From dust jacket notes: "...The Wind Blows Free, a personal reminiscence of a 1934 hitchniking trek from Doon, Iowa, to the shining Western mountains, is a trip which the author said 'released his soul.' It is an odyssey of the outsetting novelist, an adventure into some of the beginnings of Frederick Manfred's art. For that reason alone The Wind Blows Free is an important book.
But it is also a rich and wonderfully humorous account, a moving picture of the young artist, in which Manfred sits (that's too quiescent a term somehow) for his own portrait.
In Vivian, South Dakota, a dust-bowl town of boardwalks and moaning winds, youthful Frederick Feikema Manfred meets Minerva Baxter enroute West with her 1926 Essex and her spinster's phobias. As a condition for his becoming her passenger-driver he must stand for a portrait - this time a chalk outline of his six-foot, nine-inch frame to be drawn by an attendant on a gas-station wall as Miss Minerva's precaution against any criminal ardor latent in the young man. Examining the great human map which results, she pronounces it satisfactory and say it's time to be on their way...."
Lorne Smith thinks the gas station was the station owned by our uncle Jack Hullinger on the road coming into Vivian just south of the railroad tracks. The building is no longer there.