The Straight Story

1	EXT.--NIGHT SKY
 
	Autumn evening FULL of STARS. Music plays over 
	as credits roll.

					DISSOLVE TO: 

2	EXT.--DAY  LAURENS, IOWA

	It is a hot day in early September in Laurens, a small 
	rural community in north central Iowa. The main 
	drag, all of four blocks, is bookended by a giant 
	grain elevator and a John Deere dealership. No cars 
	on the road.
 
					CUT TO:
 
3	EXT.--DAY  SMALL HOUSE & NEIGHBORING HOUSE

	At the neighboring house, DOROTHY, a rather 
	large woman, 50ish, with bleached blond, cropped 
	hair is sunbathing in a chaise lounge. She is wearing 
	bermuda shorts, a tank top and eye protectors over 
	her eyes. Next to her is a small table with a plate on 
	it. Out of the other house, which has chipped siding 
	and faded, peeling window frames, comes ROSE 
	(late 30s, brown hair in a pixie cut, stocky, in jeans 
	and a cotton shirt). The door slams and Rose heads 
	down the walk. Dorothy doesn't move a muscle or 
	remove her eye protectors.
 
				DOROTHY
		Hey Rose.
 
	Rose doesn't break stride but yells over...
 
				ROSE
 		Hey Dorothy.
 
	Rose exits and we remain on the two houses and
  	Dorothy sunbathing. After a moment, Dorothy 
	reaches over and feels the plate next to her. She lifts 
	the protectors and checks out the table...sees she's 
	out of treats, gets up, grabs the plate and heads into 
	her house. As the screen door slams shut behind her 
	we slowly move in on the house Rose came from. 
	We might be hearing footsteps as we move closer. 
	The sound leads us slowly toward the rear of the 
	house. As we continue moving closer we hear a short 
	peel of rubber followed by a thudding sound and a 
	sound like a stick dropping. We hold on the house 
	in silence.
 
 					CUT TO:
 
4	EXT.--DAY  HOUSE AND NEIGHBORING HOUSE
 
	As before. Dorothy comes back out carrying the 
	plate now filled with treats. Munching all the while 
	she settles back into the chaise lounge and resumes 
	sunbathing.
 
 					DISSOLVE TO:
 
5 	EXT.--DAY  LATER--SMALL TOWN BAR IN LAURENS
 
 	A small brick storefront bar. Two windows with 
	neon beer signs are on either side of a red door with 
	a window in the shape of a tilted martini glass. The 
	door opens and BUD, a stocky 70ish man in jeans, 
	a cotton shirt and construction boots emerges. He 
	looks down the street. Not seeing anyone he turns 
	and sticks his head back in the door of the bar and 
	yells in...
 
				BUD 
		I'm goin' over there.
 
	He lets the door close and heads off down the street. 
	Another man, SIG, late 60's, 6'0", 265 lbs., in bib 
	overalls and a seed cap, comes out the bar door 
	holding a long-neck beer bottle and watches Bud 
	walk away.
 
				SIG 
		We're waitin'.
 
					CUT TO:
 
6	EXT.--DAY  LAURENS RESIDENTIAL STREET
 
	Bud is striding down the street past small and 
	weatherbeaten houses. The yards are mowed and 
	dotted with lawn chairs and picnic tables. He 
	approaches the house we saw earlier. He turns up 
	the walkway, reaches the front door and starts 
	knocking somewhat angrily.
 
				BUD 
		Alvin! Alvin Straight!
 
					CUT TO:
 
7	EXT.--DAY  THE NEIGHBOR'S YARD

	Dorothy doesn't move a muscle when she hears the 
	knocking. She yells across the yard to Bud.
 
				DOROTHY 
		Rose left a couple of hours ago.

					CUT TO:

8	EXT.--DAY SMALL HOUSE
 
	Bud jumps. He hadn't seen Dorothy until she spoke.
 
				BUD 
		Did you hear me hollerin' for Rose? I'm 
		not lookin' for Rose.
 
				DOROTHY 
		I ain't seen Alvin today.
 
				BUD 
		Did I ask....
 
 	Bud stops for a look at Dorothy who still has the eye 
	protectors on. He shakes his head in exasperation. 
	He resumes knocking on the door.
 
				BUD 
		Straight. ......you're late!!
 
	Not getting any response he heads around to the 
	backyard and finds no one. He goes up to the back 
	door and starts knocking.
 
				BUD (cont'd) 
		Alvin?!

					CUT TO:
 
9	INT.--DAY  KITCHEN
 
	From inside the darkened kitchen we see Bud 
	through the door window, knocking.
 
				BUD 
		What the hell Alvin!
 
	At a break in his knocking on the door we hear an 
	off-camera voice.
 
				ALVIN 
		Come on in Bud.
 
	Bud, startled, reaches down, opens the door and 
	enters. He stands blinking and flustered, letting his 
	eyes adjust to the darkened room.
 
				BUD 
		Where the hell are you Alvin? I can't 
		see a damn thing.
 
				ALVIN 
		I'm right here Bud...watch your step.
 
	Bud's eyes adjust and he follows the sound of Alvin's
	voice to the kitchen floor right at his feet. ALVIN 
	STRAIGHT is stretched out on the floor. He is in 
	his 70s, a lean man, weathered face, bald with a full, 
	scruffy white beard. He is wearing a plaid cotton 
	shirt, worn jeans and black cowboy boots. There is a 
	wooden cane lying on the floor next to him.
 
				BUD 
		What the hell's goin' on? What in god-
		damn hell are you doin' on the floor 
		Alvin? What'r ye nuts? You're supposed 
		to be down at Davmar's one hour ago.
 
	At this point a shadow falls on them and Dorothy 
	fills the door frame.
 
				DOROTHY 
		What's going on....
 
	She sees Alvin on the floor.
 
				DOROTHY (cont'd) 
			(panicking)
		Oh my god Alvin!
 
				ALVIN 
			(with resignation)
		Hey there Dorothy.
 
	Dorothy makes a beeline for the phone, and picks it 
	up.

				BUD 
		What the hell are you doin'?
 
 				DOROTHY 
			(breathlessly)
 		What's the number for 911?
 
 	Bud rolls his eyes.
 
				ALVIN 
			(with authority)
		Dorothy, put that phone down.
 
	She doesn't move. Her face flushed, bosom heaving, 
	she looks back and forth between Alvin, Bud and 
	the phone. Bud strides over to her and yanks the 
	phone out of her hand.
 
				BUD 
		I gotta call the bar and tell them we're 
		not comin'.
 
	Dorothy grabs the phone back, wild-eyed.
 
				DOROTHY 
		Bud Heimstra are you crazy? We have a 
		stricken man here.
 
 	Bud hesitates and looks over at Alvin, assessing his
 	condition.
 
				BUD 
		You stricken Alvin?
 
 	Dorothy starts dialing.
 
				ALVIN 
		Dorothy, PUT THAT PHONE DOWN!
 
	Dorothy hesitates. Bud tries to wrestle the phone 
	from her. We hear the front door slam and Dorothy 
	and Bud freeze. Rose enters the kitchen from the 
	front of the house.
 
				ROSE
		Dad? What's all the.......yelling?
 
 	She stops short. She takes in the scene...Bud and 
	Dorothy at the phone and her dad on the floor.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		What have you...........done to my dad?
 
				BUD
		Oh for cry aye.
 
				ROSE
		Dad?..........are you........?
 
 	Rose starts to cry.
 
				ALVIN 
			(exasperated but forcefully)
		I just need some help gettin' up.
 
					CUT TO:
 
10 	EXT.--DAY  PARKING LOT
 
	We see Rose helping Alvin get out of the passenger 
	side of their car. Once standing, Alvin won't move. 
	Rose is tugging on his arm. He is not budging and 
	he's shaking his head.
 
				ALVIN
		I'm not goin'.
 
				ROSE 
		Dad.....
 
				ALVIN 
		I'm not goin'.
 
				ROSE 
		Dad....you promised me.
 
	After a pause Alvin nods.
 
				ALVIN
		Alright Rosie.
 
	They slowly make their way across the hot parking 
	lot to the Doctor's office.
 
					CUT TO:
 
	OMIT SCENES 11, 12, & 13.
 
					CUT TO:

14 	INT.--DAY  EXAMINING ROOM
 
 	The nurse and Alvin enter the examining room. She 
	turns to him and hands him a robe.
 
				NURSE 
		O.K. Mr. Straight, you need to take off
		all your clothes except your underwear 
		and put this robe on.
 
				ALVIN 
			(gruffly)
		Just bring me the doctor.
 
					CUT TO:
 
15	INT.--DAY  DOCTOR'S RECEPTION, LATER

	Rose is standing in front of a series of bird paintings.
 
				ROSE 
		I see you like birds. I build.......bird-
		houses........for bluebirds.
 
				NURSE
		Oh, that's nice.
 
				ROSE 
		Yah.....Pete sells my birdhouses........at 
		the.....Ace.
 
				NURSE
		Oh...I'll look for them next time I'm
		in.
 
					CUT TO: 

16	INT.--DAY  EXAMINING ROOM
 
 	Alvin leans against the examining table as he pulls 
	his pants to a close and fastens his belt. He is shirt-
	less. His skin hangs loosely off his rib cage. He has a
	serious farmer's tan: lily white chest and shoulders 
	and arms with nut brown face, neck and hands. A 
	middle-aged DOCTOR GIBBONS is standing 
	looking over some notes.
 
				DOCTOR GIBBONS 
		So you're not sure just how long you 
		were on the floor?
 
				ALVIN 
			(shaking his head)
		I remember my cane slippin'...and 
		losing my balance....
			(he pauses, concentrating)
		...next thing I knew Bud Heimstra was 
		banging on my kitchen door.
 
	The doctor nods at this account and writes something 
	in his notes. Alvin sits on the examining table 
	and looks around. He takes in the foreign room: 
	bright fluorescent lights, slick pastel Formica 
	surfaces, matching pastel framed art, bio-hazard 
	warnings and medical equipment. He looks back to the 
	Doctor and catches the man watching him with a 
	look of concern on his face.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		Somethin' the matter Doc?

	The Doctor switches to an attempt at a smile.
 
  				DOCTOR GIBBONS 
		Listen Alvin, sometimes it's my job to 
		tell people things they don't want to
 		hear. I'm concerned about you. I think 
		you need an operation on those hips.
 
				ALVIN
		No operations.
 
				DOCTOR 
		Well...this morning you fall and can't 
		get off the floor...that's your hips Alvin. 
		You'll have to use a walker to get 
		around now.
 
				ALVIN 
			(barks)
		No walker.

				DOCTOR 
		Fine...a second cane then. You say 
		you're not seeing too well. That could 
		be a diabetes-related problem. I would 
		like to run some...
 
				ALVIN
 		No!
 
	The doctor looks back down at his notes and up at 
	Alvin.
 
  				DOCTOR GIBBONS 
		I can see and hear that you smoke. I 
		would guess you're in the early stages of 
		emphysema. And Alvin you have 
		circulation problems. I worry about your 
		diet and unless you change some things
		quick, there will be some serious 
		consequences.
 
	Alvin doesn't say anything. He just stares at the 
	Doctor.
 
					CUT TO:
 
17	INT.--DAY  KITCHEN 

	ALVIN sits at the kitchen table and takes a deep
	drag off of a Swisher Sweet. Two canes are propped 
	up against the table. Rose looks on. She stands in 
	the middle of the kitchen holding a birdhouse, fret-
	fully watching Alvin. She holds the birdhouse out to 
	him.
 
				ROSE 
		It has a.........red roof.
  
 	Alvin looks at the birdhouse and smiles at Rose.
 
				ALVIN 
		That's another pretty one Rose.
 
	He continues smoking. Rose, pleased at his 
	response, turns smiling to do a few dishes. She sets 
	the birdhouse down.
 
				ROSE 
		I want to paint the.......next roof...
			(she blurts)
		...blue.
 
	Alvin smiles again.

				ALVIN 
		That's a good idea.
 
	Rose turns to the window and thinks for a while
 	with a smile on her face. As she reflects, her smile 
	begins to fade.
 
				ROSE 
		What did the.......Doctor say?
 
 	Alvin puts out the Swisher Sweet.
 
				ALVIN 
		Said I'm goin' to live to be a hundred.
 
	Rose smiles at this. Alvin stands, puts on a cream-
	colored Stetson and heads to the back door.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		Time to cut the lawn.
 
				ROSE 
		I can......cut it for......you...Dad.
 
	Alvin is navigating the door with his two canes in 
	hand. Says gently back over his shoulder.
 
				ALVIN 
		I got it sweetheart.
 
	Rose turns, clears the table and takes dishes over to 
	the kitchen sink. Out the window over her shoulder 
	we see Alvin cross the backyard and mount a Rehds 
	riding mower. She sets the dishes in the sink, then 
	gets distracted by the birdhouse.

					CUT TO:
 
18	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN'S BACKYARD

	Alvin tries to start the mower. No luck. He performs 
	a slow, painful, laborious dismount. Then in a quick 
	move he turns and bangs the mower with his cane.
 
				ALVIN 
		Damn!
 
					CUT TO: 

19	INT.--DAY  LAURENS ACE HARDWARE
 
	A group of locals are in the store. SIG, BUD, PETE, 
	mid-60s, 6'0", lean, gray and wearing slacks and a 
	red Ace vest, and APPLE, early 60s, short, bald and 
	talkative. He is wearing a short-sleeve shirt and a tie. 
	He's concentrating on his right boot. He frowns as 
	he works it up and down with his toes. His attention 
	is split between working the shoe and watching 
	the Weather Channel which is on the television over 
	the counter.
 
				APPLE 
			(all the while 
			stomping his foot)
		Looks like another low comin' out of 
		the panhandle of Texas. That's where 
		they all come from. You know in the 
		winter that's where we get all our big 
		dumps.
 
				PETE 
		Apple I doubt very much if we'll be 
		getting snow this week.
 
	Sig giggles.
 
				SIG 
		And here comes Alvin Straight. He's 
		not movin' too well.
 
				PETE 
		Well he took that bad fall.
 
				BUD 
		An hour late! I found the darn fool on 
		the kitchen floor.
 
				SIG 
		He looks like he ain't gonna make it to 
		the door. If he was a horse they'd shoot 
		'im.
 
  				PETE 
			(scolding) 
		How old are you now Sig?
 
	Apple has his shoe off and is digging inside of it 
	with his hand. He looks up at Pete's remark.
 
				APPLE 
		He's 70 in September..."Oh the days
		dwindle down to a precious few..."
 
				SIG 
		You can shut up any time Apple.
 
	Alvin enters. They turn their heads, nod hello. Bud 
	scowls.
 
				PETE 
		Mornin' Alvin. What can I do for you?
 
 	Alvin approaches the counter and opens his mouth 
	to speak but is interrupted by...
 
 				APPLE
 		Local forecast!
 
 					CUT TO:
 
20	INT.--DAY  HARDWARE STORE TELEVISION
 
	The Weather Channel. The local forecast runs with 
	the accompanying music. Conversation stops 
	abruptly and they all turn to watch the local forecast 
	together. There is the potential for thunderstorms 
	later in the day with a possible tornado watch.
 
				PETE 
		And what can I do you for Alvin?
 
				ALVIN 
		Plugs for the Rehds. Won't start.
 
					CUT TO: 

21	EXT.--LATE DAY  ALVIN'S BACKYARD

	Alvin is changing the plugs, smoking Swisher 
	Sweets. Rose is sitting on aluminum lawn chair 
	painting the roof of her birdhouse blue. A storm is 
	moving in. Alvin looks up to the sky.
 
				ALVIN 
		Storm comin'...not mowin' today.

					CUT TO: 

22	INT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S LIVING ROOM
 
	Alvin and Rose are watching Storm Watch on the 
	Weather Channel.
 
					CUT TO: 

23	INT.--NIGHT  THE TELEVISION IN ALVIN'S LIVING ROOM                          

				WEATHER PERSON 
		Severe thunderstorm warning and tornado 
		watch continue until 9 PM for all 
		of west central Iowa. The National 
		Weather Service advises seeking shelter 
		in basement rooms. Avoid all windows...
 
					CUT TO: 

24	INT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S LIVING ROOM
 
	Rose and Alvin sit by the window watching the 
	lightning. A big bolt cuts through the sky to the 
	ground.
 
				ALVIN 
		I love a lightning storm.
 
				ROSE
		Me....too Dad.
 
	The phone rings. Rose is reluctant to leave the show 
	at the window and lets it ring 3 or 4 times. Finally 
	she gets up and leaves the room to answer the phone 
	in the kitchen.
 
				ROSE 
			(off camera)
		Hello.........this.......is Rose. 
		Yah...yah...Uncle......Lyle?
 
	Alvin's expression changes to a frown as the light of 
	the TV plays off his face. He does not turn his head
	or speak but he is listening and reacting to Rose's 
	conversation.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		Oh.......no. When? O.K. Ah..ah...I'll 
		tell him. Yah. O.K. bye.
 
	Rose comes back in and sits down. She doesn't say 
	anything and neither does Alvin for a bit. We see 
	another big crack of lightning out the window. The 
	Storm Watch continues off screen.
 
				WEATHER PERSON 
			(voice over)
		A tornado has been sited in Ida 
		County. Sac, Calhoun and Pocahontas 
		Counties are all under tornado watch...
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		That was Bobby...Uncle Lyle had a....a 
		.....ah...stroke.
 
	On the word "stroke," a bolt of lightning brilliantly 
	illuminates Alvin's face. Then he sits stonefaced in 
	darkness looking out the window. He doesn't respond.
 
				ROSE (cont'd)
		Dad?
 
 					CUT TO: 

25  	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S HOUSE

	Alvin's house is being buffeted by a fierce 
	midwestern electrical storm.
 
					CUT TO:
 
26	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN'S YARD 

	Alvin is mowing the lawn.

 					CUT TO: 

27	INT.--DAY  ALVIN'S HOUSE, KITCHEN

	Rose is standing at the kitchen window talking on 
	the phone. Over Rose's shoulder Alvin crosses back 
	and forth through the window frame riding the 
	mower. Rose is talking to one of her brothers.
 
				ROSE 
		No Bobby he....didn't say much......They 
		both been so......stubborn. No......no it 
		was longer. I remember...It was July 7, 
		1988. Bobby, I always remember.....the 
		dates.
 
	Through the window we see Alvin stop the mower. 
	He sits and stares. He lights up a Swisher Sweet.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		I....don't know...what......he'll do.
 
	Rose hangs up and looks back out at Alvin sitting 
	on mower.
 
					CUT TO: 

28	INT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S LIVING ROOM

	Rose is sitting in the dark looking out the window at 
	the freshly mown lawn. She hears a noise and turns. 
	There is Alvin, with two canes, silhouetted in the 
	doorway to the kitchen.
 
				ALVIN 
		Rose honey, why don't you come in here 
		and join your dad for a cup of coffee.
 
	Rose looks puzzled. This is not a common invitation 
	from Alvin.
 
				ROSE 
		Dad..........we're not going to move 
		again are we? You always set me down 
		for a coffee when you tell me we are 
		going to move again.
 
	Alvin laughs a little. Rose is clearly wary.
 
				ALVIN 
		No honey...we're not breaking camp.
 
	Rose sighs in relief and smiles. Alvin pauses, clearly 
	uncomfortable.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		Unless you make so many bluebird 
		houses we run outa room.
 
				ROSE 
			(taking her 
			father seriously)
		Dad..oh jeez..I can stop making them...
 
				ALVIN 
		Easy honey. Your pa was just makin' a 
		joke.
 
	Rose is relieved. Alvin pauses and draws a breath.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		Rose. I'm goin' to get back out on the 
		road. I'm goin' to go see Lyle.
 
				ROSE 
		But Dad....how are you.......?
 
	Alvin turns and starts to hobble toward the kitchen.
 
				ALVIN 
		I haven't quite figured that out yet.
 
	He moves off into the kitchen.
 
					CUT TO: 

29	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN'S BACKYARD
 
	From around the side of the house comes Rose hauling 
	a large piece of aged plywood. She talks as she 
	wrestles with the large board. She is speaking to 
	Alvin who is on the back stoop with a wrench and a 
	ball joint. She is also reasoning aloud with herself.
 
				ROSE 
		One...Your eyes are bad....That is why 
		you don't drive your car because you 
		cannot see the signs anymore.
 
	Rose turns and looks directly at Alvin. He is letting 
	her vent.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		One...Your eyes are bad.
 
	Rose walks back around the corner of the house and 
	returns with another large piece of old plywood. As 
	Rose enunciates her reasons she ticks them off on 
	her fingers.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		Two...Lyle is in Wisconsin which is 317
		miles away. You can't take any bus 
		straight to Mt. Zion. You'd have to stay
		overnight in Des Moines....and.....then
		there's no bus to Zion.
 
	Rose eyes Alvin again. She vanishes around the 
	corner one more time. Alvin continues working on 
	the ball joint, adding oil to loosen the bolt. Rose 
	comes around the corner again.
 
				ROSE 
		Three....Your hips. You can't hardly 
		stand for two minutes and when you 
		do stand up after you are sitting down 
		this is the sound you make when you 
		stand... "aaaaaraaaaarrrrhhgggg. " That is 
		your arthritis sound.
 
	Alvin chuckles at her impersonation of him. She is 
	almost finished with her tasks. Her talking slows as 
	she gets to the last of her rant.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		Four....You are 73 years old. You were 
		born when Calvin Coolidge was 
		President of America.
 
	Rose sits down next to Alvin on the stoop. She is 
	hot, tired, worried and upset. Her voice almost 
	breaks as she finishes her speech.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		You are 73 years old......And I can't 
		drive you there.
 
				ALVIN 
		Rosie....darlin'....I'm not dead yet.
 
	This subdues Rose. Alvin looks at her for a beat, 
	turns and moves to a stool with the wrench and ball 
	joint. He begins screwing the ball joint to a beam.
 
				ROSE 
			(tired and exasperated)
		What are we building?
 
					CUT TO: 

30 	INT.--NEXT DAY  GROCERY STORE
 
	Rose is pushing a grocery cart down the aisle. She 
	checks a list in her hand.
 
				ROSE 
		Coffee.
 
	Rose places eight large cans of Folgers into the cart. 
	She counts as she deposits them.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		One...two...three...four...five...six... 
		seven... eight.
 
 	She checks list again.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		Wieners....
 
	Rose places several large packs of wieners in the cart.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		One...two...three....four...five.....six.
 
	She reaches back into the cold meat case.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		Braunschweiger.
 
 	Rose makes faces in incremental disgust as she 
	counts.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		One......two........three.......four....
 
 	She hates braunschweiger. She checks her list again. 
	She moves down the aisle and into the next one. She 
	pauses before a display.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		Bug juice.
 
 	Rose throws insect repellent into the cart.
 
 				ROSE (cont'd)
 		One.
 
 	She checks her list and nods in satisfaction, heading 
	to the checkout counter.
 
 					CUT TO:
 
31	INT.--DAY  GROCERY STORE CHECKOUT COUNTER
 
 	Rose is loading her purchases onto the counter. 
	BRENDA the checkout girl looks on with a curious 
	expression. Brenda is 20ish, cute, a little hefty. 
	Very cheerful.
 
 				BRENDA 
			(a statement)
		Havin' a party.
 
 	Rose looks at her blankly.
 
				ROSE 
		Oh......Jeez I love parties.
 
 				BRENDA
		Yah, me too.
 
				ROSE 
		So where's it at?
 
	Brenda is confused.
 
 				BRENDA
		Where's what at?
 
				ROSE 
		Your party.
 
				BRENDA 
		I'm not havin' a party. I thought you're 
		havin' a party.
 
				ROSE 
		I am?
 
				BRENDA 
		Well yah...look at all that braunsweiger.
 
				ROSE 
		Yah it's a lot of braunschweiger.
 
	Brenda starts to ring up the braunschweiger.
 
				ROSE 
		It's for my dad.....for his.....trip. My 
		dad.......He...is going to.......Wisconsin.
 
   				BRENDA 
		Oh Wisconsin! A real party state.
 
	Rose is keeping an eye on her items. She makes a 
	"yuk" face.
 
				ROSE 
		I hate braunschweiger.
 
	Brenda, still checking, nods in assent and makes a 
	sour face.
 
					CUT TO:
 
32	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN'S BACKYARD
 
	Rose comes walking out of the house with groceries. 
	She sets them on the picnic table and heads back 
	into the house. Alvin loads the groceries into the 
	now finished trailer. The back door of the house 
	opens and a big sheet of foam rubber flies out the 
	door followed by Rose. She hauls it over to the trailer 
	and sets it in. She fusses over its arrangement.
 
					CUT TO:

33 	INT.--DAY  ACE HARDWARE

	Pete, Sig, Apple, & Bud are in the store. They are 
	watching the Weather Channel. Sig has a toothpick 
	in his mouth. Apple is sitting on a stool. Alvin and 
	Rose enter.
 
				PETE 
		Morning Alvin. How are you today 
		Rose?
 
 	Alvin nods. Rose smiles.
 
				ROSE 
			(blurts) 
		My.....dad....is going to see.....his 
		.....brother. I keep askin' him how....he's 
		goin' to get there.....but he doesn't 
		say.....nothin'.
 
	Alvin throws a look at Rose. She smiles.
 
				PETE 
		Your bluebird houses are selling well 
		Rose. I'm gonna need some more from 
		you.
 
				SIG
		Taking a trip Alvin eh?
 
				ALVIN 
		Yup.
 
	Apple is sitting on a stool with one shoe off. His
	hand is inside the shoe.
 
				APPLE
		Well if you're traveling by car you 
		know my wife'll get those AAA trip tix. 
		Those babies'll tell you where every 
		piece of construction is all along the 
		"I" system.
 
				PETE 
		I don't suspect Alvin'll be takin' your
		wife along with him Apple.
 
				ALVIN 
		Oh Lord.
 
				BUD 
		You can take my wife.
 
	Alvin chuckles and then sets one cane against the 
	counter. With his other cane he makes his way down 
	the store aisle to the gas cans. He grabs one 5-gallon 
	container and heads back to the counter.
 
				SIG 
		Where's your brother at Alvin?
 
 	Alvin sets the can on the counter. He turns to walk 
	back down the aisle.
 
				ROSE 
		Mt. Zion. Sixty-three miles east of the
		Missi.....ssippi.
 
				PETE 
		Sixty-three miles, eh Rose?
 
				APPLE
		Did you know that the Mississippi..the 
		old mighty Mississipp..is the single 
		most profitable waterway in the world? 
		Did you know that the Japanese harvest 
		pearls outta the river down to 
		Prairie du Chien....pearls!
 
				SIG 
		And carp.

				PETE 
		And walleye...need help there Alvin?
 
				ALVIN
		No thanks, Pete.
 
	Pete and Sig exchange a glance and look at Rose. 
	She smiles. Alvin picks up another 5-gallon gas can.
 
				SIG 
		What's doin' at your brother's Alvin? 
		The Straight family reunion?
 
 	Alvin gives Sig a look.
 
				ALVIN 
		You could say that.
 
	Alvin puts the other gas can on the counter.
 
				SIG 
			(goading Alvin)
		Alvin you got three 5-gallon cans. 
		Fifteen gallons of gas there. Just what 
		you gonna do with that much gas?
 
 	Rose is getting nervous with Sig's prying ways. She 
	knows that this is a sensitive area for Alvin. She 
	looks to the TV.
 
				ROSE
		Local forecast!
 
	The whole gang stops and watches as the Weather 
	Channel gives the local forecast.
 
					CUT TO:
 
34	INT.--DAY  THE TV SCREEN
 
	The local forecast runs and the radar is looking 
	clear.
 
 					CUT TO:
 
 	As soon as it is over they look at each other to 
	remember where they were in conversation.
 
				SIG 
		Ahh....so what you need so much gas 
		for Alvin?
 
	Alvin returns to the counter. This time he has two 
	medium-sized Styrofoam coolers. Alvin stops and 
	looks long at Sig.
 
				ALVIN 
		Sig, you are one nosy sonofagun.
 
				BUD 
		You got that right.
 
	Sig clamps his jaw. Alvin turns back to Pete.
 
				ALVIN 
		Pete, I'd like to buy that from you.
 
	Alvin points to a contraption used in hardware 
	stores to grab things on high shelves. Pete sees what 
	he's pointing to and gets a possessive jolt. He turns 
	to Alvin.
 
				PETE 
		Jeez Alvin.
 
				ALVIN 
		Well?
 
 	Pete eyes the grabber. He looks down the aisle to the 
	other end of the store where he's got another grabber 
	hanging.
 
				PETE 
		I do have two of them...I guess I could 
		sell you that one.
 
				ALVIN 
		Five bucks would seem about right.
 
				PETE 
			(puzzled)
		Those things are hard to come by Alvin. 
		It would take me two months to get 
		another one on order. That's a damn 
		good grabber. Jeez...I can't let that grabber 
		go for less than.....jeez.....$10.00.
 
				ALVIN 
			(considering, not 
			too happy)
		OK. Ring her up.
 
	Pete pulls down the grabber and longingly works it a 
	few times and sets it reluctantly down on the 
	counter. Alvin smiles. Pete starts ringing up Alvin's 
	items.
 
				PETE 
		Three 5-gallon gas cans at $9.89. Two 
		Styrofoam coolers...
 
	The beautiful bells and clicks and hammers of the 
	old cash register are the only sounds in the room.
 
				PETE 
		Two coolers, 99 cents and 
		one....one...Alvin...
 
				ALVIN
		Ring it up Pete.
 
				PETE 
		With tax that's $44.25.
 
	Alvin fishes out a large black wallet held to his belt 
	by a chain. He pulls out two twenties and a five and 
	hands them to Pete.
 
				SIG 
		What you need that grabber for Alvin?
 
 	Alvin turns to him.
 
				ALVIN
		Grabbin'.
 
	Apple has his arm up to his elbow digging in his 
	boot. Suddenly he feels something.
 
				APPLE
		Hah! It's a nail!
 
					CUT TO: 

35 	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN'S BACKYARD
 
	Alvin and Rose are in the backyard. Alvin takes a can 
	of W-2 lubricant. He sprays the hitch holder on the 
	trailer. Then he laboriously makes his way across the 
	lawn to the riding mower. He sprays the hitch ball on 
	the mower. Rose is confused. Alvin then mounts the
	lawn mower. He begins backing it up to the trailer. 
	Awareness finally crosses Rose's face. Her jaw drops.
 
				ROSE 
		Oh.....jeeez Dad. Oh jeez......Dad.
 
					CUT TO:
 
36	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S BACKYARD

	Alvin is seated on a chaise lounge smoking a Swisher 
	Sweet. He is looking at his mower/trailer rig. A 
	mosquito coil burns beside him, casting a warm glow on 
	the scene. Rose is lying on the ground on a blanket 
	looking up at the stars. It is a beautiful autumn 
	evening.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		...that trailer is too heavy for that...it's a 
		lawnmower. You are going to....drive....a 
		lawnmower to...another state.
 
				ALVIN 
		Now Rose you gotta cease with your 
		worryin'. You get that from your 
		mother.
 
				ROSE 
		But Dad....you....can't.
 
				ALVIN 
		Rose...."can't" doesn't live here.
 
 	Alvin takes a puff of cigar.
 
				ALVIN 
		It's gonna be fine Rose.
 
				ROSE 
		Dad....please. I will find someone to 
		drive you to Wisconsin. Pete........you 
		like Pete.....Pete...he is a good driver.
 
				ALVIN 
		Now, Rose, sweetheart......
 
	Rose is starting to tear up. She is so worried about 
	what he is doing. He reaches down and takes her
 	hand.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		I been on the road plenty. Didn't your 
		mom and I haul you kids all around 
		the country?
 
 	Rose nods, close to tears. She counts.
 
				ROSE 
		One, Wisconsin...Two, Minnesota... 
		Three, Wyoming but not long...Four 
		was Oregon. We had goats. Five.....New 
		Mexico and......six.....good old....Iowa.
 
				ALVIN 
		Remember when we traveled...you and 
		your sister and brothers...
 
	Rose nods and the reminiscence makes her happy.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		We sure saw a lot. We all liked travelin'.
 
				ROSE
		Yeah.
			(smiling at first but 
			then the worry returns) 
		But this is different Dad.
 
				ALVIN 
		It is Rose...it's easier..I'm not luggin' 
		seven kids in the back.
 
	Rose nods. Her emotions are confused.
 
				ROSE 
		But Dad.....you will be all alone. Won't 
		you be lonely?
 
				ALVIN 
		Rosie...sometimes a man likes bein' a 
		little lonely.
 
	Rose ponders this notion. A new anxiety creeps in.
 
				ROSE 
		I will be alone......here...
 
	This stops Alvin. He realizes he hadn't really thought 
	about that and it makes him feel both bad and a little 
	worried. He hides his concern.
 
				ALVIN 
		And you're going to be just fine. 
		Dorothy is next door and she can't keep 
		her nose out of our business. She'll be 
		over here seven times a day.
 
	Rose laughs.
 
				ROSE 
		Wait 'til she hears about.........this Dad.
 
	They both share a laugh.
 
				ALVIN 
		Rose I got to go see Lyle. I got to make 
		this trip on my own. I know you 
		understand that.
 
				ROSE 
		I guess so....
 
				ALVIN 
		Look at that sky Rose...full of stars 
		tonight.
 
					CUT TO: 

37	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S BACKYARD 

	POV a sky full of stars.
 
					CUT TO: 

38	INT.--DAY  GROCERY STORE
 
	Dorothy is at the checkout counter. Brenda is 
	checking her out.
 
				BRENDA 
		One bag of potato chips, two boxes of 
		powdered donuts, one bag of corn 
		nuts, six pack of Coca-Cola, two 
		Snickers, three Hostess Sno-Balls...
 
				DOROTHY 
		Give me a couple packs of Salem lights 
		will ya hon?
 
 	Dorothy glances out the window of the store just in
	time to see Alvin passing on his mower hauling the 
	trailer.
 
				DOROTHY 
		Well....I don't believe my eyes.
 
	Brenda looks up and glances out the window. She 
	sees Alvin passing on the mower. She doesn't miss a 
	beat in her checking.
 
				BRENDA 
		Oh yah. He's goin' to visit his brother 
		in Wisconsin.
 
				DOROTHY 
		On a lawnmower?!?!
 
				BRENDA 
		Yah...
 
				DOROTHY 
		Great party place, Wisconsin.
 
					CUT TO:
 
39 	INT.--DAY  HARDWARE STORE 

	The Weather Channel is STILL on. Pete, Sig and 
	Apple are watching. As they watch they hear a noisy 
	engine approach out front. They turn to the store-
	front window. Alvin pulls into frame hauling the 
	trailer behind his riding lawn mower.
 
				SIG 
			(stunned)
 		Crimenetto.
 
 	All three exit the hardware store after Alvin.
 
					CUT TO: 

40	EXT.--DAY  LAURENS MAIN STREET 

	The three hardware regulars trot alongside Alvin as 
	he passes out of town.
 
				APPLE 
		Alvin just what are you settin' out to do 
		here?
 
				BUD 
		Oh for da cry eye Alvin.
 
				APPLE 
		Alvin you are gonna get blown right off 
		the road is what I'm afraid.
 
				SIG 
			(running out of breath 
			and stopping, bending over, 
			hands on knees, wheezing)
		Oh....
			(puffing)
		... jeez Alvin.
 
 	All three stop and watch as Alvin moves slowly out 
	of town.
 
				PETE 
			(to no one 
			in particular)
 		He'll never make it past the Grotto.

					CUT TO: 

41	EXT.--DAY  IOWA COUNTY HIGHWAY 314

	Tight shot of very, very slow yellow center line 
	moving through frame to the tune of Steppenwolf's 
	"Born to Be Wild" a la Easy Rider.
 
					CUT TO: 

42	EXT.--DAY  IOWA COUNTY HIGHWAY 314

 	Wide shot from behind and then beside Alvin which 
	takes in expansive landscape. A beautiful sunny day. 
	America at five miles an hour.
 
					CUT TO: 

43	EXT.--DAY  IOWA COUNTY HIGHWAY 314 

	Close shot Alvin happy to be on the road. Diggin' 
	the pig farms. Music plays over.
 
					CUT TO: 
 
44	EXT.--DAY  SAME HIGHWAY
 
	Alvin passes a farmhouse. A farm wife is hanging 
	clothes on a clothesline. She gawks. A boy gawks. A 
	dog chases after Alvin. Alvin holds out his hand 
	with a wiener in it. The dog sticks with him for 
	awhile. We ride along with the two of them for a 
	bit. Alvin turns to dog.
 
				ALVIN 
		Go on home now.
 
	The dog looks a little crestfallen but realizes Alvin is 
	right. He wheels and heads back home.

					CUT TO: 
 
45	EXT.--DAY  SAME HIGHWAY
 
	A farmer in the field on a John Deere tractor cutting 
	third crop hay. The mower and tractor are on in parallel 
	tracks heading in the same direction. The field 
	tractor passes him and he and the farmer exchange waves.

					CUT TO: 
 
46	EXT.--DAY  SAME HIGHWAY
 
	Alvin sees a sign that says, "Only Five More Miles to 
	The Grotto of West Bend Iowa."

					CUT TO: 
 
47	EXT.--DAY  SAME HIGHWAY
 
	Alvin is approaching the outskirts of the town of 
	West Bend. His reverie is interrupted by a distant, 
	building sound. A huge truck approaches and flies 
	by Alvin with a deafening roar. It completely rattles 
	lawn mower, trailer, and Alvin. Alvin's hat is blown 
	off. He has to stop the mower, get out his canes, do 
	the slow dismount. He struggles down through a 
	ditch into a field. He retrieves the hat, goes back 
	down through the ditch. He climbs back up out of 
	the ditch onto the road and mounts the mower. Real 
	time. Just as he sits down, the tractor dies. Alvin 
	hauls himself off the mower again and pops the 
	hood. Shaking his head he gets back on the mower. 

					DISSOLVE TO:
 
48	EXT.--DAY
 
 	Alvin is sitting on the mower in the same spot. He 
	reaches back into food locker, grabs a cold wiener. 
	He sits and eats.
 
					DISSOLVE TO:
 
49	EXT.--DAY
 
 	Alvin is sitting on the open back door of the trailer 
	looking back down the road. He sees a bus
 	approaching. He waves it down and the bus stops. 
	The side of the bus has written large "SUN-RAY 
	TOURS."
 
					CUT TO:
 
50	INT.--DAY  INSIDE TOUR BUS

	The doors of the bus pop open to reveal Alvin 
	standing there with his two canes, wearing his 
	Stetson.
 
				ALVIN 
		I'm having some engine trouble.
 
	The busdriver cranes his neck to look beyond Alvin 
	and spies the lawn mower and trailer.
 
				BUSDRIVER
		What the heck are you driving there.
 
				ALVIN 
		A Rehds.
 
	The busdriver is puzzled by this answer.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		Can you give me a lift into town?
 
				BUSDRIVER
		I can get you as far as the Grotto. This 
		is the SUN-RAY Tour.
 
				ALVIN 
		I'd appreciate that.
 
 	Alvin climbs on board.
 
 					CUT TO:
 
51	INT.--DAY  ALVIN'S POV OF PASSENGERS 

	The bus is filled with senior citizens, mostly women. 
	Each occupant is wearing a name tag bearing "SUN-
	RAY TOURS" and their name.
 
 					CUT TO:

52	INT.--DAY  BUS
 
	Alvin just gazes at the passengers.
 
 					CUT TO:
 
53	INT.--DAY  BUS, ALVIN'S POV 

	A sea of white, blue and pink hair and wrinkled 
	faces. One lady pops up and snaps his photo. She 
	then turns and snaps a photo of the lawn mower 
	and trailer.
 
 					CUT TO:

54	INT.--DAY  BUS
 
	Alvin moves down the aisle toward a seat. His canes 
	are hanging one from each arm as he grips one seat 
	back after another. Some of the women cringe slightly 
	as he passes. One old lady leans over to another.
 
				OLD LADY #1 
		My Edward loved his riding mower.
 
					CUT TO:
 
55	EXT.--DAY  WEST BEND GROTTO 

	The bus pulls up to the Grotto, a fantastic, magical 
	tourist attraction. The old people begin to get out of 
	the bus.
 
					CUT TO:

56 	INT.--DAY  BUS 

	Alvin sits patiently waiting for everyone else to leave 
	the bus. People give a variety of looks as they file 
	out. Alvin watches them as they walk into the 
	Grotto. As the last person disappears through the 
	entrance, he stands and slowly exits the bus.
 
					CUT TO:
 
57	I/E.--DAY  GROTTO
 
	Pan of the interior wall of the Grotto. It is a beauti-
	fully detailed structure of pieces of rock and crystal. 
	The stations of the Cross are represented on the two 
	sides of the interior walls. Alvin sits on a bench in a 
	courtyard inside the Grotto looking at what he sees. 
	The bench is situated under a spreading oak tree. In 
	the background we see the group from the bus with 
	the tour guide talking through a megaphone.
 
				TOUR GUIDE
		...The Pastor of this Catholic Parish 
		began his work on the Grotto in 1912 
		and continued it until his death in 
		1954. All this work you see before you 
		was done by hand...
 
	An old gentleman (WENDELL) breaks from the 
	group and approaches Alvin. Wendell is wearing a 
	seersucker suit with a bow tie. He is walking with 
	one cane. He walks up to Alvin sitting on the bench.
 
				WENDELL 
		May I share the bench? As you can see 
		I have a little arthritis myself.
 
				ALVIN 
		Be my guest.
 
	Wendell sits, gets himself situated and leans forward 
	on his cane.
 
				WENDELL
		This was one fellow who had quite a 
		bit of time on his hands.
 
				ALVIN
		A lot of work.
 
	The tour guide in the background has made some 
	comment which causes all the women to start 
	giggling. Alvin and Wendell turn at this.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd)
		So how's it traveling with a hen house?
 
				WENDELL 
		Well I'll tell you. My wife passed away 
		in '87. After she was gone I spent a lot 
		of time alone. Oh there were women 
		who came out of the woodwork trying 
		to cook and clean for me. I managed to 
		keep myself unattached and they finally 
		stopped coming around. Then things 
		got pretty quiet. I got to missing
 		things.
 
				ALVIN 
		My wife passed in 1981.
 
	Wendell nods and they sit quiet for a moment.
 
				WENDELL 
		My daughter tricked me into one of 
		these bus trips a couple of years ago. It 
		was The House on the Rock if I'm not 
		mistaken. A very interesting structure 
		that. I was the only man on that bus. It 
		was a singular experience.
 
				ALVIN
		I bet.
 
	They share a chuckle.
 
				WENDELL 
		I was pleasantly surprised at how much
		I enjoyed all that femininity. I discovered 
		how much I missed it. Since then 
		I make one of these bus trips every 
		other month. I rather enjoy the 
		attention.
 
				ALVIN 
		I live with my daughter Rose. Of
		course, it's different from being with 
		my wife, but it's a comfort to have a 
		woman around.
 
				WENDELL 
		There's not a man born who doesn't 
		enjoy being fussed over.
 
				ALVIN 
		You wouldn't a had your way with any 
		of these fillies now wouldja?
 
	Wendell pauses and chuckles.
 
				WENDELL 
		It is a wonder how invigorating a 
		tumble with a maiden can be.
 
				ALVIN 
		If there's a maiden on that bus I'll dance a
 		jig.
 
				WENDELL 
			(chuckling again)
 		See those three over there? They're 
		Dominican nuns.
 
 	Alvin begins laughing and Wendell joins in. 
	Without rising from the bench Alvin moves his 
	feet in a jig. The two fellas laugh again. They hear 
	an outburst of giggles from the gaggle of gals and 
	look their way. One of the women waves to 
	Wendell. He waves back. The two men sit in 
	silence for a while.
 
				WENDELL (cont'd) 
		That's an interesting attachment to 
		your lawn mower.
 
				ALVIN 
		You mean my trailer.
 
				WENDELL 
		Is that what that is? Why would you 
		attach a trailer to a lawnmower?
 
				ALVIN 
		I'm takin' a trip. That's where I bunk.
 
				WENDELL 
		A trip on a lawnmower? That's an 
		interesting means of conveyance. A bit 
		hard on the hips isn't it?
 
				ALVIN 
		No worse than a tumble with a maiden.
 
	The two laugh again.
 
				ALVIN 
		It's not too bad. A little rough on the 
		dismount.
 
	They laugh some more. It subsides.
 
				WENDELL 
		And what's your destination?
 
 				ALVIN
 		Mt. Zion.
 
 				WENDELL
		Wisconsin?
 
 				ALVIN
 		Yup.

				WENDELL 
		I admire your gumption.
 
	Two women have broken away from the crowd and 
	approach the bench.
 
				FIRST WOMAN
		Oh Wendell. The tour guide has so 
		much to say. We hate to see you miss 
		this.
 
	Wendell turns to Alvin and winks. Woman number 
	two reaches down and flicks some lint off of Alvin's 
	shoulder. Alvin smiles at her.
 
				ALVIN
		Thank you.
 
	The woman blushes. Wendell stands and turns to 
	Alvin.
 
				WENDELL 
		Bon voyage my friend.
 
				ALVIN
		Adios.
 
	Wendell and the two women walk away.
 
					CUT TO:

58	EXT.--DAY  HIGHWAY 314
 
	Alvin tight as he rolls along the highway at a surpris-
	ingly fast speed. He is holding on to his hat. Pull 
	back slowly to reveal Alvin on the bed of a pickup 
	sitting on his lawn mower as it rolls back into 
	Laurens.

  					CUT TO:

59	INT.--DAY  LAURENS ACE HARDWARE
 
 	The Weather Channel is on. The locals all turn their 
	heads as Alvin passes through their view out of the 
	window.
  
				SIG 
		Told ya that mower wouldn't make it 
		mor'n a few miles. Alvin (shakes his 
		head), he's got more brass than 
		brains.
 
				PETE
			(almost to himself)
		Hardly out a full day.
 
				APPLE 
		Least he's not hurt. Old timer like that 
		on the road. There's no tellin'.
 
	Pete, Apple and Sig stand looking as Alvin passes. 
	Alvin looks straight ahead.
 
				WEATHER PERSON 
			(off camera)
		...and now for your local forecast.
 
	Contrary to their previous actions when the local 
	forecast is announced, Pete, Sig and Apple do not
 	take their eyes off of Alvin. They walk to the 
	window as he passes out of frame. They peer down the 
	street after him.

					CUT TO:
 
60	INT.--DAY  ALVIN'S KITCHEN
 
 	Rose is sitting at the kitchen table with Dorothy. 
	Between them is a large bowl of potato chips and 
	they are each drinking a large glass of milk. 
	Dorothy's hair is now bright red.
 
				ROSE 
		...so the man in a pick up...he brought
		my...my dad back.
 
				DOROTHY 
		Oh...I must've been at the beauty 
		parlor. What kinda pickup?
 
 	Alvin enters kitchen from inside the house, passes 
	by them and on out the back door. He is carrying a 
	pump action shotgun under his arm. He has a 
	little trouble with the canes, the gun and the back 
	door. The gals stop talking until he goes out the 
	door.
 
				ROSE 
		A Ford.
 
	Dorothy's eyes are glued to Alvin as she watches him 
	through the kitchen window crossing the lawn.
 
				DOROTHY
		What's your dad doin' with that gun?
 
				ROSE 
		I.....don't know. My dad...he got 
		medals in the war for sharpshootin'.... 
		But his eyes ain't so good now.
 
	All through this we see Alvin out in the yard. He 
	begins to put his canes down and prop himself up
	against a picnic table.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		Once he shot....a cougar....right
 		out....of a tree....it was up above me 
		and my......brother Bobby.
 
	Through the window we see Alvin pick up the shot-
	gun and raise it to his shoulder. The two women 
	unconsciously rise up out of their seats and move 
	toward the window to see what is going on. Alvin 
	pumps the shotgun and fires. The women can now 
	see the target -- the Rehds lawnmower explodes. 
	Alvin pumps once more and finishes it off.
 
				DOROTHY
		Jeez.
 
					CUT TO: 

61	INT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S LIVING ROOM
 
	Alvin and Rose are watching the TV news. Alvin is 
	gluing coins onto the hatband of his Stetson.
 
				ROSE 
		What.....are those Dad?
 
				ALVIN 
		My Mexican coins.
 
				ROSE 
		Remember...I was born in New 
		Mexico....June....20...1960. The 
		Mexican coin is a........peso........Why
		are you gluing pesos on your hat?
 
 				ALVIN
 		Ballast.
 
				ROSE 
			(repeating with 
			some confusion)
		Ballast.
 
					CUT TO:
 
62	EXT.--DAY  JOHN DEERE DEALER IN LAURENS IOWA 
 
 	Pan across flat Iowa landscape to huge John Deere 
	sign. The camera moves down to find a herd of 
	the huge, green titans of farm machinery; the John 
	Deere tractors. We first see the biggest farm tractors 
	John Deere makes, some more than a story tall 
	with air-conditioned cabs, CD players and onboard
	global positioning computers. As the camera 
	moves the vehicles get smaller, until the shot 
	comes to rest on the spanking new John Deere 
	Riding Mower, sparkling in the summer sun. As 
	the camera rests on the riding mower we see Alvin, 
	leaning on his two canes, gazing longingly at the 
	mower.

					CUT TO:
 
63	INT.--DAY  JOHN DEERE DEALERSHIP
 
 	Two salesmen stand sipping coffee from official John 
	Deere mugs. The older man is Tom. He is late 50s, 
	greying and stocky and short. A seasoned tractor 
	salesman who has seen it all. He is wearing a John 
	Deere sports shirt, yellow with green JD logo over 
	his breast. With Tom is his young, energetic sales 
	rookie, Andy. Andy is a big kid, just off the family 
	farm, a little soft but full of sales gumption. He 
	works on straight commission. He too is wearing a
	John Deere shirt and hat, which is a bit small for his 
	great melon of a head.
 
				ANDY 
		That's the LD 155 right Mr. Hillenbrandt.
 
				TOM 
		As I told ya'...Andy I'd rather ya didn't 
		call me "Mister Hillenbrandt." Tom is 
		fine. People hear you call me Mister 
		and they'll think I've actually become a 
		real businessman. Pretty soon they'll all 
		be calling me Mr. Hillenbrandt and I'd 
		have to sell my implement business and 
		move to someplace where folks call me 
		"Tom" again.
 
				ANDY 
		Sorry...T...T...Tom...it's just that I've 
		been calling you Mister Hillenbrandt 
		all my life...
 
				TOM 
		Well you're out of school and a workin' 
		fool like the rest of us now Andy and 
		you can start usin' first names. And one 
		other thing...that's not the LD 155, 
		that's the LT 155.
 
	Alvin enters the showroom, where there are more 
	riding mowers.
 
				ANDY 
			(confidently)
		Would you like to me to handle this 
		one...Tom?
 
				TOM 
		Sure. It's Alvin Straight. I'm sure you'll
		do just fine Andy.
 
	Andy walks over to meet Alvin as he enters the door. 
	As he leaves Tom ducks his head and leaves the 
	showroom. He turns and looks at ALICE, the gray 
	haired woman who is his bookkeeper. She crosses 
	herself and raises her eyes to the heavens. Alvin is 
	looking at another model of riding mower as Andy 
	saunters over.
 
				ANDY
		Good morning. I'm Andy Laufenberg. 
		Anything I can help you with today
		sir.
 
				ALVIN 
		Well Andy Laufenberg...I'm looking to 
		get a riding mower. I want good 
		power -- comfortable ride.
 
				ANDY
		Well sir this is the one to look at. It's 
		the John Deere LT 155....
 
	Andy nervously reaches for a pamphlet.
 
				ANDY (cont'd) 
		It's got a 15 horsepower Kawasaki 
		engine. Cast iron cylin...
 
				ALVIN
 		Japanese?

				ANDY
			(flummoxed) 
		No ah sir...no I'm not. I'm mostly
		Dutch.
 
				ALVIN 
		The engine. Kawasaki. A Japanese 
		engine?
 
				ANDY
		Yessir. 

	Alvin grunts.
 
 				ANDY (cont'd) 
		They...the Japanese make a very fine 
		engine. The LD 155...
 
				ALVIN
 		LT.

				ANDY
 		Beg your pardon?
 
				ALVIN
		LT...LT 155...says here right on the 
		side.
 
 	Andy is flustered and begins fumbling with the 
	pamphlet.
 
				ANDY 
		And you're right sir...similar models. By
		Gish that is the LT 155. Same engine
		looks like and...it's...got....air
		cooling...electronic ignition...right here 
		with that key....It's got a hydrostatic 
		drive transmission.
 
				ALVIN 
		And what would that be?
 
				ANDY 
		Good question and I'm sure I can get 
		that answer for you...
 
	Andy looks over his shoulder to search for Tom. 
	Tom and the bookkeeper wave and turn back to 
	some papers.

					CUT TO:

64	INT.--DAY  JOHN DEERE DEALERSHIP / BOOKKEEPER'S OFFICE
 
 				ALICE
 		How's he doin'?
 
				TOM 
		Young salesmen are a painful thing to 
		witness. You add Alvin to the mix and 
		we may have to call the paramedics.
 
	Alice giggles. They continue to watch Andy and Alvin.
 
				ALICE 
		Shouldn't you rescue him now?
 
 					CUT TO:
 
65	INT.--DAY  JOHN DEERE DEALERSHIP

	Andy is still struggling.
 
				ANDY 
		It's also got disc breaks...Mr...ah...Mr...
 		ah...sir.
       
				ALVIN 
		Straight. Mr. Alvin Straight.
 
				ANDY 
		Well Alvin. Disc brakes on a lawn 
		mower. Isn't that something?
 
				ALVIN 
		You're young enough to be my grand-
		son. Proper thing would be to call me 
		Mr. Straight. If a buck private called 
		me Alvin I made him shovel slop.
 
				ANDY 
		Right Mr. Straight. I'm a bit new at 
		this and....and...well--
 
	Tom crosses the showroom to them. Alvin nods. 
	Andy looks relieved.
 
				ANDY 
		Just talking to Mr. Straight here, Mr. 
		Hillenbrandt... ah...well...he's interested
 		here in a LT 155.
 
				TOM
		Mornin' Alvin.
 
				ALVIN
		Tom.
 
				TOM 
		Alvin the LT 155 runs about $2500 
		dollars. What ya lookin' to spend today?
 
				ALVIN
		Not that much.
 
				TOM 
		Follow me Alvin. Andy, Alice has some 
		paperwork you need to fill out.
 
				ANDY 
			(dejected)
		OK Mr. Hillenbrandt.
 
				TOM
		You did fine Andy. Didn't he Alvin?
 
				ALVIN 
		Pleasure doing business with you Mr. 
		Laufenberg.
 
	Andy walks away dazed and confused.
 
				TOM 
		Can you follow me around back Alvin? I 
		got something that might fit your needs.
 
 					CUT TO:

66	EXT.--DAY  REAR OF JOHN DEERE DEALERSHIP   

	The back lot of the dealership is an elephants' 
	graveyard of tractors and implements and parts. If 
	the front of the dealership is the color of John Deere 
	green, the back is the color of rust. Tom and Alvin
	wind their way through the backlot talking as they
	go.
 
				TOM 
		I set you up with that old Rehds that 
		we had the last time didn't I, Alvin?
 
				ALVIN
		That you did.
 
				TOM 
		That ran about $325. Same price 
		range?
 
				ALVIN
		Generally.
   
				TOM 
		You tradin' in the Rehds today?
 
				ALVIN 
		I don't think so Tom.
 
	Tom nods. He decides not to ask more on the 
	subject.
 
				TOM 
		Pete tells me that you tried usin' the
		rider in an interesting way. Still 
		planning to do that?
 
				ALVIN 
		Still planning to Tom.
 
				TOM 
		I know better than to talk Alvin 
		Straight out of anything he sets his 
		mind to. But I have to tell you Alvin 
		that you have always struck me as a 
		smart man....
 
				ALVIN 
		That's appreciated.
 
				TOM
		...Until now.
 
	Alvin chuckles. They come around a large John 
	Deere field tractor and there sitting amongst the 
	heaps is an old John Deere riding mower. Strong, 
	simple and still green with a golden-yellow, tractor-
	style seat. Alvin looks at it.
 
				ALVIN 
		What year?
 
				TOM 
		'66. Has the Kohler engine. We've used 
		it for parts but I always order and 
		replace them when they arrive. The 
		guts are good.
 
				ALVIN 
		How fast will it go?
 
				TOM 
		'Bout five miles an hour...more down-
		hill. It's got the old transmission. 
		Nothing fancy.
 
				ALVIN 
		What are you askin' Tom?
 
	Tom pauses and sighs. Looks around the lot.
 
				TOM 
		Alvin, we've done business before. I 
		know you're an old horse trader from 
		way back and I don't much feel like 
		sparring with you today. Hard to find a 
		price on a riding mower that's near 30 
		years old. Your guess is as good as 
		mine....I guess I'd just like to ask you 
		what you're willing to pay.
 
	Alvin takes a look at the mower.
 
				ALVIN 
		It's a good machine?
 
				TOM 
		It's a good machine, Alvin.
 
				ALVIN 
		I've got three hunnert and 25 dollars 
		Tom. And there's no fiction there.
 
				TOM
		That sounds fine with me Alvin. Let's 
		go and you can settle up with Alice.
 
				ALVIN
		One last thing Tom. You can tell a little 
		something about a machine this old by 
		who's run it. Do you know who owned 
		it?
 
				TOM 
		Sure do Alvin. Me.
 
					CUT TO:
 
67	INT.--DAY  JOHN DEERE SHOWROOM

	Tom and Andy watch Alvin drive away on his 
	mower.
 
				TOM 
		Well congratulations, Andy.
 
				ANDY 
		Thanks...Tom...but you sold it.
 
				TOM 
		No sir...you spotted the customer and 
		brought him in...I just cleaned up. You 
		go on and see Alice. Three percent on 
		$325 dollars outta be enough for a 
		pitcher of beer tonight...but there'll be
 		more where that came from.
 
	Andy walks away while Tom continues to watch
	Alvin drive away down the road.
 
				TOM (cont'd)
			(to himself)
		It's worth it to tell everyone you sold it 
		to Alvin Straight.
 
					CUT TO:
 
68	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN'S BACKYARD 

	Alvin and Rose are in the backyard repeating the 
	good-bye. Alvin is perched on the John Deere 
	mower and Rose is standing next to him arguing.
 
				ROSE 
		But Dad I was.......right. You ran into 
		trouble.........the first....day.
 
	Alvin is determined but gentle.
 
				ALVIN 
		The only mistake I made was my 
		equipment. I'm going to be fine now 
		Rose. Nothing runs like a.....
 
	Alvin pats the mower...he looks expectantly to 
	Rose...She is puzzled....she looks back at him...what
	is he talking about?
 
				ALVIN 
		A Deere...Rose...Nothin' runs like a Deere.
 
	Rose nods, still not quite sure what they're talking
	about. Alvin motions his head in the direction 
	of Dorothy's house. Rose looks over.
 
					CUT TO:
 
69	EXT.--DAY  DOROTHY'S HOUSE
 
 	Dorothy ducks out of the window where she has 
	been watching Alvin and Rose.
 
					CUT TO:

70	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN'S BACKYARD
 
				ALVIN 
		I gotta go just to give her something to 
		chew on.
 
 	Rose smiles.

				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		You know I gotta do this Rose.
 
	Rose tries to smile through her anxiety, and nods.
 
					CUT TO:

71	EXT.--DAY  LAURENS DINER

	OMIT
 
 					CUT TO: 

72	INT.--DAY  ALVIN'S BACK PORCH
 
	Rose is sitting at her workbench painting a bird-
	house. She frowns and shakes her head.
 
				ROSE 
		God.....I am.....so worried....about....... 
		our dad. Please God....don't let nothin'
		.......bad....happen....to him.
 
					CUT TO:
 
73	EXT.--DAY  IOWA HWY 314 AT GROTTO SIGN  

	Alvin tools on by the point where he broke down
 	before, tips his hat at sign. Secures his hat nice and 
	snug. Here comes that ominous sound of an oncoming 
	truck. Alvin shows no fear. The truck booms by, 
	rocking trailer, mower and Alvin but THE HAT IS 
	ROCK SOLID. Alvin smiles.

					CUT TO:

74	EXT.--DAY  THE GROTTO

	Alvin drives past the Grotto and smiles.
 
					CUT TO:

75	EXT.--DAY  IOWA HIGHWAY
 
 	Alvin is moving down the shoulder and slows to a 
	stop. He pulls out his box of Swisher Sweets and 
	lights up. He sits for a moment and considers the 
	landscape around him: a vast expanse of flat corn-
	fields and the road stretching into the horizon ahead 
	of him. The mower is idling and there is no other 
	sound. He is content.

					CUT TO:

76	EXT.--DAY

	Alvin slows down as he is passing a small woods on 
	the side of the road. He comes to a stop and considers 
	the woods. He makes his laborious dismount and 
	stretches. He goes around back of the trailer, reaches 
	in and gets his grabber and a tarp. He heads into the 
	woods and begins grabbing some wood. This is no 
	simple task since he's walking with the two canes. 
	After grabbing a large piece of wood while placing it 
	on the tarp, his hand slips off one of his canes. He 
	tries to catch himself but falls face down on the 
	ground. He doesn't move.

					CUT TO:
 
77	EXT.--DAY  CLOSE SHOT OF ALVIN 

	Cut close to Alvin's face. There is fear in his eyes and 
	his breathing is labored. After collecting himself he 
	looks around for his canes.
 
					CUT TO:

78	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN ON THE GROUND 
 
	He reaches out and gets a hold of his canes. With all 
	his might he slowly struggles back to his feet. Still 
	shaking he uses one cane to retrieve the grabber. 
	With the grabber he gets the stick that had undone 
	him and loads it onto the tarp and drags it over to 
	the trailer. He puts the sticks into the back one by 
	one. He climbs aboard and pulls back onto the 
	shoulder and heads off down the highway.
 
					CUT TO:

79	EXT.--LATE AFTERNOON  CAMPSITE IN A FARMER'S FIELD 

	Alvin pulls off the road onto a dirt track leading 
	into a field. He is in the wide open, no trees, no 
	farm buildings. He takes a look at the surroundings 
	and pulls off the track where the ground is slightly 
	higher. He does the slow dismount off the Deere 
	and stretches, rubbing his lower back. He goes about 
	setting up for the night. He opens the trailer and 
	pulls out an aluminum frame chaise lounge and 
	some of the firewood he had gathered. He slowly 
	gathers twigs & leaves for kindling for the fire. He 
	opens up the food locker at the front of the trailer 
	and pulls out a few items. He puts a few hot dogs 
	and some bread and cheese on a plate. He sits down 
	on the camping chair and proceeds to eat with little
	ceremony. It is not quite magic hour.

					DISSOLVE TO: 

80	EXT.--MAGIC HOUR  FARMER'S FIELD

	Alvin has built a fire. He sits in his lawn chair 
	drinking coffee and smoking a Swisher Sweet. His 
	canes are lying across his lap. The night is very quiet. 
	Alvin listens to the quiet and the occasional rustle of 
	small field animals. He looks to the horizon where 
	the sun had set.

					CUT TO:
 
81	EXT.--MAGIC HOUR 

	The sky is royal blue with a band of gold at the 
	horizon. Higher up the sky is navy blue and there 
	are a million stars as you can only see in a clear 
	country sky. Alvin sits back and enjoys his smoke.
 
					FADE OUT. 

					FADE IN:
 
82	EXT.--DAY  HIGHWAY 18
 
	Alvin going down the road. He sees a small figure 
	up ahead. A car whizzes past Alvin. The figure ahead 
	sticks out a thumb. The car passes by. Alvin 
	approaches the figure, sees it's a young, tough-
	looking girl CRYSTAL. She has dark hair under a 
	baseball cap. Somewhere between 13 and 17 years 
	old. Heavy eye makeup, bad tattoo on her shoulder. 
	She is wearing a tank top, cut-offs, high-top sneakers 
	with tiger-striped laces, and a backpack. Alvin nods 
	in acknowledgment as he passes her. She coldly 
	returns his gaze.
 
					CUT TO:
 
83	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S CAMPSITE
 
 	Alvin is eating a raw hot dog. He has built a campfire. 

					CUT TO:
 
84	EXT.--NIGHT  SAME HIGHWAY WIDE SHOT 

	Crystal is walking along.
 
					CUT TO:
 
85	EXT.--NIGHT  SAME HIGHWAY CRYSTAL'S POV
 
	Crystal spies Alvin's campfire in the field along the 
	road. The lawnmower and trailer are clearly visible 
	and she remembers him from the road.
 
					CUT TO:
 
86	EXT.--NIGHT  SAME HIGHWAY
 
	Crystal considers. Her face is unreadable...her inten-
	tions are unclear. She cuts off the road into the field 
	and heads toward the campsite.

					CUT TO:
 
87	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S CAMPSITE.
 
	Alvin barely looks up as Crystal walks into range of 
	campfire light. Neither of them say anything for 
	some time.
 
				CRYSTAL 
		I couldn't get a ride.
 
	Alvin nods his head. Doesn't say anything for a bit.
 
				ALVIN 
		Hungry?
 
				CRYSTAL
		Whatya got?

				ALVIN 
		Wieners.

				CRYSTAL
		Wieners? 
 
				ALVIN 
		Grab a stick and cook one.
 
	He points to the fire. She hesitates...looks at Alvin for 
	a bit longer. Alvin just keeps looking at the fire. Finally 
	she looks around, finds a stick and leans toward Alvin 
	to take a hot dog. She hunkers down holding the stick 
	with the hot dog over the fire. She casts occasional 
	glances at Alvin. More silence. She looks over to the 
	mower and trailer. Her expression darkens.
 
				CRYSTAL 
		What a hunk of junk.
 
				ALVIN 
		Eat your dinner missy.
 
	Startled a bit at his abruptness she falls silent. She 
	nibbles on her hot dog and then realizing how hungry 
	she is she begins to eat faster. She polishes off 
	the hot dog. Alvin notices this.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		Get yourself another.
 
	She's relieved at this offer and gets another hot dog, 
	puts it on the stick and holds it over the fire. They 
	sit, not speaking, listening to a chorus of crickets 
	and peepers.
 
				CRYSTAL 
		How long you been out on the road?
 
				ALVIN 
		I've traveled just about all my life.
 
				CRYSTAL
		I like being out on the road.
 
				ALVIN
		It's different for a girl alone.
 
				CRYSTAL 
			(defensively)
		It doesn't have to be different for a girl. 

	Alvin just nods his head. Doesn't speak or look at her.
 
				CRYSTAL (cont'd) 
		Where you from?
 
				ALVIN 
		Laurens.
 
	She nods, and sits quietly.
 
				CRYSTAL
		You got a wife back there?
 
				ALVIN 
		Nope.
 
				CRYSTAL
		Kids?

				ALVIN 
		My wife Frances brought fourteen kids 
		into the world. Only seven made it.... 
		My daughter Rose lives with me.
 
	No comment for a while.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd)
		Frances died in '81.
 
	Quiet for a time.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		Where's your family? 

	Now she's not talking.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		You runnin' away?
 
	She still doesn't answer. Alvin leans back and draws 
	on his cigar. He looks at the girl.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		How far along are you?
 
	Crystal looks away from the fire into the darkness.
 
				CRYSTAL
			Five months.
 
	Alvin nods. More quiet. Alvin gets up, walks out of 
	firelight with his grabber and comes back with a log. 
	He throws it on the fire and works the embers for a 
	bit.
 
				ALVIN 
		My daughter Rose that lives with 
		me...she's what some people would call
		a little slow. But she's not. She's got a 
		mind like a bear trap for facts and 
		keeps everything organized around the 
		house. She was a real good mom....had 
		four kids.
 
	He pauses looking into the fire. Crystal watches him 
	expectantly.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		One night.......someone else was 
		watchin' the kids...
 
					DISSOLVE TO:
 
88	INT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S KITCHEN
 
	We see the shot of Rose sitting alone in the kitchen 
	that we saw before. She is at the kitchen table smoking 
	a cigarette and thinking.
 
				ALVIN 
			(continuing in 
			voice over)
		There was a fire. Her second boy got 
		burned real bad. Rose didn't have nothin' 
		to do with it.
 
	He pauses.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
			(continuing in 
			voice over)
		...but...because of the way Rose is... the 
		state said she wasn't comp'tant to care 
		for the kids and took them all away.

					DISSOLVE TO:

83	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S CAMPSITE
 
				ALVIN 
		Not a day passes she doesn't pine for 
		those kids.
 
	Crystal looks away from him into the fire. He looks 
	back to the fire, coughs.
 
				ALVIN 
		Well, I'm headin' to see my brother Lyle.
 
				CRYSTAL 
		Huh?
 
 				ALVIN 
		I said I'm goin' to visit my brother Lyle 
		in Mt. Zion.
 
				CRYSTAL
		Where's that?
 
				ALVIN 
		In Wisconsin. Just over the state line.
 
				CRYSTAL 
			(nodding) 
		Oh....Cheddar Heads.
 
	Alvin laughs at this and Crystal smiles, too.
 
				ALVIN 
		Aren't those just about the dumbest 
		things you ever saw a person put on 
		their head?
 
	She nods and laughs.
 
				CRYSTAL 
		I hear that's a real party place, 
		Wisconsin. Guess I'll never get to find 
		out.
 
	They sit in silence. Alvin looks away from the fire.
 
				ALVIN 
		I haven't seen my brother in ten years.
 
	Alvin picks up the hot dogs and takes one out of the 
	pack. He proceeds to eat it raw.
 
				CRYSTAL 
		You're eatin' a raw hot dog!
 
				ALVIN 
			(smiling)
		I like 'em straight up.
 
	Crystal makes a face. Alvin munches slowly.
 
				CRYSTAL 
		Ten years is a long time.
 
	Crystal shivers with a chill. Alvin notices this.
 
				ALVIN 
		There's a blanket in the trailer.
 
	Crystal leaves firelight. She rustles about in the trailer.
 
				CRYSTAL 
			(offscreen)
		What the hell kind of boom box is 
		this?
 
				ALVIN 
		Eight track stereo...watch your god-
		damned language.
 
				CRYSTAL 
			(offscreen)
		Are these videotapes or what?
 
				ALVIN 
		That's music girlie.
 
				CRYSTAL 
		They're huge!.....I never seen anything like 
		this.
 
	We hear some rattling and the sound of the tape going 
	in. A sweet Patsy Cline ballad floats out of the trailer 
	and into the night air. Smiling, Crystal comes back 
	into the light with a blanket around her shoulders.
 
				CRYSTAL (cont'd)
		Figured it out.
 
				ALVIN 
		Good girl.
 
	They sit for a while and listen to the music.
 
				CRYSTAL 
		Your brother.
 
				ALVIN
		Lyle and I had a falling out.
 
				CRYSTAL
		Over what?
 
				ALVIN 
		I can't say as I recall.
 
				CRYSTAL 
		Well that's pretty stupid. You haven't 
		seen him in 10 years because of a fight 
		and you can't remember what the fight 
		was about?
 
				ALVIN 
		You got some rude habits girl.
 
	Crystal is taken aback. She is quiet, thinking.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		Maybe I do recall.
 
	Quiet for a while.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		People do lots of stupid things, 
		knowing they're stupid.
 
	He looks at her. She looks up.
 
				CRYSTAL 
		Sorry.
 
	They both stare into the fire for a while.
 
				CRYSTAL 
		So why are you going to see him now?
 
				ALVIN  
		He's sick.

	Crystal is poking the fire with the stick. Alvin picks 
	up another stick and he starts poking the fire.
  
				CRYSTAL
		My family hates me. They'll really hate 
		me when they find out....
 
				ALVIN
		You didn't tell them?
 
				CRYSTAL 
		No...no one knows...not even my 
		boyfriend.
 
				ALVIN 
		Well that doesn't strike me as fair 
		treatment of your people.
 
				CRYSTAL 
		I can take care of my own problems.
 
	There is a pause as they watch the fire. Then Alvin 
	speaks.
 
				ALVIN 
		Don't let pride make you dumb. I
		should know.
 
	She's listening.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		They may not be happy. But not so 
		much that they want to lose you...or 
		your little problem.
 
				CRYSTAL 
		I don't know about that.
 
				ALVIN 
		Well a course neither do I but a warm
		bed and a roof sounds a mite better than 
		this...eating hot dogs on a stick with an 
		old geezer traveling on a lawn mower.
 
	She giggles a bit and then falls silent. After a 
	moment, Alvin stirs.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		When my kids were young I played a 
		game with them. I'd give each of them
		a stick. One for each of 'em, and I'd tell
		them to break it. They'd do that easy. 
		Then I'd tell them to make one bundle 
		of all the sticks and try to break that. A 
		course they couldn't. I used to say that 
		was family, that bundle.
 
	Crystal listens in silence.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd)
		Sleep in the trailer if you want. I'll be 
		just fine here in my chair.
 
				CRYSTAL 
		No, I'll be fine sleeping out here. 
		Looking at the stars helps me think.
 
	Alvin nods. He begins to struggle to his feet. Crystal 
	stands to help him. After a moment of hesitation 
	Alvin accepts her arm. He stands, nods, smiles and 
	moves slowly to the trailer. Crystal sits down alone 
	to watch the fire. We hear the sounds of Alvin settling 
	into the trailer. A bit of silence.
 
				ALVIN 
			(from offscreen)
		Sweet dreams.
 
					CUT TO:
 
90	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S TRAILER

	Alvin's trailer door is open to the night air. 	We 
	slowly push into the dark rectangular opening of the 
	trailer.

					FADE IN:
 
91	EXT.--SUNRISE
 
	A wide establishing shot of the Iowa landscape at 
	sunrise.
 
					CUT TO:
 
92	EXT.--SUNRISE  ALVIN'S CAMPSITE

	Alvin crawls out of the trailer. Crystal's gone. Next 
	to the cold campfire is a bundle of sticks bound
	with a tiger-striped shoelace.

					CUT TO:
 
93	EXT.--DAY  HWY 18
 
	A series of dissolves:

	Alvin is tooling down the road.
 
					DISSOLVE TO:

94	EXT.--DAY  HWY 18 

	He passes a pig farm.
 
					DISSOLVE TO:

95	EXT.--DAY  HWY 18 

	He passes a sheep farm.
 
					DISSOLVE TO:
 
96	EXT.--DAY  HWY 18 

	He passes a dairy farm.
 
					DISSOLVE TO:
 
97	EXT.--DAY  HWY 18 

	He passes a buffalo farm.

					DISSOLVE TO:
 
98	EXT.--DAY  HWY 18 

	He passes an ostrich farm.
 
					DISSOLVE TO: 

99	EXT.--MAGIC HOUR  HWY 18

	Alvin comes upon a concrete animal (yard ornament) 
	manufacturer. He pulls off and sets up camp 
	alongside.
 
					CUT TO:

100	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S CAMPSITE 

	Alvin is eating, thinking, enjoying the evening in the 
	company of a menagerie of small concrete animals 
	surrounding him in the campfire. The light of the 
	fire plays off their faces.
 
					FADE TO BLACK. 

					FADE IN: 

101	EXT.--DAY  HWY 18 

	Cornfields on either side of the highway. The corn is 
	high in the field, topped by swaying golden tassels.
 
					CUT TO:

102	EXT.--AFTERNOON  HWY 18 ON THE 
	APPROACH TO WEST UNION, IOWA

	Alvin has had to pull into a busy four lane highway 
	on the outskirts of a medium-sized city. There is no
 	shoulder as there has been out in the country. The 
	traffic is heavy. Drivers pass, some angry, some 
	curious. A squad car pulls up behind and turns on its 
	lights. Alvin is oblivious.  Frustrated, the POLICE 
	OFFICER (young but not a rookie) gets on the 
	loudspeaker...
 
				WEST UNION POLICEMAN 
			(very loud) 
		Please pull your vehicle off the road.
 
	Alvin jumps and looks around. He sees the police 
	car and pulls into the parking lot of a Computer 
	Cosmos store. He sits patiently on the mower waiting 
	for the officer. The officer approaches.
 
				WEST UNION POLICEMAN 
		May I see your driver's license sir? 

	Alvin looks at the guy and laughs. The officer looks 
	off, takes a deep breath.
 
				WEST UNION POLICEMAN (cont'd) 
		Have you been drinking today sir?
 
				ALVIN 
		No sir.
 
	The Cop thinks for a minute, looks at heavy traffic
	passing by, looks at Alvin, his mower and trailer.
 
				WEST UNION POLICEMAN 
		I'm going to have to ask you to step 
		out...uh...get off of the lawn mower, sir. 

	Alvin goes into the slow dismount. Officer regards
	this and reaches to assist. Alvin jerks his arm away 
	from the officer.
 
				WEST UNION POLICEMAN (cont'd)
		Sir, would you just walk a straight line for 
		me?
 
	Alvin looks at his canes, looks at the officer and 
	proceeds to walk a straight line.
 
				WEST UNION POLICEMAN (cont'd) 
		Sir, can you do that without the canes?
 
				ALVIN 
		Nope, I'll tip over.
 
	The Cop looks down.
 
				WEST UNION POLICEMAN 
		OK Sir. I don't believe you have been 
		drinking but I'm gonna have to ask you 
		to stay here at Computer Cosmos for 
		another hour or so...just 'til traffic dies 
		down. That would be best for you and 
		the other cars. Alright?
 
	Alvin nods and hobbles back to the mower. He 
	mounts and the cop watches this. The cop then gets 
	into his squad car and takes off.
 
					DISSOLVE TO:
 
103	EXT.--DUSK  THE COMPUTER COSMOS PARKING LOT 

	Alvin sits and waits. Cars whizz by.

					DISSOLVE TO:
 
104	EXT.--DUSK  RED ROAD ON HWY 18 

	Alvin is once again on a country road. A car passes 
	him. The woman driving gawks at him as she passes. 
	Moments later we hear off camera a screech of 
	brakes and a heavy thud. We see Alvin react to the 
	event up ahead.

					CUT TO:
 
105	EXT.--DUSK  RED ROAD HWY 18 ALVIN'S POV 
 
	Up ahead a blue Japanese subcompact is parked at a 
	strange angle across the shoulder of the road. The 
	engine is still running. Smoke rises from the hood. 
	The driver car door opens and a hefty woman with a 
	bouffant hairdo, stretch pants and a tunic gets out. 
	Alvin's POV slow approach. He watches her as she 
	walks around to the front of the car, and looks down 
	to the ground. She looks up to the heavens and then 
	begins pounding her open hand on the top of the 
	car hood.

					CUT TO:
 
106	EXT.--DUSK  RED ROAD HWY 18
 
 	Alvin reacts to the scene as he approaches.

					CUT TO:

107	EXT.--DUSK  RED ROAD HWY 18 

	Alvin drives up to the woman. Alvin executes his 
	slow dismount. The woman glances briefly at Alvin 
	but barely registers his presence because she is so 
	distraught.
 
				ALVIN
		Can I help Miss?

				DEER WOMAN 
		No you can't help me. Jesus, Mary and 
		Joseph. No one can help me.
 
	Alvin moves around to the front of the car. He notes 
	that the car has quite a few dents. We see that the 
	woman has struck a nice eight point buck. Alvin's 
	face shows relief. All the while the woman rants and 
	paces.
 
				DEER WOMAN (cont'd)
		I've tried driving with my lights on. I've 
		tried sounding my horn. I scream out 
		the window. I roll the window down 
		and bang on the side of the door and 
		play Public Enemy real loud...I have 
		prayed to St. Francis of Assisi...St. 
		Christopher too, what the hell! I have 
		tried everything a person can do and 
		still every week I plow into at least one 
		deer. What is it?
 
	Alvin shakes his head. She now begins walking 
	around the car, the mower and Alvin. She flails her 
	arms.
 
				DEER WOMAN (cont'd)
		I have hit 13 deer in seven weeks driving 
		down this road mister and I have
		to drive this road every day 40 miles 
		back and forth to work. I don't know 
		what to do...I have to drive to work 
		and I have to drive home...
 
	She pauses. Takes a deep breath and looks out over 
	the flat landscape. She turns and pats the deer carcass.
 
				DEER WOMAN (cont'd)
		He's dead.
 
	She starts to cry.
 
				DEER WOMAN (cont'd) 
		And I love deer.
 
	She turns and climbs back in her car. She backs up 
	and sprays gravel as she accelerates away. Her front 
	fender falls off and she runs over it. Alvin watches 
	her drive away, then looks down at the deer.

					CUT TO:
 
108	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S CAMPFIRE

	Alvin is eating a large piece of meat. Behind Alvin 
	we see a full set of antlers mounted on the front of 
	the trailer.

					CUT TO:
 
109	EXT.--MIDDAY  HWY 18 IOWA FLATLANDS 
 
	Alvin is driving along a particularly desolate stretch 
	of road. His eye scans the horizon. He is wary. He 
	slows the mower and brings it to a stop, the engine 
	idling. We see Alvin's face tight. He sees something.
 
					CUT TO:

110	EXT.--DAY  HWY 18 IOWA FLATLANDS ALVIN'S POV

	The Iowa horizon is a large dark mass. An occasional 
	burst of light races through the black clouds. A 
	breeze blows dirt along the field. Alvin's gaze searches 
	for shelter. There are no farms near. He cannot 
	outrace the storm. He spots a small outbuilding 
	alone in the field. It is an old granary, used by 
	farmers to store corn.

					CUT TO:

111	EXT.--DAY

 	Alvin turns off the highway onto a narrow rutted 
	field road used only by the farmer to get to his crops. 
	It is pot-holed and uneven. Alvin stops at the entry 
	to the road. Moving as quickly as he can, Alvin 
	secures everything that could blow away on the 
	mower and the trailer. Then he mounts the mower 
	and races for shelter. As he's heading to the granary 
	the sky darkens dramatically and the winds hit. 
	He puts his head down into the gust, holds onto his 
	hat and lets out a holler, carrying all the speed a 
	riding mower can. He bounces across the field and 
	closes on the granary. Just as a large crack of 
	lightning, rain and the full gust of wind sweep in, Alvin 
	makes it into the sanctuary of the granary. A smile 
	crosses his face as he revels in the race before the 
	storm and the pleasure of watching the thunderstorm 
	from beneath a strong roof. He shares the granary 
	with a flock of pigeons who have taken shelter 
	as well. Alvin sits looking out on the storm, relaxed 
	and content on his perch aboard the mower.

					DISSOLVE TO: 

112	EXT.--DAY  IOWA COUNTY HIGHWAY 

	A warm afternoon. Alvin is making his way down a 
	lonely stretch of Iowa highway. The perforated, 
	yellow center line passes slowly below him. Suddenly 
	Alvin hears a strange, whirring sound. A moment
	later he is startled by a strangely helmeted, goggled, 
	bicyclist speeding by him.
 
				CYCLIST #1 
		On your left! Thank you.
 
				ALVIN
		What the......?
 
 	Another whir and another cyclist passes.
 
				CYCLIST #2 
		On your left. Thank you.
 
	And then a trio of cyclists. Another rider approaches 
	pedalling a recumbent bicycle.
 
				CYCLIST #3 
		Comin' by on your left. Thank you!
 
				ALVIN 
		What in the hell....?
 
 	Alvin pulls his rig over to the side of the road and 
	watches as a large herd of cyclists, numbering more 
	than a hundred riders, engulfs Alvin and his rig. 
	One rider slows to gawk at Alvin and nearly causes 
	an accident. Other cyclists wave as they churn by...a 
	few yell greetings.
 
					CUT TO:

113	EXT.--DAY  AERIAL VIEW OF IOWA ROAD 

	We see a swarm numbering hundreds of bike riders 
	passing Alvin parked on the road.
 
					DISSOLVE TO:
 
114	EXT.--DUSK  IOWA ROADSIDE PARK 

	Alvin pulls over for the evening to make camp at a 
	county park. Also at the wayside are many of the 
	cyclists who passed Alvin earlier. Pup tents abound. 
	Riders, dressed in skin-tight, brightly colored spandex 
	cycle togs, are spread about the park eating, 
	drinking out of squirt bottles, stretching, hydrating, 
	swapping massages and just plain preening. Alvin 
	pulls into the park. Heads turn as Alvin passes 
	through the crowd. A few onlookers begin clapping. 
	Alvin, a bit of a showman, doffs his Stetson to even 
	more applause. He pulls over to an open patch of 
	campground and brings the John Deere to a halt. 
	He begins his arduous dismount. A cyclist looks on.
 
				CYCLIST #1 
		That's the same sound we make when 
		we dismount.
 
					CUT TO:
 
115	EXT.--NIGHT  CAMPSITE 

	Some cyclists, mostly younger, are gathered around 
	Alvin's campfire and trailer. STEVE is in his early 
	30s, an earnest, likable fellow with a neatly trimmed 
	beard.
 
				STEVE 
		So you're averaging about twenty miles 
		a day?
 
				ALVIN 
		'Bout that. She'll go five miles an hour 
		if I push 'er. I stop when my hips start 
		barkin'.
 
	The other talkative cyclist is RAT. He is early 20s, 
	bleached cropped hair and he features a smattering 
	of tattoos. He talks like a skateboarder.
 
				RAT 
		Wow man, five miles an hour.
 
	Rat looks up to see a ball flying in his direction. He 
	snags it and tosses it back offscreen. He's not exactly 
	paying close attention to Alvin.
 
				STEVE 
		So you're thinking about five weeks to 
		get to your brother's place in 
		Wisconsin?
 
				ALVIN 
		I haven't given it a schedule. That 
		would sound about right.
 
				RAT 
		Oh man.....I could not handle five 
		weeks on a lawn mower.
 
				ALVIN 
		And I couldn't handle sittin' on one of 
		them seats for more'n an hour....if that. 
		You all walk like you got a case of 
		baboon butt. Seems my ride is a bit 
		more comfortable.
 
	The cyclists laugh. Rat catches the ball again.
 
				RAT 
		So why the lawnmower?
 
	Rat tosses the ball.
 
				ALVIN 
		Can't drive. My eyes. Don't like other 
		people drivin' me where I want to go.
 
				RAT 
		I can totally dig that.
 
	Alvin smiles and rises to get more firewood. Steve 
	notices the difficulty he has walking and gets up to
	help.
 
				STEVE 
		Can I ask how old you are Alvin?
 
				ALVIN
		Seventy-three.
 
				RAT 
		Oh man. Seventy-three years old. Bad 
		eyes, bad hips.
 
				ALVIN 
		Eyes, hips....diabetes....circylation. 
		Can't hardly believe it myself. I'm older 
		than I ever thought I'd be.
 
	Two young spandex-clad women walk by. Alvin follows 
	them with his eyes.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		You don't think about old age when 
		you're young. Shouldn't.
 
				STEVE 
		When d'ya know you're getting old?
 
	Alvin stirs the fire.
 
				ALVIN 
		The first time I felt old was when I saw 
		a buddy die in the war. I got old that 
		minute.
 
	The group around the campfire is silent for a while.
 
				STEVE 
		There must be something good about 
		getting old.
 
	Alvin ponders a moment, stirring the fire.
 
				ALVIN 
		Hard to imagine anything good about 
		goin' blind and lame at the same time. 
		But still...at my age...you've seen most 
		everything life has to dish out. You can 
		separate the wheat from the chaff. You 
		know to let the small stuff fall away.
 
				RAT 
		Cool man.
 
	Rat snags the ball one more time. Someone offscreen 
	yells
 
				BIKE RIDER 
			(offscreen)
		Sally's in my tent.
 
	Rat laughs and throws the ball back. Still smiling 
	and looking off...
 
				RAT 
		What's the worst thing about being old 
		Alvin?
 
	Alvin stirs the fire. The embers rise on the flames. 
	Alvin watches the embers float up into the night sky 
	and stars.
 
				ALVIN 
		The worst thing about being old is 
		remembering when you were young.
 
	Again the group around the fire falls silent. They 
	listen to the night sounds.

					FADE OUT. 

					FADE IN:
 
116	EXT.--DAY  HWY 18 

	Alvin is moving out of the prairie and approaching 
	the Mississippi Valley terrain. Corn is being harvested 
	in the fields and the leaves have begun to turn 
	colors. He begins to climb gently rolling hills. As he 
	does the mower begins to show signs of strain. He 
	pulls off the road half way up one of these gentle 
	hills to lash his shift lever into low gear.

					CUT TO:
 
117	EXT.--DAY  CLERMONT, IOWA HOUSE ON FIRE
 
	Close shot of an inferno. A house is burning down. 

					CUT TO:
 
118	EXT.--DAY  CLERMONT, DANNY RIORDAN'S FRONT PORCH
 
 	Five people are sitting in aluminum chairs sitting 
	watching the fire. They are drinking beer. They do 
	not seem alarmed by the house burning down across 
	the street.

					CUT TO:
 
119	EXT.--DAY  CLERMONT IOWA
 
	Wide shot reveals that volunteer firemen are burning 
	down the house as a firefighting exercise.

					CUT TO:
 
120	EXT.--DAY  DANNY RIORDAN'S FRONT PORCH
 
	Everyone is clearly enjoying watching the house 
	burn down and the firefighters scurry about. 
	DANNY RIORDAN is the owner of the house on 
	whose porch everyone is gathered. He is mid-50's 
	shortish and stocky, and wears khaki bermuda shorts 
	and a Hawaiian print shirt. His wife DARLA 
	RIORDAN is of similar build and age and has a full 
	head of blond, bouffant hair. She wears white capri 
	pants and a bright yellow shirt. Their friends 
	JOHNNY AND JANET JOHNSON and VERLYN 
	HELLER have joined them for the festivities. 
	Johnny and Janet are about the same age as Danny 
	and Darla and have known each other since high 
	school. They all have a strangely youthful air about 
	them. Johnny and Janet are both very quiet, small 
	and neat. Verlyn is quite a bit older and a farmer. 
	He is very tan and rugged looking. At the same time 
	he bears a certain air of refinement.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		Criminy sakes alive. You can feel the 
		heat all the way over here.
 
				JOHNNY JOHNSON 
		Makes you appreciate what a volunteer 
		fireman has to do.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		That Rumelthanger place was an eyesore.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		Remember old man Rumelthanger? 
		What a dirty old cur...never bathed. 
		The smell that came off that man. I tell 
		you, it was enough to make a girl faint.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN
		You always had an inclination to faint 
		Darla.
 
	Darla blushes at this.
 
				JANET
		You know. There really is something 
		about watching a fire that causes you to 
		sort of go off...like it's hypnotism.
 
				VERLYN
		Time was when all civilization did was 
		stare at the fire.
 
	They are happy. It's like the fourth of July and they 
	are all feeling like kids watching a house burn down
	on a warm autumn afternoon. Shouts of volunteer 
	firemen in the background.
 
					CUT TO:
 
121	EXT.--DAY  BURNING HOUSE
 
	Shots of firemen battling the blaze. A small crowd 
	has assembled next to the house to watch the show. 
	The firemen turn and wave to the assembly. A wife 
	is taking pictures. We hear a clattering sound 
	intrude upon the scene. It is not coming from the
	fire.

					CUT TO:
 
122	EXT.--DAY  RIORDAN'S FRONT PORCH
 
	Darla's attention is drawn from the fire by the 
	rattling sound. She looks up the hill.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		What's that noise?
 
 	One after another they turn their heads to the 
	direction of the hill.
 
				VERLYN 
		Now what in the sam hill do you suppose...
 
	Down the hill, barely under control comes Alvin on 
	the mower.
 
				JOHNNY JOHNSON 
		What on earth....?
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
			(to Danny)
		Honey bun...is that a lawnmower?
 
				JANET
		It's going too fast for a lawnmower. 
		Isn't it Danny?
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		And what on earth is drivin' that 
		thing?!
 
 					CUT TO:
 
123	EXT.--DAY  CLERMONT HILL ALVIN ON MOWER
 
	Alvin is barreling down the hill, foot stamping on
	brake, no response. The steering becomes more difficult.

 					CUT TO:

124	EXT.--DAY  RIORDAN'S FRONT PORCH
 
				VERLYN 
		That sure as hell is a lawnmower.... 
		with an old Indian on top.
 
				JOHNNY JOHNSON 
		He doesn't look like he has that thing 
		under control.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
			(he begins heading over 
			to the scene and over 
			his shoulder he adds)
 		...nothing runs like a Deere.
 
 					CUT TO:

125	EXT.--DAY  CLERMONT HILL ALVIN ON THE MOWER
 
	Wide shot of Alvin careening down the hill, picking 
	up even more speed.

					CUT TO:
 
126	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN'S POV
 
	The road moves back and forth. Burning house fast 
	approaching. Look to road bed flying by beneath the 
	mower. This is much faster than Alvin or the mower 
	has ever gone.

					CUT TO:
 
127	EXT.--DAY  CLERMONT HILL ALVIN ON MOWER
 
	Alvin picks up speed. His hat threatens to blow off. 
	Water is streaming from his eyes. Amazingly he 
	makes it to the bottom of the hill without rolling 
	the machine. As he comes to a stop the front porch 
	gang reaches him.

					CUT TO:
 
128	EXT.--DAY  BOTTOM OF THE HILL 

	Alvin is sitting on the mower catching his breath 
	and composure. He wipes the tears from his cheeks. 
	Some of the volunteer fireman turn their attention 
	from the burning house to the activity at the bottom 
	of the hill.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN
		Mister are you O.K.?
 
	Alvin is a little shaky. Nods in answer to Danny's 
	question.

				JOHNNY JOHNSON 
		Jeez Mister you're lucky she didn't roll 
		on you.
 
				ALVIN 
			(a little short 
			of breath)
		I think the belt's shot.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		I wouldn't be surprised. You don't have 
		brakes on that trailer do you?
 
 	Alvin shakes his head.
 
 				DANNY RIORDAN (cont'd) 
		Mister I worked for John Deere for 
		thirty years so I can tell ya you shouldn't 
		be hauling a rig like that behind a 
		riding mower. At least not down a hill 
		like that.
 
	Alvin doesn't really respond. Danny softens a little. 
	Considers the situation.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN (cont'd) 
		I'm Danny Riordan.
 
	He extends his hand. Alvin reaches out.
 
				ALVIN
		Alvin Straight.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		Well Alvin...let's get you and this rig off 
		the road and see what the damage is.
 
	Alvin goes through the slow dismount under the 
	watchful eyes of Darla and Janet. Danny and Verlyn 
	start to push the mower and trailer and are joined 
	by a couple of the volunteer fireman. Alvin brings 
	up the rear, moving slowly.

					CUT TO:
 
129	EXT.--DAY  BEHIND RIORDAN'S HOUSE 

	Guys are pushing Alvin's rig into the backyard. They 
	roll to a stop alongside a small separate garage.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		Well let's have a look at this mower. 
		This is what? '65 ...'66?
 
				ALVIN
		'66. 

	Danny is looking under the hood. He notices a 
	small pool of oil forming under the mower.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		Well I can tell you right now Alvin you 
		won't be going anywhere tonight. Aside 
		from your drive belt being busted, 
		you've got transmission problems. 
		Where were you hoping to get to?
 
				ALVIN
		Mount Zion.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		Mount Zion, Wisconsin? Past Prairie 
		du Chien?
 
				JOHNNY JOHNSON 
		That's 60 more miles of hills.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		That's across the Mississippi. What's in 
		Mount Zion Alvin?
 
				ALVIN 
		My brother lives there.
 
				JANET 
		Why didn't you take your car?
 
				ALVIN 
		Don't have a driver's license.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		Couldn't your brother come to visit 
		you?
 
				ALVIN 
		He's had a bad stroke.
 
				VERLYN 
		Where are you coming from?
 
				ALVIN
		Back a piece.

				DANNY RIORDAN
		West Union?
 
				ALVIN
 		Nope.

				JOHNNY JOHNSON 
		Hawkeye?
 
	Alvin just shakes his head.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		Not New Hampton. You didn't come 
		that far?
 
 	Alvin gets a small smile.
 
 				ALVIN
 		Nope.
 
	Janet jumps in thinking she's got it.
 
				JANET  
		Mason City!
 
	Alvin shakes his head again.
 
				VERLYN 
		You've come a long way haven't you?
 
	Alvin looks at Verlyn and nods.
 
				ALVIN 
		Yes I have. From Laurens, Iowa.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		Laurens?
 
				VERLYN 
		That's west of the Grotto. How long 
		have you been on the road?
 
				ALVIN 
		What's the date today?
 
				JOHNNY JOHNSON
		October 8th.
 
	Alvin thinks for a minute. Counts on his fingers. 
	Looks up.
 
				ALVIN 
		5 weeks. I left Laurens on September
		5th.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		You been bunking in that?
 
	Alvin points his thumb over his shoulder at the trailer.
 
				ALVIN 
		That's my rolling home.
 
	They all swing their heads and look again at the 
	trailer. Darla and Janet look at each other. They 
	share a "Holy Cow" look.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		Where've you been settin' up camp?
 
				ALVIN 
		In the fields. I'd just pull off the road 
		every evening. I don't travel at night.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		Weren't you scared staying out there 
		alone at night? There's a lot of strange 
		people everywhere now.
 
				ALVIN 
		Ma'am, I fought in the trenches in
		World War II. Why should I be scared 
		in an Iowa cornfield?
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		Well why don't you bivouac right here 
		in our yard tonight? We got a bathroom 
		out here in this garage you can use.
 
				ALVIN 
		I appreciate that. I believe this machine 
		is in agreement with you.
 
					CUT TO:
 
A130	EXT.--LATE AFTERNOON  RIORDAN'S YARD 
 
	Alvin, Danny and Darla are rigging up a lean-to of 
	plastic tarp and tree limbs. The lean-to extends out 
	from the garage.
 
				ALVIN
		Sure is nice of you folks to help me with 
		this.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN
		Well...there's a lot of rain in the 
		forecast and you don't want to be stuck in 
		your trailer.
 
	Darla is on a stepladder attaching a red wooden 
	fish to the top of the post.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		I do a little woodwork art. I thought 
		you might like some fish on your tent.
 
				ALVIN 
		My daughter Rose builds birdhouses.
 
				DARLA AND DANNY 
			(in unison)
		Oh that's nice.
 
					CUT TO:

130	EXT.--NIGHT  RIORDAN'S BACKYARD
 
	Alvin is perched in the doorway of his trailer 
	smoking a Swisher Sweet.
 
					CUT TO:
 
131	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S POV: BURNT OUT HOUSE
 
	Alvin is gazing out into the night. He looks over at 
	the smoldering house. A few orange embers in the 
	ashes and one fireman on watch. The fireman lights 
	a cigarette.
 
					CUT TO:
 
132	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S POV: RIORDAN'S HOUSE
 
	Lights turn out one after another.
 
					CUT TO:
 
133	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S POV: THE SKY 

	The stars and the moon in a beautiful clear autumn
	(still dark blue) sky.
 
					FADE TO BLACK. 

					FADE IN: 

134	EXT.--DAY  RIORDAN'S BACKYARD 

	Four men are standing around looking at Alvin's 
	mower: Danny, Alvin and two guys from the local
	John Deere dealer. HARALD AND THORVALD OLSEN 
	(they are both tall and skinny with big 
	adam's apples. They have bright blue eyes and very 
	ruddy red cheeks. They are prematurely bald). They 
	are twin brothers and bicker like an old married 
	couple. Can't agree on anything.
 
				HARALD
		I tell you Thorvald it's a '65 John 
		Deere 110.
 
				THORVALD
		It's a '66 Harald. I fixed one just like it 
		three years ago. That was a drive belt too.
 
				HARALD
		'65.
 
				THORVALD
		'66!
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
			(to Alvin) 
		They're twins. Siamese, separated at the 
		opinion.
 
	Alvin chuckles.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN (cont'd) 
		It's a '66. Ask Mr. Straight.
 
	They both look to Alvin. Each of them still sure 
	they're right.
 
				ALVIN
		'66.
 
	Harald kicks the ground. Thorvald smirks. Blows his 
	nails and shines them on his shirt.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		So Olsens. How bad is it?
 
				ALVIN 
		I can't be dawdlin' here. I gotta get 
		back on the road.
 
	The twins look at the lawn mower and then at each 
	other. Thorvald turns back to Alvin who is waiting 
	expectantly.
 
				THORVALD
		Well you know about the transmission. 
		The belt is shot, you blew a head gasget, 
		you're in bad need of oil, and your 
		right side tires are bald.
 
	Alvin takes this in.
 
				ALVIN 
		Is that all?
 
				HARALD 
		Well it wouldn't be a bad idea to 
		remove the blade assembly...As best as I 
		can tell ...you're not mowin' any lawns.
 
					CUT TO: 

135	INT.--DAY  RIORDAN'S KITCHEN.

	Darla is kneading bread. She is up to her elbows in 
	dough. Danny walks in, grabs a beer from the fridge 
	and sits down at the kitchen table. He lights a 
	cigarette. There is a small TV on the kitchen counter. 
	The Weather Channel is on.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		Storm rollin' in.
 
	Danny sits lost in thought. He doesn't react to her.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		It's going to cost him a bundle to fix 
		that mower. I don't think he's got that 
		kinda money.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		Mmmm.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		I wouldn't drive that old thing to 
		Excelsior. It's a lawn mower for god's 
		sake.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
 		Mmm Hmmm.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		He was damn lucky he made it to the 
		bottom of that hill. He could've been 
		killed. Easily coulda' been killed.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		Yah. Ah huh.
 
 				DANNY RIORDAN 
		He's none too strong. Did you see how 
		he can't walk without those canes?
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
			(still kneading)
		Uh uh.
 
 				DANNY RIORDAN 
		The hills just get worse the closer you
		get to the Mississippi.
 
	Darla stops kneading her bread and smiles. With 
	dough up to her elbows she walks over to Danny 
	and kisses him on the forehead.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		Go ahead and drive him honey. Mt. 
		Zion can't be a half day. That's fine.
 
	Darla goes back to her dough as Danny keeps 
	thinking.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN (cont'd) 
		....You're a good man Danny Riordan 
		....That's why I married you despite 
		what my mother said.
 
	Danny smiles, gets up from the chair and stands
	behind Darla.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN (cont'd) 
		Now shoo.
 
					CUT TO:
 
136	EXT.--DAY  RIORDAN'S BACKYARD 
 
	Alvin is sitting in the open door of his trailer. He 
	looks around to make sure he is alone. He pulls out 
	his wallet and looks inside.
 
					CUT TO:

137	EXT.--DAY  RIORDAN'S BACKYARD 

	Alvin's POV of inside of wallet. A couple of twenties 
	and a ten and a few singles.
 
					CUT TO:
 
138	EXT.--AFTERNOON  RIORDAN'S BACKYARD 138
 
	Alvin closes up wallet, puts it in his pocket. He 
	lights up a Swisher Sweet and gets pensive.
 
					CUT TO:
 
139	EXT.--DAY  BACK DOOR RIORDAN'S HOUSE
 
	Alvin knocks on door. Danny comes to the door.
 
				ALVIN 
		I'm in need of a phone.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		Why sure...come on in.
 
				ALVIN 
		I'd like to call my daughter and give 
		her an account of my recent travels.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		Sure, sure. Come on in.

	He opens the door wide to allow Alvin past.
 
				ALVIN 
		If it's all the same to you I was 
		wondering if you have one of those phones 
		without a cord.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN
		The door's wide open...come on in.
 
				ALVIN 
		I can talk from out here.
 
	Danny smiles, goes back in and returns with a
	portable phone.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		Here you go. You're more than welcome 
		to sit down at the kitchen table. 
		Darla and I can leave the room if you're 
		lookin' for a little privacy.
 
				ALVIN 
		Thank you. Out here's just fine.
 
	Alvin turns and starts to hobble away. Danny is 
	starting to shut the door. Alvin turns back to him.
 
				ALVIN 
		What area code am I in? I don't think 
		this is 712 anymore.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN
		No it isn't Alvin, that hill rolled you 
		into 319. You'll need to dial a one and 
		your area code to get her.
 
				ALVIN
		I thank you.

					CUT TO:

140	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN'S LAURENS HOME KITCHEN
 
 	The phone is ringing. Rose enters kitchen carrying a 
	birdhouse. She picks up the phone.
 
				ROSE 
		Dad? Oh dad...I'm...(she starts to tear 
		up)...so glad to hear you.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		I been so worried. I know....you 
		can....O.K. I won't.
 
				ROSE (cont'd)
		Clermont? Is that......in Iowa?....Oh.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		Yah. Oh...your social security 
		check...yah.....it's here.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		O.K....the check......I send it to 
		you......O.K.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		Yes....I will....take it down....hold 
		on......Dad.
 
	She puts the phone down, puts down the birdhouse 
	which she has been holding through the 
	conversation. She rummages through a drawer in the 
	kitchen. No luck. She moves stuff around the 
	countertops. No luck. She moves out of the kitchen and 
	we hear her rummaging in the other room.

					CUT TO:

141	EXT.--DAY  RIORDAN'S BACKYARD 

	Alvin is patiently sitting at a picnic table. A little 
	smile comes across his face.

					CUT TO:

142	INT.--DAY  THE STRAIGHT KITCHEN 

	Rose comes back into the kitchen with a big smile 
	on her face holding a fat carpenter's pencil. She 
	picks the phone back up.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		O.K. Dad...I have a .......pencil. It's one 
		of those ones you use when you're 
		building stuff.
 
	She concentrates and writes for what seems a long 
	time.
 
				ROSE (cont'd) 
		I'm going to read.....it back.
 
					CUT TO:
 
143	EXT.--DAY RIORDAN'S BACKYARD

	Alvin, phone to his ear, nods several times as Rose 
	haltingly reads back the address.
 
				ALVIN 
		That's right. I know I can count on you 
		sweetheart...........I'm fine. I'm hobbled 
		here but as soon as I get that check I 
		can head out to Lyle's..........Are you
		O.K. there alone?...... Good, we can't 
		have too many bluebirds in the yard.
 
					CUT TO:
 
144	EXT.--DAY  RIORDAN'S BACK PORCH 

	Close up Alvin sets the phone down on a few dollars 
	on the porch.

					CUT TO:
 
145	EXT.--DAY  RIORDAN'S BACKYARD

	Danny's POV. He comes out the door and watches 
	Alvin hobbling back to his trailer.

					CUT TO:
 
146	EXT.--DAY  RIORDAN'S BACK PORCH 

	Danny stoops and picks up the phone and money. 
	He takes a look at Alvin and goes back in the house.

					CUT TO:
 
147	EXT.--DAY  RIORDAN'S BACKYARD.

	Alvin settles into the doorway of his trailer. Lights 
	up a Swisher Sweet.
 
					DISSOLVE TO:
 
148	EXT.--DAY  RIORDAN'S BACKYARD 

	A Coleman cookstove is fired up and has a large pot 
	of water boiling on top of it.

					CUT TO:
 
149	EXT.--DAY  RIORDAN'S BACKYARD 

	Alvin is stretched out on his chaise lounge. He is 
	watching the water boil. Danny approaches.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN
		What are ya cookin' Alvin?
 
				ALVIN 
		I'm making my Mexican coffee.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN
		Mind if I join you?
 
				ALVIN 
		You'd be a guest in your own yard.
 
	Danny goes off, comes back with an aluminum
	folding chair and sets it up next to Alvin's chaise 
	lounge.

				DANNY RIORDAN
		I talked to the Olsen twins and they 
		estimate it will cost you around 
		$250.00 to get this mower running 
		again.
 
				ALVIN 
		That's twice what it oughta be. Must be 
		because they're twins.
 
	Danny smiles at this.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN
		You know I'd be happy to drive you the 
		rest of the way to Mount Zion.
 
	Alvin starts shaking his head.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN (cont'd) 
		It'd be a nice Sunday drive for me and 
		Darla. We enjoy crossing the river. 
		Especially with the trees in color.
 
				ALVIN 
		I appreciate the offer friend. I'd like to
		finish this my own way.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN
		Even if you fix your mower there are 
		hills bigger than Clermont's between 
		here and Zion. There's no guarantee 
		that your machine won't break down 
		again. In fact I'll guarantee it will. 
		Alvin, this machine was meant to go 
		across a lawn, not the state of Iowa.
 
				ALVIN 
		You're a kind man talkin' to a stubborn
		man. This is a trip I'd like to finish.
 
	Danny resigns to Alvin's decision. Lights up a 
	cigarette.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		Well then let me give you a loan for the 
		repairs.
 
				ALVIN 
		Well that is generous. And if I needed 
		that help I'd take it. But I phoned to 
		have money sent to me. I gave my 
		daughter your address. I hope that's
		O.K.
 
	Danny knows better than to argue with the proud 
	man about money.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN
		Well then Alvin you'll stay right here in 
		our yard until you're ready to go. We 
		enjoy your company.
 
				ALVIN
		I'm thankful for that.
 
	Danny is satisfied with this arrangement and sits 
	back to enjoy the fine afternoon. They both sit and 
	smoke contentedly listening to the honking of a 
	passing flock of Canadian geese.

					FADE OUT. 

					FADE IN:
 
150	INT.--DAY  THE RIORDAN'S YARD ALVIN'S TRAILER                           

	Alvin is sitting in his trailer with the door open. 
	Suddenly Darla and Janet pop their heads into either 
	side of the door opening and quickly pull back.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN (v.o.)
		Oh excuse us Alvin. We were just 
		looking for you.
 
				ALVIN 
			(smiling)
		Well you found me. It's alright ladies, 
		I'm decent.
 
	The two heads pop back into either side of the 
	frame of the door.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		Well we had some brownies we thought 
		you might enjoy.
 
	Janet extends a plate of brownies.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN (cont'd) 
		Janet makes the best brownies in 
		Fayette county. She wins a prize for 
		them every year at the county fair.
 
	Janet is very embarrassed by this.
 
				JANET 
		My mother's recipe.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		She won't tell anyone what the secret 
		ingredient is.
 
	Janet shakes her head. No way. 

151	INT.--DAY  ALVIN'S TRAILER 

	Alvin graciously accepts the plate.
 
				ALVIN 
		Thank you Janet. Very much. I'll let 
		'em cool down a little...can't eat hot 
		food. But I sure have a sweet tooth. I 
		love brownies. Haven't had any since I 
		went on the road. My daughter Rose 
		makes a pretty good brownie.
 
152	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN'S TRAILER
 
				JANET 
		Does she live in Laurens?
 
				ALVIN 
		Yes. She lives with me. Just the two of 
		us.
 
				JANET
		Oh.

	Everyone is quiet for a bit. Alvin is holding the plate 
	and the two women's heads are just hanging there. 
	Darla shakes herself.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		Well we'll be moving along. We just 
		wanted to make sure you're doing O.K. 
		Anything you need?
 
				ALVIN 
		No, thank you kindly.
 
				DARLA RIORDAN 
		Well don't you be afraid to ask now.
 
153	INT.--DAY  ALVIN'S TRAILER
 
				ALVIN 
		I'm doing just fine. Thanks again.
 
154	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN'S TRAILER
 
	The ladies disappear from view. Alvin moves out of
	the trailer and perches in the open door. Just then a 
	pickup truck pulls into the yard and Verlyn emerges 
	from the cab. As he approaches Alvin, both men 
	watch the women walk into the rear of the Riordan 
	house. Verlyn reaches the trailer with a smile on his 
	face.
 
				VERLYN 
		Janet give you a plate of her brownies?
 
	Alvin chuckles at this and reaches behind him into 
	the trailer. He pulls out the plate of brownies. He 
	holds it out to Verlyn.
 
				VERLYN (cont'd) 
		Well how about that timing. Janet 
		makes...
 
	Alvin joins in and they say in unison:
 
				VERLYN & ALVIN 
		...the best brownies in Fayette county.
 
				VERLYN (cont'd) 
		She wins a prize every year at the 
		county fair.
 
	He reaches and takes a brownie off the plate.
 
				ALVIN 
		Her mother's recipe.
 
				VERLYN 
			(munching)
		Chocolate chips.
 
				ALVIN 
		Huh?
 
				VERLYN
		The secret ingredient...no one's 
		supposed to know.....chocolate chips.
 
	Alvin takes a brownie too and the two men enjoy 
	the delicious experience together. There is a brief, 
	comfortable silence between them.
 
				ALVIN 
		You've had enough rain this summer, 
		have ya?
 
				VERLYN 
		Put up third crop hay last week.
 
				ALVIN
		Dairy farm?
 
				VERLYN 
		Beef. I got too old for milking and 
		both my sons moved to Dubuque.
 
				ALVIN 
		I worked cattle in Montana. Back when 
		it was all by horse. Before the war.
 
				VERLYN
		Army?
 
				ALVIN 
			(looks off)
		Infantry. Third Corps.

				VERLYN 
		Under Bradley. I was Second Corps.
 
	Another silence. Alvin offers Verlyn a Swisher Sweet. 
	Verlyn accepts.
 
				VERLYN (cont'd) 
		I been out on errands and I'm headin'
		for a beer. I thought you might like to 
		join me.
 
	Alvin ponders the offer briefly.
 
				ALVIN 
		I don't drink no more but I'm always 
		up for a change of scenery. Thanks.
 
	The two older men, both with troubled hips, head 
	for Verlyn's truck.

					CUT TO:

155	I/E.--DAY  VERLYN'S TRUCK CLERMONT  

	Alvin enjoying the ride. Alvin leans out the window 
	to look at the road flying by.

					CUT TO:
 
156	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN'S POV. 

	The road is flying by.
 
					CUT TO:

157	I/E.--DAY  VERLYN'S TRUCK
  
				ALVIN
		Sittin' a little higher and goin' a little 
		faster.
 
				VERLYN 
		Wait'll I get 'er over thirty.
 
	They both chuckle.
 
					CUT TO:
 
158	INT.--DAY  CLERMONT BAR
 
	Alvin and Verlyn at the bar. The Weather Channel is 
	on the television over the bar. There are some local 
	farmers in the place. There is a cribbage board at a 
	table. Old timers are slapping cards on the table. 
	Verlyn is drinking beer. Alvin is having a glass of
	milk.
 
				VERLYN 
		I can still have my beer but I can't 
		drink the brown stuff anymore.
 
	Alvin nods with understanding at this comment.
 
				ALVIN 
		I picked up a mournful taste for liquor 
		in France. 
			(shaking his head)
		When I came back I couldn't drink 
		enough of it. I wasn't worth a stick of 
		stove wood. Mean. A preacher helped 
		put some distance between me and the 
		bottle. He helped me see that I was 
		drinkin' because some of the sights I 
		was still seein' from over there.
 
	Verlyn nods. Takes a sip of beer. Looks straight 
	ahead at the back bar.
 
				VERLYN 
		Lot of men came back drinking hard. 
		My brother Dewey did that. Spent 
		most of his adult life drinking from
		noon on. He was an awful sweet drunk 
		though.

	Alvin takes this in. Nods quietly.
 
				ALVIN 
		Everyone trying to forget. I can see it 
		still in a man right away.
 
	Verlyn looks quickly at Alvin.
 
				VERLYN
		Yup.
 
				ALVIN 
		It was one hard day after another hard 
		day all strung together.
 
				VERLYN
		Yeah.
 
	The bartender comes over. Verlyn orders another. 
	The bartender looks to Alvin who is nursing his 
	glass of milk.
 
				ALVIN 
		No, I'm good thanks.
 
	The bartender moves down the bar. Alvin and 
	Verlyn sit in silence. Verlyn is peeling the label off 
	of his long neck bottle. He is really concentrating on 
	this process.
 
				VERLYN 
		There was this one time...We were just 
		...waiting on our first warm meal in ten 
		days.
 
 	Verlyn looks up quickly at Alvin in the mirror on 
	the back bar to see how he's reacting. Alvin just 
	looks into his milk glass but doesn't stop him.
 
				VERLYN (cont'd) 
		...We thought we'd seen the worst. 
		They hadn't given us much trouble 
		from the air.
 
	Verlyn takes another drink of beer. He stops working 
	on the label. He looks straight ahead at the back bar. 

				VERLYN (cont'd) 
		I was on a rise with the quartermaster 
		working on more coffee for me and my 
		buddies. A stray Focke-Wolf comes 
		over the treetops and drops an incendiary 
		right on the mess tent...all my 
		buddies...
 
		The Kraut banks right in front of me 
		on that hill and......I can (he pauses and 
		the memory becomes the present) see 
		the Iron Cross...(suddenly unable to 
		speak...he tries in a choked 
		voice)....right in front of me (composes 
		himself, shaking his head)....
 
	There is silence. Alvin gives Verlyn time to set 
	himself.
 
				VERLYN (cont'd) 
		Then I look...I couldn't tell which of 
		my buddies it was burnin' up down 
		there.
 
	Verlyn can barely finish his story. Alvin is very still 
	and quiet. Verlyn has collected himself and looks 
	quietly to the mirror of the back bar.
 
				VERLYN (cont'd) 
		"...Swept with confused alarms of 
		struggle and flight,

		Where ignorant armies clash by night."
 
	Verlyn looks down, slightly embarrassed at his 
	speech. Alvin thinks about what he's heard. He starts 
	with his own story.
 
				ALVIN 
		There is a thing I can't let loose..... All 
		my buddies faces are still young...
 
		The spirit of the thing is that the more 
		years I have... the more they lost. 
		And... it's not always a buddy's face I'm 
		seein'. Sometimes it's a German face. By 
		the end we were shooting moon-faced 
		boys....
 
	Alvin takes a sip of milk and draws a deep breath.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		I was a sniper. The way I grew up...you 
		learn how to shoot huntin' for food.
 
	Alvin stops. He's not sure if he's going to continue.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		They'd post me up front, damn near 
		ahead of the line. I'd sit still 
		forever.
 
		Amazin' thing what you can see just sittin'. 
		I'd look for the officers...or their 
		radio guy or artillery spotter... 
		Sometimes I'd sight a gun nest by the 
		smoke and fire into that. Sometimes it 
		was just movement in the woods.
 
	Alvin pauses.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		We had a scout. Small guy. Name of 
		Kotz. He was a Polish fella from 
		Milwaukee. He would always take 
		recon and he was good. We went by his 
		word and he saved our skins more'n 
		once. A short fella.
 
	Alvin sets both hands palm down on the bar. He 
	looks hard at his hands.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		We had broken out of the 
		hedgerows...made a run across the open 
		when we come upon a woods an' started 
		drawin' fire. I took my usual spot. I 
		saw some movement real slow like. I 
		waited for ten minutes and it moved 
		again. I fired. The movement stopped. 
		We found Kotz the next day. Head 
		shot. He had been movin' back toward 
		our lines. Everyone in the unit thought 
		he was taken by a German 
		sniper...everyone all these years. 
		Everyone but me.
 
	Alvin and Verlyn sit real quiet for a while. Verlyn 
	shifts on his stool...shakes his head.
 
					FADE OUT. 

					FADE IN:
 
159	EXT.--NIGHT  RIORDAN'S HOUSE
 
	Alvin is sitting in his chaise lounge having a smoke. 
	It is night time and he is sitting without a fire in the
	dark.

					CUT TO:

160	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S POV OF THE SKY  
 
	A crisp, star-filled sky.
 
					CUT TO:

161	EXT.--NIGHT  RIORDAN'S HOUSE
 
	Alvin looking up at the stars...pain in his face.

					FADE OUT. 

					FADE IN: 

162	EXT.--DAY  DANNY RIORDAN'S BACKYARD  

	Danny and the two Olsen brothers are fixing the 
	mower. Alvin looks on.
 
				HARALD 
		You can work all day and you won't get 
		that piece off with that wrench.
 
				THORVALD
			(from beneath the mower)
		Danny, did you hear me ask 
		Wisenheimer there for his advice on 
		how to fix a riding mower?
 
				HARALD 
		Fine. Then we'll all just stand here and
		wait for Mr. Wizard to finish...Anyone 
		got a deck a cards?
 
				THORVALD
			(still beneath)
		Very funny Harald. If it was you 
		underneath here we could all go home 
		and wait for winter. Then we could just 
		put the snowplow on this rig.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		Jeez you two can bitch. I heard you 
		about killed each other last week over 
		horseshoes at the Dew Drop.
 
	Harald gets a mad look on his face.
 
				THORVALD
			(up from beneath)
		See Harald...brainiac...I got the mower 
		assembly free with this little old wrench 
		here you said wouldn't work...Well I'd 
		say it worked pretty good, wouldn't 
		you? Help me slide'er out here and we 
		can settle up.
 
	They slide out the mower assembly. Thorvald steps 
	back, wiping the oil off his hands. Harald is pulling 
	out the bill. He reads off of it.
 
				HARALD 
		I got the labor and parts coming to 
		$247.80.
 
	He hands the bill to Alvin. Alvin scans it. He looks 
	up at them.
 
				ALVIN
		That's a little heavy for light work.
 
	The Olsen brothers are a little taken aback by this. 
	Alvin moves over to the mower and starts a slow circle 
	around it.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		Now I got old man's eyes...
 
	He reaches down and runs his hand along the treads 
	of the tires.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd)
		...but I was noticin' these new tires...... 
 
	Danny is starting to enjoy himself. He crosses his 
	arms and smiles at the Olsens.
 
				HARALD 
		Well, now we did take them off of a 
		resell, but the treads are good.
 
	Alvin, still caressing the treads gives him a long look 
	from under the brim of his Stetson.
 
				ALVIN 
		Friend, are you chargin' me good or are 
		you chargin' me new?
 
				HARALD 
		Uh, (turns to his brother) Thorvald?
 
				THORVALD
		Well I guess we can make an adjustment 
		there.
 
	Danny pulls up a lawn chair and lights a cigarette. 
	Hunkers down for the entertainment.
 
				ALVIN 
		I figure that adjustment to be about 
		$30.00? Is that what your pencil's 
		sayin'?
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		Sounds right to me. 

	The twins give Danny a dirty look.
 
				ALVIN 
		Now about that labor. I'm agreeable 
		that you boys have put some real time 
		in on this job. But a man's gotta ask 
		when he workin with twins, especially a 
		bickerin' pair, how much workin' was
		fightin'.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		You got that right.

				THORVALD AND HARALD 
			(in unison) 
		Shut up Danny.
 
				ALVIN 
		If I were to judge from the joyous affair 
		I've seen today I would calculate a 20% 
		discount on the labor charge.
 
	Thorvald and Harald exchange a look
 
				THORVALD
		Anything else mister.

				ALVIN 
		Now I'm not from these parts exactly
		but where I come from this is a mighty 
		rich charge on a can of Iowa oil.
 
	Thorvald and Harald can not believe this old fart.
 
				THORVALD
		Take the oil. No charge.
 
				ALVIN 
		Well that's a splendid offer that I very 
		much appreciate. Now what's your tally?
 
	Danny turns grinning to the twins. They are slightly
	befuddled.
 
				HARALD
		Uh...uh.
 
	Looking at Thorvald who shrugs.
 
				HARALD (cont'd) 
		...uh...$180.00 even?
 
				ALVIN 
		Done.
 
	Sticks out his hand which each of the twins takes 
	in confusion. Alvin brings out the money, and pays 
	the twins. They see that he has 4 c-notes in his 
	wallet.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		Now it's thanks to you boys that I can
		get back on the road.
 
	Alvin stuffs the change in his wallet and puts the 
	wallet back in his pocket.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		I drove this rig across Iowa. I'm hopin' 
		it'll hold into Wisconsin...
 
	Alvin looks up at them.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		...that's where my brother lives. Haven't 
		seen him in ten years.
 
	Alvin looks at the Olsen brothers. They squirm 
	under his gaze.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		No man knows your life better than a 
		brother near your age. He can know 
		who, and what you are best than most 
		anyone on the earth.
 
	He stops for a moment. Looks hard at the Olsens.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		My brother and I said some unforgivable 
		things last time we were together. I 
		want to put those times behind us. 
		This trip is just one hard swallow of 
		pride. I'm only hopin' I'm not too late.
 
	They make to gather their tools and leave.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		A brother's a brother.
 
	Danny smiles at this. The Olsens move to get out of 
	there as fast as they can.

					CUT TO:
 
163	EXT.--NIGHT  DANNY RIORDAN'S BACK YARD.
 
	Alvin is cooking up a large jug of water for coffee. 
	Danny is sitting in the chair watching Alvin and 
	smoking a cigarette. He has come to enjoy his time 
	out in the backyard with Alvin.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		I've gotta tell you Alvin that I'm 
		worried about you. About you...about your
		trip on that mower.
 
				ALVIN 
		Not to worry. Me and my machine are 
		in splendid form after our stay here.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		You're sure are you Alvin?
 
 	Alvin just nods. A somewhat awkward silence settles 
	on the scene.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN (cont'd) 
		Well.
 
	Little more silence. Danny puts out his cigarette.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN (cont'd) 
		I guess I'll be turning in. See you in the 
		morning then before you go.
 
				ALVIN 
		I'll be traveling plenty early.
 
	Alvin takes off his hat and stands directly in front of 
	Danny.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		I want to thank you for your kindness 
		to a stranger.
 
	Danny stands up from his chair and puts out his
	hand.
 
				DANNY RIORDAN 
		It has been a genuine pleasure having 
		you here Alvin. Write to us sometime.
 
	Alvin takes his hand in a firm shake.
 
					CUT TO:
 
164	EXT.--EARLY MORNING  DANNY RIORDAN'S BACKYARD
 
	Tight on door of trailer closing. Alvin comes 
	around and gets on the mower and starts her up. 

					CUT TO:

165	EXT.--SUNRISE  DANNY RIORDAN'S HOUSE

	Danny is standing at a window unseen by Alvin. He 
	has been watching Alvin's preparations from inside 
	the house, sensing Alvin's reluctance for goodbyes. 
	Alvin pulls out onto the road.

					CUT TO:

166	EXT.--SUNRISE  RIORDAN'S FRONT PORCH  

	Danny steps out onto the porch, holding a coffee 
	mug. He watches Alvin in the distance heading 
	down the main drag of Clermont.
 
					CUT TO:
 
167	EXT.--SUNRISE  MAIN DRAG CLERMONT 
 
	Traveling shot of Alvin going through a sleeping 
	Clermont. The only vehicle on the road is another 
	John Deere tractor. Alvin and the farmer exchange 
	the farmer wave.
 
					CUT TO:
 
168	EXT.--DAY  A HILL JUST WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
 
	Shot of empty road, top of the hill. The trees on
	either side of the road are in full fall color. Alvin 
	and the mower rise into view. Then he stops and 
	eyes the steep downhill grade. He sets his hat and 
	starts down.
 
					CUT TO:
 
169	EXT.--DAY  ANOTHER HILL JUST WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
 
	Alvin again crests a hill. This one a bit bigger. Again 
	he takes a deep breath. He lashes down the gear shift 
	and heads down the hill.
 
					CUT TO:
 
170	EXT.--DAY  THE LAST HILL LEADING DOWN TO THE MISSISSIPPI
 
 	Alvin pulls up to the top of a big hill and comes to a 
	stop.

					CUT TO:

171 	EXT.--DAY  HILL TOP ABOVE THE MISSISSIPPI  

	Close up of Alvin looking and taking off his hat.
 
					CUT TO:
 
172	EXT.--DAY  SAME HILL TOP  ALVIN'S POV. 
 
 	The beautiful, broad Mississippi stretches out before 
	him. The hills are in full autumn foliage. There is 
	river as far as the eye can see. It is dotted with boats 
	and barges. Directly across from Alvin, the 
	Wisconsin River flows into the Mississippi... the sun 
	glints off their surface where they join. Alvin secures 
	his hat and gets back out on the road.

					CUT TO:
 
173	EXT.--DAY  TOP OF LAST HILL WEST OF MISSISSIPPI
 
	OMIT

174	EXT.--DAY  SAME HILL 

	OMIT

175	EXT.--DAY  MACGREGOR IOWA

	OMIT

176	EXT.--DAY  HIGHWAY LEADING TO THE BRIDGE.
 
	As he approaches the bridge over the river, Alvin has 
	to pull more off the shoulder and into the slow lane 
	of traffic. He begins his crossing.

					CUT TO:
 
177	EXT.--DAY  HIGH ANGLE SHOT OF ALVIN ON BRIDGE 
 
 	Alvin is tooling along in the slow lane. The landscape 
	around the bridge is breathtaking. Cars and 
	trucks pass him. A car tailgates him. Traffic behind 
	him begins to build.
 
178	EXT.--DAY  MISSISSIPPI BRIDGE 

	Alvin riding on his mower, enjoying the view at his
	nice, slow pace. The mower's pace allows him to 
	enjoy the scene. People in cars and trucks pass and 
	gawk in disbelief. A few are irritated. Some kids take 
	his picture. One child motions for him to blow his 
	air horn.
 
179	EXT.--DAY  HIGH ANGLE SHOT OF ALVIN ON BRIDGE 

	Alvin at mid-point of the span. The number of cars 
	backed up behind him has increased. The flow of 
	cars in adjacent lane become affected by the gawkers. 
	Alvin has no idea that he is now a one man traffic 
	jam.
 
180	EXT.--DAY  MISSISSIPPI 
 
	Alvin on his mower. He is oblivious to the traffic 
	behind him. He is really enjoying the view of the 
	Mississippi.

181	EXT.--DAY  HIGH ANGLE OF ALVIN ON BRIDGE 

	Now there is a serious back up behind Alvin. He is 
	3/4 of the way across the bridge and cars are backed 
	up 1/2 way back.
 
182	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN'S POV
 
	Alvin scans the river but as his view moves past the 
	"WELCOME TO WISCONSIN" sign... 

183	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN'S FACE TIGHT 

	...his expression changes from blissful tourist to 
	concerned motorist.

184	EXT.--DAY  ALVIN POV 

	Next to the welcome sign Alvin's sees a Prairie du
	Chien police officer leaning against his squad, lights 
	revolving.
 
185	EXT.--DAY  PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, WISCONSIN 
 
	As Alvin approaches, the officer waves him to the side 
	of the road. Alvin slows to a stop along the shoulder. 
	The police officer begins to direct the cars past 
	around Alvin, moving the gawkers along. He begins 
	to converse with Alvin over his shoulder as he waves.
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP 
		Sir, are you aware of the congestion you 
		caused on the bridge just now?
 
				ALVIN 
		I wasn't.
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP 
		I am assuming sir that you have the 
		appropriate registration to operate a 
		Slow Moving Vehicle. Am I correct?
 
				ALVIN 
		Yes sir.
  
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP 
		And where are you headed today?
 
				ALVIN 
		Mt. Zion.
 
	At this the police officer stops directing traffic and 
	walks over to Alvin with an incredulous look on his 
	face.
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP 
		You are going to drive that to Mt. 
		Zion? The Mt. Zion by Boscobel?
 
				ALVIN 
		Boscobel?
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP 
		The Mt. Zion by Blue River?
		That Mt. Zion?
 
				ALVIN 
		That Mt. Zion ...yes.
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP 
		May I see some identification please?
 
	Alvin extracts his wallet and chain and hands over 
	an ID.
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP (cont'd) 
		It says here you're from Laurens. That
		is...?
 
				ALVIN 
		A bit west of the Grotto.
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP 
		And you've made it to Wisconsin with 
		this setup?
 
				ALVIN
		I have.
 
	The cop stands back and takes in the whole rig: 
	lawnmower, plywood trailer, antlers.
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP 
			(amazed)
		It says here Mr. Straight that you are 73 
		years old. How long have you been on 
		the road from Laurens?
 
				ALVIN 
		Goin' on six weeks.
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP 
		And what's your business in Mt. Zion?
 
				ALVIN 
		My brother is sick.
 
	The cop considers this for a moment.
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP 
		Well Mr. Straight, we've got a problem 
		here. All of this traffic that you've 
		managed to stop runs right on through 
		downtown Prairie du Chien. I'd like 
		you to take the side streets.
 
				ALVIN 
		Well I'd like to accommodate you 
		but...I'm afraid I'm not familiar with 
		the streets in this town.
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP 
		You stay right here Mr. Straight. Don't 
		move.
 
	Alvin nods. The officer walks back to his squad and 
	begins talking in the radio. Alvin sits and watches 
	the river and the traffic. A car goes by and a dog 
	barks at him from a window. Little children stare at 
	him as they pass. The officer returns. He notices 
	again the deer antlers mounted on the trailer.
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP (cont'd) 
		Do you have a hunting license?
 
	Alvin turns and sees he's looking at the antlers.
 
				ALVIN 
		That was a road kill.
 
	Another Prairie du Chien squad car pulls up lights 
	flashing.
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP 
		Mr. Straight, I'd like you to follow me.
 
				ALVIN 
		Are you arresting me?
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP 
		No sir....we're escorting you.
 
	The two squads bracket Alvin and move out into 
	traffic. The caravan drives through the side streets of 
	town. The squad cars have their red lights flashing. 
	A state patrol car joins the procession. Locals look
	on in confusion and amusement. They wave and 
	Alvin, a regular parade marshall, waves back.
 
					CUT TO:
 
186	EXT.--DAY  EASTERN EDGE OF PRAIRIE DU CHIEN 

	The lead police car stops. The other cars wave and 
	peel away. The officer from the bridge walks over to 
	Alvin on the mower.
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP 
		You take this up as far as 61, head 
		north and it'll take you straight into 
		Mt. Zion. Have a safe journey, Mr. 
		Straight.
 
				ALVIN 
		Thank you for the grand parade.
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP 
		Our privilege sir.

	He turns to walk away, then looks back.
 
				PRAIRIE DU CHIEN COP (cont'd) 
		Must've been one slow buck.
 
	Alvin sits grinning on his rig, his head framed by the 
	buck's antlers.
 
					CUT TO:

187a	EXT.--SUNSET
   
 	Alvin traveling along the Wisconsin country road.
 
187b	EXT.--SUNSET

 	Alvin pulls off the road to set up camp alongside a 
	small country church and cemetery.

187	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S CAMPSITE 

 	Alvin sits in his chaise by the campfire. A train whistle 
	sounds in the distance. Alvin looks up, and looks 
	into the sky.
 
188	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S POV

	Stars in the cool autumn sky with a crescent moon. 
	The train whistle blows again.
 
189	EXT.--NIGHT

 	Alvin looks off in the direction of the sound. His 
	trip is nearing an end. He looks around at his 
	surroundings.
 
190	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S POV
 
	He is camped alongside a small country church and 
	cemetery. A simple iron archway guards the cemetery. 
	The back door of the church opens and a swath 
	of light cuts into the cemetery. A PRIEST in layman's 
	clothes comes out carrying a plate and 
	approaches Alvin.
 
				PRIEST 
		I noticed your campfire. I brought you 
		some dinner...meat loaf and potatoes.
 
	He holds the plate out to Alvin. Alvin hesitates and 
	then reaches out and takes the plate.
 
				ALVIN 
		I thank you kindly. Hope you don't 
		mind my trespassin'.
 
				PRIEST 
		Not at all. You've made a fine choice.
		You're camped next to one of the oldest 
		cemeteries in the midwest. French 
		Catholic trappers.
 
				ALVIN 
		Marquette's party?
 
				PRIEST 
			(nodding)
		Two of his men.
 
	Alvin reflects on this. He motions for the priest to 
	sit down by the fire. The priest does so.
 
				PRIEST (cont'd) 
			(hesitantly)
		I couldn't help but notice your rather 
		unusual mode of transport.
 
				ALVIN 
			(shakes his head 
			and smiles)
		Well you wouldn't be the first person to 
		say so Padre.
 
	The priest doesn't say anything...he waits on Alvin. 
	Finally...
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
			(he's ready to stop 
			explaining himself 
			to people)
		I can't see good enough to drive a car, I 
		don't like someone else drivin' my bus 
		and I got to get to my brother's place.
 
				PRIEST 
		Fair enough. How far have you traveled?
 
				ALVIN 
		Well now this vehicle doesn't sport an 
		odometer so I couldn't exactly say...but 
		I been on the road since September
 		5th.
 
				PRIEST 
		But we're October 15th. Where in 
		heaven's name did you start out?
 
				ALVIN 
		Back in north central Iowa. Laurens, 
		Iowa.
 
				PRIEST 
		That must be over 300 miles from 
		here!
 
				ALVIN 
		I reckon that's not a bad guess.
 
	The priest gets up and walks over to Alvin's mower 
	and trailer. He walks around it real slow...one full 
	circle.  He comes back and sits down by the fire. He 
	looks at Alvin for a bit.
 
				PRIEST 
		Well I would guess that you are on a 
		mission.
 
	This sets Alvin to thinking. He nods to himself.
 
				ALVIN 
		You know I wouldna ever thought of it 
		that way but I guess you could say 
		that's exactly what I'm doin'.
 
				PRIEST 
		You say you've got to see your brother.
		Where is he?
 
				ALVIN 
		So close I can practically feel him... 
		Mt. Zion.
 
				PRIEST
		What's his name?
 
				ALVIN
		Lyle Straight.
 
				PRIEST 
		That the fellow had a stroke some weeks 
		ago?
 
				ALVIN 
		That's right. You know him?
 
				PRIEST 
		Well I do some work over at the hospital 
		in Boscobel and I remember him 
		coming in. He caught my attention 
		because he lives in my parish.
 
				ALVIN
		He's Baptist.

				PRIEST 
		I believe he told me that. He told me a 
		few things as a matter of fact. Didn't 
		mention having a brother though.
 
	Alvin looks up to the sky.
 
				ALVIN 
		Don't think we've either of us had a 
		brother for some time now. I'm hopin'
		to fix that...
 
	Alvin pauses for a moment.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		So you saw him? ...He's O.K. then?
 
				PRIEST 
		I only saw him that once...never heard 
		anything more.
 
	There is a pause in the talk. Alvin takes in the scene. 

					CUT TO:

191	EXT.--NIGHT SKY
 
	Alvin's POV of the crescent moon, the stars and 
	down to the church and the cemetery. The priest 
	waits for him to go on. Night sounds, train whistles.
 
				ALVIN 
		Lyle and I grew up close as brothers 
		could be. We were raised on a farm up 
		in Moorhead, Minnesota. Worked so 
		hard...my ma and pa pretty much 
		killed themselves trying to make that
		farm work.
 
	Alvin shakes his head at the sorrow of this memory. 
	He takes out a cigar and lights it. The priest patiently 
	waits on him to continue.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		Me and Lyle...we made games out of 
		our chores. A day's work'd go quicker 
		when it was just the two of us. We'd 
		make up different races and wagers just
		to get our mind off the cold...Christ it 
		was cold....
 
	He looks quickly to the priest.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		'Scuse me Padre.
 
	The priest nods tolerantly. He waits for Alvin to 
	continue.

				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		He and I used to sleep out in the yard 
		every summer night it wasn't pouring. 
		After nine months of winter we couldn't 
		get enough of summer. We'd bunk 
		down as soon as the sun went down 
		and lie there talkin' ourselves to sleep. 
		Talk about the stars...and other planets, 
		whether there might be other people 
		like us out there, 'bout all the places we 
		wanted to go...made our trials seem 
		smaller. We pretty much talked each 
		other through growin' up.
 
	Alvin looks up to the sky.
 
					CUT TO:

192	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S POV OF THE NIGHT
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
			(voice over)
		Funny but lookin' up at these stars 
		tonight and feelin' him so close...makes
		me feel I'm right back there again. All 
		those years ago.
 
	They are both quiet for a bit...we stay on the night
	sky.
 
				PRIEST 
			(voice over)
		What happened between you two?
 
					CUT TO:

193	EXT.--NIGHT  CAMPSITE
 
	Alvin looks back down to the fire.
 
				ALVIN 
		Well that's a story old as the
		bible...Cain and Abel. Anger...vanity
		...mix those things up with liquor and 
		you get two brothers not talkin' for ten 
		years....
 
	Alvin shakes his head.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		It doesn't really matter anymore.
 
	He's quiet for a while.
  
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
		I've lived on this earth for 73 years. I'm
 		a humble man in the world but my life 
		is so full that from where I sit now I'll 
		be damned if I know how I did it 
		all...growin' up on a hardscrabble 
		farm...then went to war...
			(he shakes his head 
			at these painful 
			memories) 
		...God help us.
			(he pauses and 
			takes a breath) 
		I had seven children. We lived in every 
		part of this beautiful country...I loved a 
		woman for 40 years...and then she
		died.

	He has to stop for a while.

	The priest is looking into the fire. He gives Alvin all 
	the time he needs.
 
				ALVIN (cont'd) 
			(he takes a breath)
		I've got two daughters...one we lost 
		track of back in '74...don't even know
		if she's alive. Got in with a mean fella.
			(another painful pause.)
		So...whatever it was made me and Lyle 
		so mad doesn't matter to me now...I 
		want to make peace...I want to sit with 
		him again and look up at all the stars.
 
	The priest looks over at Alvin. Alvin looks up and 
	becomes embarrassed.
 
				PRIEST 
		Well sir, I say amen to that.
 
					CUT TO:
 
194	EXT.--NIGHT  ALVIN'S CAMPSITE
 
	The hilltop wide under the stars. The fire glows
	small in the frame. The firelight's flickering 
	illumination of Alvin, the priest, the Church and the 
	cemetery.
 
					SLOW FADE TO BLACK. 

					FADE IN:
 
195	EXT.--DAY  WESTERN WISCONSIN

	Alvin is driving through rolling Wisconsin farmland 
	dotted with dairy farms and red barns. He sees a 
	sign: "Mt. Zion. Unincorporated"

					CUT TO:
 
196	INT.--DAY  MT. ZION BAR / GAS STATION 
 
	The bartender sits behind the bar watching the 
	Weather Channel.
 
					CUT TO:
 
197	INT.--TV SCREEN
 
 	The weather person is giving the national five day 
	forecast.
 
				WEATHER PERSON 
		First frost of the season is expected for 
		the midwest and great lakes region...
 
					CUT TO:
 
198	INT.--DAY  MT. ZION BAR
 
 	Something out the window catches the bartender's 
	eye. He glances out and his expression changes to
	one of disbelief.
 
				MT. ZION BARTENDER 
		What the....
 
	He gets up off his stool and walks over to the window 
	for a closer look.
 
				MT. ZION BARTENDER (cont'd)
			...hell?
 
199	INT.--DAY  MT. ZION BAR/GAS STATION  
 
	Through the window we see Alvin hauling up the 
	hill approaching the bar.
 
200	EXT.--DAY  MT. ZION BAR GAS PUMP
 
	Alvin arrives at the top of the hill and stops at the 
	gas pumps. Alvin executes his usual laborious dismount 
	and enters the bar.
 
					CUT TO:
 
201	INT.--DAY  THE MT. ZION BAR
 
	Alvin crosses the bar and perches atop a bar stool.
	He sets his canes against the bar rail and addresses 
	the bartender.
 
				ALVIN 
		I haven't had a drink in years but I 
		believe I'll have a cold beer right now.
 
				MT. ZION BARTENDER 
		What flavor?
 
				ALVIN 
		What does a Miller Lite taste like?
 
	The bartender places a bottle in front of Alvin.

				MT. ZION BARTENDER 
		Interesting rig you got out there. Make
		it up the hill OK?
 
				ALVIN 
		That one and about 200 others.
 
				MT. ZION BARTENDER 
		How far'd you come?
  
				ALVIN 
		Iowa. Headin' to Lyle Straight's place.
 
				MT. ZION BARTENDER 
		Iowa?...by God you must be thirsty.
 
				ALVIN 
		One'll do thank you. Can you point 
		me to Lyle's place? I don't quite recall 
		the way...it's been an awful long time 
		since I seen him.
 
	Alvin starts drinking the beer in short order.
 
				MT. ZION BARTENDER 
		Cross 61 there on W. Take W to Weed 
		Road and then take Weed on down to 
		Remington. Remington drops down 
		onto S...that's the county trunk by 
		Frankie Schwartz's farm. On your right 
		would be Lyle's place...if he's even 
		there.  I heard he's had a bad stroke...if
		you see him, tell him Micky O'Connor 
		tells him to get better quick.
 
	Alvin finishes off the beer, gets up and heads out of 
	bar. MARTHA, the bartender's wife arrives after 
	Alvin's exit. She peers out the window. Then turns 
	to the bartender.
 
				MARTHA 
		I believe that would be a '66.
 
					CUT TO:

202	EXT.--DAY  MT. ZION BAR
 
	Alvin exits and does his departure ritual. Proceeds 
	down the road.
 
203	EXT.--DAY  EXTERIOR VALLEY HWY W 

	Alvin drives through a beautiful valley.
 
					CUT TO:
 
204	EXT.--DAY  WEED ROAD ALVIN TIGHT 
 
 	Alvin knows that he is near the end of his journey. 
	Then a look crosses his face. We hear the engine 
	cough. Then with a puff of black smoke, the mower 
	dies. Alvin sits alone on the dirt road.
 
					DISSOLVE TO:
 
205	EXT.--DAY  WEED ROAD LATER THAT DAY

	Alvin is still sitting alone on the dirt road.

					DISSOLVE TO:
 
206	EXT.--DAY  WEED ROAD EVEN LATER THAT SAME DAY
 
	Alvin still sitting. We hear the off camera sound of a 
	tractor. Around the bend of the dirt road comes a 
	big John Deere farm tractor.
 
					CUT TO:

207	EXT.--DAY  DIRT ROAD WIDE 

	The farmer stops and converses with Alvin. He is 
	offering to haul Alvin. Alvin tries the mower again 
	and to his surprise it starts. The farmer climbs on his 
	tractor and proceeds down the road in front of 
	Alvin. They continue like this approaching Lyle's 
	place. Alvin turns off into Lyle's yard and the tractor 
	keeps moving off. Alvin cuts his engine and the 
	sound of the tractor fades off.
 
					CUT TO:
 
208	EXT.--MAGIC HOUR  LYLE'S FRONT YARD

	Alvin dismounts and slowly walks toward the front 
	door of the house. He stops in the yard and calls out.
 
				ALVIN 
		Lyle.
 
					CUT TO:
 
209	EXT.--MAGIC HOUR  LYLE'S HOUSE 

	Close on the screen door. A pause...then we hear 
	Lyle's voice from inside.
 
				LYLE 
		Is that you Alvin?
 
 	We hear a rhythmic bumping noise from inside.

					CUT TO:

210	EXT.--MAGIC HOUR  LYLE'S YARD 

	Alvin starts moving toward the front porch. Lyle 
	comes out the front door using a walker. It makes 
	the bumping noise. As Alvin climbs the few steps he
	and Lyle stand very close and take a good look at 
	each other...at the old men they have become.
 
				LYLE 
		Sit yourself down Alvin.
 
	They move slowly to the two chairs set up on the 
	porch. They are situated about five feet apart on 
	either side of the screen door. Lyle is on the right 
	and Alvin on the left.

					CUT TO:

	Lyle looking out at the lawnmower and trailer in the
	yard.
 
				LYLE (cont'd) 
		Did you ride that thing all the way here 
		to see me?
 
					CUT TO:

	Alvin nodding his head.
 
				ALVIN
		I did Lyle.
 
	We stay on Alvin's face for a while.
 
					CUT TO:

 	Close shot of Lyle. He is crying.
 
					CUT TO:

	Alvin...tears are running down his cheeks. He turns 
	with a crying smile to Lyle.
 
					PAN UP TO:

211	EXT.--NIGHT  SKY
 
	A sky full of stars. Music plays.
 
 
				The End
 
 



Screenplay by Mary Sweeney and John Roach


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