Preacher's kid, unrepentant bibliophile, reformed lawyer, aspiring author
Meanwhile, back at the ranch.... Ada and Patty made their way down the leaf-strewn trail to the Simmons house. Patty had bundled up little Eli, and Ada lashed him to Patty's chest with strong strips of burlap held in place by hatpins. Patty walked ahead of Ada and Eli, brushing away the occasional spiderweb across the path.
Belle had moved fast for her age. Within twenty minutes of the tumbleweed wagon leaving Saline with George, Junior Simmons was racing through the woods towards Elisha's house, leaving a tearful and angry Lispeth behind. Ol' Jim Folson would be lucky if she waited until Junior was back to go take a piece out of his hide.
George wobbled slightly as he entered the diner. Belle, who had been watching for him, came out from behind the counter. “Well, come on in and sit down, Mr. George! I jes’ got yer table all cleaned off and ready-like. You got what you said you was gonna bring me?”
The Cancer Diaries
That first six months of chemo really wasn't so bad. I had my best friend's daughter-in-law going with me to every session, and we made a point of keeping the chemo room an entertaining place while we were in it. For Christmas (I had chemo on Christmas Eve), we went in dressed up like glitzy, crazed Elves with serious style disabilities. When COVID kicked in and they wouldn't let her come with me anymore, I carried on the tradition - for St. Patrick's Day, I went dressed as a leprechaun... outlandish hat and all.
Elisha scowled at the jug of clear liquid George pulled from under the drip-spout. Gingerly, he raised it to his nose and sniffed. George guffawed loudly and slapped his thigh as shock, revulsion, and amazement vied for dominance of Elisha’s face. “Aw, ‘Lisha, them’s jes th’ singlin’s! Gotta run it back through again ‘fore it’s done!”
The Cancer Diaries
They wouldn't let me out of the hospital until I pooped. Funny thing about having a section of your gut cut out and the remaining ends sown back together, they want to be sure everything down there is operating as it should before they let you go home. By the seventh day in the hospital, I was going stir-crazy. They were feeding me laxatives like candy. I talked a friend into bringing me KFC mashed potatoes and gravy. When that failed to do the trick, I ordered Taco Bell. That did it. The tenth morning, the doctor came in and asked, "Well, any movement last night?" I nodded. "FIVE TIMES, Doc. Can I go home now?"
Elisha took off his hat and wiped the sweat from his brow with a grubby handkerchief. The sun was high overhead, and the early October heat was as stifling as it had been in August. It had been a productive morning. Pieces of the old fort now lay neatly stacked at the edge of the little clearing, and atop the small rise where it had once stood was a clean, bare spot. Elisha dropped the head of his sledgehammer to the ground and leaned on its handle, surveying the results of his work with a look of satisfaction. He and George had spent a lot of time here, as boys. Many a deer, squirrel, and rabbit had landed in stew pots as a result of their time in these woods.
The Cancer Diaries
"Nah, Doc, you got the wrong room. I can't have cancer! I just turned 43 years old - I'm too young for cancer! Check your chart again... Cancer is for old people!"
My father was a conundrum of a man. A living, walking oxymoron. He was a good ol’ country boy, but never once in his life did he ever drink a beer. He was an academic, an intellectual – but enjoyed what Jeff Foxworthy would call “a glorious lack of sophistication.” He was a redneck. World-traveled and exquisitely well-read, Dad was, but he operated the world around him on the premise that if a thing could not be fixed with duct tape, baling wire, or JB Weld, it was dadgum well broke. He could (and often did) debate fine points of theology while scaling a mess of fish with his pocket knife, and in the next moment be picking his teeth with the same knife. He was a pastor the first 17 years of my life, and wore a suit most of the time; thereafter he was a residential construction contractor and only exchanged his jeans and t-shirts for suits on Sundays for church.
In the Paths of My Ancestors
“What do you think, Sissy?” If Sissy had an opinion, she kept it to herself. We were sitting on the front porch swing, she and I, enjoying the mild early autumn afternoon. I took her silence as agreement.
“She’s a witch, man, I’m telling you!” Mike looked warily at his cousin. Jason seemed really worked up about the whole thing. His eyes were bulging and Mike could see beads of sweat forming over Jason’s lip.
Bootleggers' Legacy, Chapter One
Elisha and George huddled together over the newspaper from Shreveport. It was several weeks old and smudged from dozens of fingers running across the pages, but the words of the headline were still unmistakable: PROHIBITION TO START IN JANUARY. George shook his head and took a swig from his flask. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, he said, “Well, I reckon we got us three more months to stock up. That dadgum Congress and this fool Volstead, whoever he is. Parson says it ain’t gon’ be agin’ the law to have liquor, but ain’t nobody gon’ be able to sell it, legal-wise, nohow.”