With one boy white and the other black in segregated Mississippi, backwoods and riverbottom adventures are too exciting to allow these motherless seven-year olds to consider the normal bigotry of the times. Childhood is grounded in mischief around Oxford's Bailey Woods and in the rural community of Taylor, as the boys grow up under the tutelage of a world famous author camouflaged as Mr. Jefferson.
The Yocona and Little Tallahatchie Rivers help shape youth, while the teen years find Scott and C.B. interacting with Weekend Warriors and the Klan. Summer jobs and outdoor experiences roughhew the boys into men. Adult complications in the sinful city of Memphis precede diverging paths with college forestry vs. the logging woods, grad school vs. a tour in Vietnam, and professional vs. technical careers in the workplace where they see things from differing perspectives during the environmental movement.
Challenges and opportunities are stretched from commonplace to the controversial in later life, with volunteerism during retirement uniquely within the conservation community. Senile citizenship and its heart-warming semi-acceptance at Golden Olden slip up on the two protagonists...with a twist the reader doesn't expect and will be surprised with at the end.
Portrayals of secondary characters with only a tad more than their names changed are powerfully close to veritable. Examples include world-renowned author, William Faulkner and under-appreciated Black pioneer of Civil Rights, James Meredith...both with whom this author had personal experiences.
This Author gives a guarantee that if you don't love this book, he will eat it.
Summary of Camp Re-Form
Enlightening work of fiction from the literary rebel and wordsmith who brought you his Faulknerian tale of faction in Yocona Puff Adder.
Not since the soldiers of M.A.S.H. have such an unforgettable cast of characters dealt with the heartfelt heights and comical confusion of teen-aged camaraderie. Sarcasm drips from Camp Re-Form's coping with an adolescence story line as it follows a handful of fifteen-year-old boys enduring their second straight summer of a judge-ordered Boy Scout type camp in lieu of reform school.
This mischief-making corps of individualized psychologies take dialect to a whole new level. The patrol called Sarge's Snappers draws from their seven different cultural backgrounds and the generational differences between them and their Scout Master.
A peek at the accused reveals that: Jed is the impassioned young protagonist that you might someday consider courting your daughter. An unlikely delinquent, he is reluctant to take over as patrol leader, as he croons for Goose's girlfri
Junebug, also called Junie, is just slow enough to single-handedly try out the retardation center's first effort at mainstreaming. He stutters his way from ob..ob..obstacles to stepping stones as he tries ha..ha..hard to fit in;
Overdrive is the slightly crippled genius whose curiosity often arouses his extraordinary creativity. After growing up in an auto shop, he proves his worth with traits like the ability to hot-wire the camp jeep for sex-education favors from Stretch, the power forward of the Dixie Carrot tops female basketball team;
Goose is the obstinate Yankee atheist who's got no business being thrown in with these southern boys, but brings most of his troubles on himself. Having lost last year's patrol leadership, he now just wants to kick everybody's butt but Fanny Pearl's, whose he bad wants to soil instead;
A falsely accused but quickly convicted youngster nick-named Moses is secretively dying of leukemia...but more worried about spreading and shedding some spiritual sunlight to the others than any problems he may face...as he tries to Christianize the others;
Chick, as stoic and wooden to the camp as a totem pole, is a Chickasaw Indian trying hard to hold onto his heritage. As these cohorts' American Indian contingent, he hardly talks, but campaigns for his Eagle project concerning an Indian Mound along the Natchez Trace...despite the National Park Service bureaucracy;
And, Coonie is de kinda Cajun dat talk wit' a dialect make you wanta keep time to Zydeco an' go afta anudda bowl uh gumbo. Articulately in the finest of Cajun dialect, he doesn't miss an opportunity to impose his swampland perspective on anyone who tries not to listen;
Then along comes five near-major but minor characters by way of: Sarge, questionable scoutmaster evolved from once being a soldier. Under suspicion by some for liking little boys a little too much, their leader seems to the boys to be about the last adult influence the sorta-scouts need as their role model...as they learn as much in spite of him as they are learning because of him;
Braxton Allen Dillion, the antagonist abbreviated BAD for reasons that included being bad enough to make the likes of Injun Joe blush, is more-than-shady as he attempts to be-devil the patrol and sabotage any efforts they might make to go straight;
Mamma Cookie, is the camp cook with eyes for Sarge but could use help from Coonie to actually cook. And being the token adult female legally present, she has a teen-aged daughter named Fanny Pearl;
Fanny Pearl, is Jed's goal for love through it all...and thus fodder for a full sized feud between Jed and Goose;
All the while, the boys' home court advantage is just across the road via sexy Stretch, the all-red-headed girls' professional basketball team's star.
In short, Camp Re-Form is a pilot project between the Department of Corrections and the Boy Scouts of America, with seven memorable juveniles struggling toward Eagle projects. Puberty is only one of their obstacles as these characters you'll learn to love try to stay out of trouble by not being caught..
Summary of Forest Prayer
Forest Prayer is a character-driven and conversational-stirred life story with the protagonist, Jerry, growing up and older looking for The Lord. Having a few mentors who appeared to be Christian and a few who appeared to be agnostic, Jerry struggles his whole life through distinguishing between what sometimes seems to him like an infestation of Christianity with his infatuation of Forestry and obsession with Wildlife Management.
Thinly disguised as Jerry, I had the following supporting characters: Papa, my Baptist Preacher Grandfather, who was close to God in more than one way; Uncle Sawyer, my Saw Boss, who insisted the cure to all our problems were out there in the woods waiting for us to discover; Ol’ Prof Starlet, who was the Forestry Teacher who turned out to know more than I thought he did; Good Doctor Frank, perhaps the world’s leading International Forester, but who needed Christ; and Patsy, my main confidant still today after over fifty years of awesome marriage.
Instead of reading and writing in fiction or non-fiction, the fun of this genre that I like to call faction is that we get to enjoy living life over again, and doing it better. Trying to turn my bucket-list into a to-do-list for Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which includes the writing of this book, I ask that those of you who knew me before my life became undergirded with Christianity remember that both Colossians and The Lord’s Prayer tell us that we are to forgive one another as Christ forgave us.
Locations of verses within Bible books are specifically omitted in hopes that it might encourage the reader to spend more personal time in The Good Book. As directed by The Holy Bible, I’ve made a very sincere effort not to add or take away anything from The Word. If I’ve accidentally done so, or misrepresented anything, I ask that you and God please forgive me. God help me if this causes harm to anyone’s faith.
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Yocona Puff Adder ISBN-13:978-0-9774864-3-4
Camp Re-Form ISBN-13:978-0-9774864-7-2
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