Waiting with Elmer


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He heard the wail of the distant train whistle and started off in that direction, hoping it would be the right way back to the south side of town… He paused at the orange ramp in front of the Mission and looked down to read the hand-painted words on the sidewalk: “Behold, how good it is, and how pleasant, where brethren dwell as one! Psalm 133.”

Abandoned by his father in the unusual town of Waitnsee, Willy is burdened with a terrible secret. Lost in life with no family that he can trust, the homeless men of the Union Mission become the family he needs. These homeless and hungry men, particularly the aged and legless Elmer, help Willy to put aside the pain of his secret and find a new way of looking at the world around him. The light of the cross on the Mission’s roof, and the wail of trains that passed nearby on a regular basis, become anchors for Willy as he endures prejudice and poverty—and learns the power of forgiveness—while discovering his true calling in life.

Set in Middle America during the Great Depression, during that period when the country was recovering from World War I while preparing for World War II, Deanna K. Klingel brings to life that awkward era of American History honestly and unapologetically.


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