It takes place in the fictional town of Zion, Indiana during the 1930s/Great Depression era. The play begins and ends at Buddy's funeral. Locals Basil and Dewey give the eulogy. Then the story goes back to the start of the summer, Buddy is dying because he is so scared of water that he won’t wash. Ironically-the cause of this fear-the fact that he almost drowned as a child-has made Buddy into a human divining rod. C.C. Showers, an ex-preacher, arrives in and befriends Buddy and his family. Showers claims he has given up on preaching, but the townspeople keep on believing that his arrival is a sign from God. Showers focuses on Buddy’s needs and finally convinces him to go down to the river and wash-but the town’s misguided effort to celebrate this success, Buddy drowns.
Play by Jim Leonard, Jr.