The Agriculture Hall of Fame
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Series: Juniper Prize for Fiction
Praise, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotes
Quail Haven, 1989
Our father comes home from work, grumbling and flatulent. He steps out of the old Ford and into the house and grunts, brushing past my brother and me as we try to grab hold of his belt loops and pull at the cuffs of his trousers. We follow him around, picking up his tie, abruptly loosed at five o'clock …
"Houses this big should be called estates," said M as she got out of the car, pulling her long, black dreads off her shoulders and into a ponytail. We stood in the driveway, taking in the place I was to watch while my mother's friends were out of town for the Fourth of July weekend. …
The Agritulture Hall of Fame
Together they walked out into the midmorning light and it felt like walking out of the old summer matinees of her childhood, the world surprising her with its presence. It put her in a mood to wander, or linger rather, and instead of getting in the car to head back to El Dorado she led him around town. ...
His name was Barish and as we shook hands again, for the first time in several months, I could still smell the way he would pour on his cologne. Never to his face, I used to call it "the Turkish shower." He smiled and I smiled back, our hands locked. It was a surprisingly warm October evening, ...
Two Back, 1973
They called it Two Back because it belonged to Robert "Two Back" Cannery, who was once caught in the Johnston's wheat field making the beast with two backs all by himself. "Drop your pecker and get back to work, Cannery. Only thing I'm paying you to thresh is the wheat," Mr. Johnston had said, ...
There was a rhythm to it, the starting and stopping, and despite the fact that there were no other cars on the road, Alan came to full and complete rests at every intersection. He was driving west, up side streets on the periphery of Lawrence Memorial Hospital, having to pause every hundred feet or so of the grid at a stop sign. ...
"Oh goody," she says from behind the check-in desk, looking at my arms. "They're gonna love you over there. I could wait all day and not see veins like these." Having stood in line for nearly two hours I feel like I have been waiting all day, but I just smile and say, "There sure are a lot of people." She tussles papers around, then looks up suddenly. ...
The Cure for Cancer
Before she was diagnosed—before the disease—my sister drove up from Lawrence to help me move into my new apartment in Kansas City, to "keep tabs on her little brother," she said. It had always been her joke, that I was younger than her, seemingly since she came out of the womb thirteen months before me. ...
The Antichrist Chronicles
In the months before the lake disappeared, I began having lunch every day with my high school guidance counselor. It was early in the semester, a few weeks into my final year of high school, and I'd taken to eating my lunches with her because Joby had a different lunch period. ...
Silver Creek, 1969
Do you remember? Do you remember that barn, Colton? Silver Creek. And that man, the big one, who got me. We'd hid inside his drafty barn for three days, cheeks pressed hard to the slats, hoping he wouldn't find us. Damn, these years. The tortures of a long memoty are endless hours to think back on it all, wondering where you are now. ...
Many thanks are owed and these but a few: my parents and step-parents, there are no words; my brothers: Brint, Bryan, Andy, and Mark; Papa and Big Dog, who are still alive in these pages; ZZ and Baby Stef; the Milward diaspora; the Segebrechts; Todd "the Clinic" Heitshusen; Ryan Lee Crosby; Chief, Nutso, Big D, all the bailers; KG and Shappi; ...