|Left to Right: Frank and Bill|
Frank didn’t have any children. He was also a widower. He married his high school sweet heart Regma and they tried to have children. Regma wanted to be a mother. She wanted to sew lace onto the hems of small dresses and mend holes in baby jodhpurs. Frank wanted to be a father. He wanted to teach counting numbers and read stories aloud. They never knew why they couldn’t have children. Then Frank didn't know why he had no wife and no children.
Frank used the money he had saved to raise a family to travel by train. To anywhere. He went to Mississippi, Montanta, Chicago, Seatle, Texas. He took photos of everything during these trips. During one train ride he met a young man named Bill. The two talked the whole time. Frank never remembered where he was going or from whence he came when he met Bill, but when they got to their desitnation Frank got another passenger to take a photograph of the them together.
The men exchanged addresses and for years wrote letters – letters of missing family, of regret, of love and longing, of money. They wrote letters about the weather, planting seasons, new authors and music, about God and heaven and hell and politicians running for office. Frank read about Bill’s new wife and then the new baby. Frank sent photographs he took during his train travels and became a grandfather of sorts, sending wooden toys and books on birthdays.
Years went by and Frank became a very old man. He died in April on a spring morning when the sun was just shining pink through the new apple blossoms outside his bedroom window. The coroner came two days after he died and found Frank’s last will and testament among a huge stack of letters from “Bill, North Bonner Mill Road, Bonner MT”. During the coroner’s lifetime he was never able to find the man that Frank left everything to.