the bend of the Crittlecraw Creek and eyed
the abandoned town for the first time. He knew then that
this is what he had been seeking during his lifetime. The
town a she-wolf had promised him in a dream had just been
delivered unto him. He saw a day when that power plant
could become dwelling places for artists, outcasts, and
rogues. The sight of a rainbow over the aquamarine ocean
dispelled any doubts he had.
This will become, he thought to himself, a
place where creative souls can work together on their
crafts. Painting, music, pottery, literature -- it did not
matter what the source or outcome of their creative work,
this place would become the promised place he'd always
dreamed about. A land where time would flow uninterrupted
with the bounty of ideas. Its very seclusion would provide
succor of the Muse for all.
And other disrespected classes, he
reasoned, could eventually dwell here too. Lawyers, even,
and realtors, and – eventually – unemployed architects.
Finery was not wrong in his dream. Over the
next twenty years, Promisetown became the home of such
artistry as Julio Pffeiffer, Barbara Tushmann, Aaron
Crapland, Edwina Arlingtown Ro'daughter, and Studdis
Drudgery. Local writers achieved world-class notoriety
through their receipts of the Pulitzer, Pomegranate, and
Rome Prizes, as well as the National and Philistine
Poppcock awards. Others became Guggenheim, Fulbright,
Chippendale, and MacArthur Fellows (and gals).
From a brochure printed by the Promisetown
Trade Union, '98
(Winter, Summer, Fall, or Spring – Promisetown Has
Next: Bit 1
Cynthia Wiles Hemingway set up shop
characters depicted in Promisetown Tales are
the property of Michael Walker.
These characters and events are fictional and any
resemblance to persons living, dead,
or fictional or situations past, present, or fictional is
purely and completely coincidental.