From a collection of 100-word stories & wonders
Bill Porter (1932-2013) makes a house call somewhere in Northeast Portland. A work of fiction inspired by my childhood encounters with America’s most famous and beloved door-to-door salesman. Photos courtesy of The J.R. Watkins Co.
Little Kevin stood tiptoe at the window, watching the crooked man in the gray raincoat and hat lug himself and his sample case step-by-step up to the front porch; he listened to the sound of halting footfalls, coming nearer, bearing a whiff of fresh shoeshine. “Mommy! He’s here!” Kevin ran to the door, wrenched it open. Mommy came up. “Hello, Bill!” The man smiled crookedly. Kevin couldn’t understand his garbled words the way Mommy could, or why he teetered yet never fell, but he knew the crippled hand thrust just out of sight was really a broken wing.