Likes and Dislikes, and Balls and Strikes

(Photos by Monte Dutton)

Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, April 21, 2017, 11:48 a.m.

Back in my day …

Ethan Jones homered for the Raiders in the first inning.

Things were different. They’ll be different in the next day, too. And the one after. Times change. I don’t believe my day was any better than this one. For some reason, at some point in age, varying from person to person, it stops being “my day.” This must be intuitive, or else people wouldn’t admit it by saying “back in my day.”

Make sense? Of course not. Don’t tell me, here in the 21st century, that anything is supposed to make sense. Today is about being technologically advanced, not knowledgeable.

By Monte Dutton

The kids don’t know history. They don’t know the history of America, or baseball, or music, or their families. No one who lived before they could watch him or her on TV counts.

John Havlicek? I could say he founded the AFL-CIO.

Willie Mays? He was a great first baseman — okay, I did see a game in which both Willie Mays and Hank Aaron played first base — but the hall of famer who played it for the Giants was Willie McCovey.

Oh, how could I have enjoyed baseball without seeing Mays play center field? Or basketball without knowledge of Oscar Robertson! Hockey without appreciating the wonder of Bobby Orr? Racing without David Pearson?

Does anyone read books about sports? (Oh, boy. I hope so.) The first one I read was about Mel Ott. He raised his front foot like Sadaharu Oh while batting. Don’t know Oh, huh? He was a Giant. A Yomiuri Giant.

That could be a clean alternative to cursing. You don’t know oh! Oh, oh! Oh on that! Why, you oh-ass! I do not give an oh what you think!

Complete Supply of Ink and Toner Cartridges

In the press box of Clinton High School’s new baseball stadium on Thursday night, I expressed a radical opinion. The Red Devils were en route to defeat against Laurens, so, naturally, thoughts turned to that eternal debate. What’s better? DirecTV or Dish? I said DirecTV was better, but Dish was cheaper. I said this, of course, because I have DirecTV, and, in fact, John Wayne in Brannigan is on right now. The same debate could have been conducted over PC or Mac, iPhone or Galaxy, Colbert or Fallon, Zaxby’s vs. Chick-Fil-A, or, most notably around here, Clemson or South Carolina.

The Voice of the Red Devils, Buddy Bridges, and Zack Wofford (right).

Discussions like this are why Zack Wofford gets distracted, and it’s why the Voice of the Red Devils, Buddy Bridges, lights into Zack about the balls and strikes being off. Buddy probably leaves me alone because I’m older than he is, and keeping balls and strikes is not my job.

Zack, who spends a lot of time at the high school keeping scoreboards and publicly addressing when the Voice is elsewhere, said something about how it was easier to tape six or eight shows on Dish, and I said it made no difference to me.

“I don’t tape anything.”

A senior who will be missed at the fields, courts and diamonds of Clinton High School, Zack looked at me as if I were, at worst, mentally deficient, and, at best, entering the early stages of dementia.

“You don’t tape anything?” It had the same intonation as, “You lost your car keys?”

“OK,” I said, “I believe it’s important to protect yourself from technology.”

“What’s the count?” asked the Voice.

“Two and one,” said Zack.

“I believe it’s two and two.”

“I’ve got a lot to do, and I don’t need to be wasting any more time than I already do on social media, texting, and watching sports,” I said. “The last thing I need is to come home from a trip and have six or eight shows saved to watch. If I don’t see it live, I don’t see it. Most things get rerun. If I wait long enough, and I want to see them, I usually find another showing. It’s just my modest personal regulation on myself.”

Zack would have thought I sounded like Archie Bunker if Zack knew who Archie Bunker was.

One would think a young person would be well aware that the central theme of modern life is protecting oneself from … oneself.

To Zack’s great credit, he pays close attention to what is happening now. He knows his current affairs.

We’re great friends — Zack, the Voice, and I — and I haven’t been around as much this spring, owing to fewer free-lance opportunities and this novel I wrote in three months while chained in the darkened corridors of my home, illuminated only by a lamp and the aforementioned DirecTV.

The reason for our presence, the Red Devils and Raiders of nearby Laurens, was growing farther apart as a result of LDHS’s superior pitching and Clinton’s board of directors who took turns on the mound. Laurens’ playoff position — runner-up in Region 2-5A with an overall record of 17-6 and a region mark of 7-3 — was secure. Clinton (6-11, 5-4 Region 3-3A) is going to play next week, but when and where (not Clinton) depended on the outcome of its game at home Friday against Chapman and two other contests.

The Raiders pitched Jared Cvetko, their ace. Clinton paraded four hurlers out there, saving the best for Chapman. Laurens, a better team anyway, won, 6-2.

A year ago, the best Clinton team in more than two decades advanced to the upstate final (four-team) round and finished 24-3. That memorable, cohesive unit graduated many of its best players. This year’s team is young, and it’s been competitive after a slow start, which is just as it should have been.

The Red Devils have a brand-new baseball and softball complex, designed cleverly with a concession stand and restrooms located in between, and it has something this town’s high school has never seen before: lush grass infields.

A year ago, the Voice, Zack and I sat at a folding table behind the plate of The Sponge, as the previous sandlot was lovingly dubbed. The approach of storm clouds could be testy. On Thursday, the Voice and I allowed as how we miss that view from right behind the plate but not the thunderstorms.

Ever since I started writing fiction, fans have asked me to write a novel about stock car racing. I kept it a secret while I was working on it. Now it’s out. Lightning in a Bottle is the story of the next big thing, 18-year-old Barrie Jarman.

(Steven Novak cover design)

Stop by L&L Office Supply, 114 North Broad Street, Clinton and buy one of my novels. Buy Cowboys Come Home, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, Crazy of Natural Causes, The Intangibles, and/or a volume of my short stories, Longer Songs. They’re all signed and reasonably priced. Lightning in a Bottle will be in stock shortly.

Signed copies of Lightning in a Bottle are also available at Emma Jane’s, 105 East Main Street on the Square, Clinton.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

If you’d like me to ship you a signed copy, you can find my address and instructions here. If you want to speed the process up, send me a note and I’ll hook you up with my PayPal account.

(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)
(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)

Kindle versions – you don’t have to have a Kindle, just a free app for your electronic devices – of most of my books are available here. Links to print copies are below.

(Joe Font cover design)

Cowboys Come Home is my brand-new, fresh-off-the-press western, a tale of two World War II veterans of the Pacific who come back home to Texas, intent on resuming their cowboy ways.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses is a tale about a crooked politician who wants to be governor, whatever it takes, and another man trying to stop him. It’s outrageous.(Melanie Ryon cover design)

Crazy of Natural Causes is about the fall and rise of Chance Benford, a Kentucky football coach who reinvents himself. It’s original.

The Intangibles is about the South in the 1960s, complete with racial strife, bigotry, resentment, cultural exchange and, of course, high school football.

(Crystal Lynn cover photo)
(Crystal Lynn cover photo)

The Audacity of Dope is the tale of Riley Mansfield, a pot-smoking songwriter turned national hero with a taste for the former and a distaste for the latter.

Longer Songs is a collection of 11 short stories that all began in songs I wrote.

Follow me at Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Twitter (@montedutton), Google+ (MonteDuttonWriter) and/or Instagram (Tug50).

Here’s to Our Old High School, Hail, Hail, Hail …

(Monte Dutton photos)
(Monte Dutton photos)
Complete Supply of Ink and Toner Cartridges
Complete Supply of Ink and Toner Cartridges

Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, August 19, 2016, 11:20 a.m.

Athletes arrive in as many gaits as Tennessee Walking Horses. They saunter. They trot. They amble. Some seem frightened. Some seem self-conscious. Some think the whole affair is hilarious. Everyone gets his or her due. They get their tributes from the Voice of the Red Devils, Buddy Bridges, and the crowd roars.

Monte Dutton
Monte Dutton

It’s Meet the Red Devils Night at the Clinton High School gym, and no one has won or lost yet in game, meet or match that counts. Everyone is undefeated, and everyone is winless.

It’s a ponderous affair that’s worth watching for all the human beings who interact out of love, parenthood, fandom and truth to their school.

Be true to your school / Just like you would to your girl or guy / Be true to your school now / Let your colors fly / Be true to your school / Aye-aye, aye-aayyyye …

The panorama of generations stretches out in all its glory. These are not just Clinton High School’s teams. They are its past, its present and its future. They are the town’s teams and the district’s, and that district stretches to the lake named for Greenwood and through the forest named for Sumter. They are here for Joanna, Cross Hill and other places even smaller where roads cross and convenience stores flourish.

DSCF1952 (1)Men squint to see who’s wearing the old number. Women notice how the cheerleaders’ uniforms have changed. Who’s playing the sax this year in the Devil Regiment?

Some folks line up to join the booster club. Others buy the latest souvenirs. One popular souvenir, the Big Red Machine license plate, has been around since the Big Red Machine cranked up in Cincinnati.

DSCF1974 (1)Next week’s opener, the one for the Laurens County championship (settled between the two public schools), is taking on a life beyond its usual own because, for the first time ever or that anyone remembers, the Raiders are invading at the very beginning of the long campaign that both schools hope is longer than the last.

Oh, how the crowd longs for the Red Devils to be back. The Clinton football team, a cornerstone of spirit in this end of Laurens County, has passed every test, the only cautionary aspect being that none so far has counted. They’ve mattered, though, because there’s always next year, and now, hocus-pocus, abracadabra, it’s this year, and, by God, it doesn’t look like that team is going 3-7 again.

DSCF1973 (1)

The slate is clean, but it’s awfully stern. The Raiders are leading 5-3 in classification A’s, and the region is rough, and the first five games are a minefield, but none of that matters because football, righteous football, is back, and the men and women and the boys and girls are all convinced that their lads can beat your lads, and if you don’t think so, why, do something about it!

Jimmy Webb boosts the Booster Club.
Jimmy Webb boosts the Booster Club.

When some loud braggart tries to put me down / And says his school is great / I tell him right away / Now what’s the matter buddy / Ain’t you heard of my school? / It’s number one in the state.

Next week, they’ll be pepping up the Raiders in the Laurens public square, and the cross country runners are going to run the ball cross county to Clinton, where the game is played and the Swinging Medallions are going to help send off the Red Devils at the ceremonial Depot next to the railroad tracks, and, then, and only then, after cheers have been raised and coaches tributed, do the lads of both schools get to play.

Regardless of the outcome, it will be one of the few local examples of the many-splendored thing.

DSCF1962 (1)

(Steven Novak cover design)
(Steven Novak cover design)

Please visit the KindleScout site and consider nominating my fifth novel, Cowboys Come Home, for publication. You’ll find sample chapters, a short synopsis and a Q&A. Take a look at it here.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Stop by L&L Office Supply, 114 North Broad Street, Clinton and buy one of my novels. Buy either Forgive Us Our Trespasses or Crazy of Natural Causes, and you’ll get a volume of my short stories, Longer Songs, absolutely free. Tell ‘em Mr. Monte sent you, y’hear?

(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)
(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)

Kindle versions – you don’t have to have a Kindle, just a free app for your electronic devices – of most of my books are available here. Crazy of Natural Causes is on sale at $1.99. Links to print copies are below.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses is the latest. It’s a tale about crooked politician who wants to be governor, whatever it takes, and another man trying to stop him. It’s outrageous.(Melanie Ryon cover design)

Crazy of Natural Causes is about the fall and rise of Chance Benford, a Kentucky football coach who reinvents himself. It’s original.

The Intangibles is about the South in the 1960s, complete with racial strife, bigotry, resentment, cultural exchange and, of course, high school football.

(Crystal Lynn cover photo)
(Crystal Lynn cover photo)

The Audacity of Dope is the tale of Riley Mansfield, a pot-smoking songwriter turned national hero with a taste for the former and a distaste for the latter.

Longer Songs is a collection of 11 short stories that all began in songs I wrote.

Follow me at Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Twitter (@montedutton), Google+ (MonteDuttonWriter) and/or Instagram (Tug50).

 

The Very Best of Clinton’s Greatest Hits

(Monte Dutton photos)
(Monte Dutton photos)

DSCF2865Clinton, South Carolina, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, 9:54 a.m.

Happiness, happiness. Everybody’s looking for happiness.

Monte Dutton
Monte Dutton

As I looked around the perimeter of The Sponge, Clinton High School’s beloved field of dreams and antiquity, that’s what struck me.

Lots of smiling faces / Little children running around / Everybody’s somebody in this old Hill Country town. — Viva Luckenbach! Jerry Jeff Walker.

Cameron Bishop (left) and Chandler Todd.
Cameron Bishop (left) and Chandler Todd.

When I attended the local high school, The Sponge was just the field. The ball field, maybe. Next year a new one will open at the high school, across the ring road, and it is rumored to be outfitted with a grass infield and bullpens that are actually a part of the design and not carved out of the pine trees behind right field. The old Clinton High School is now the new Clinton Middle School, and athletic facilities are slowly migrating into the 21st Century.

Davis Cunningham has the wingspan of a condor.
Davis Cunningham has the wingspan of a condor.

Maybe they’ll call it the Baseball Complex, which is what Presbyterian College calls its field, even though there’s nothing complex about it. It’s complicated to find a place to see the whole field, but not complex.

Anyway, The Sponge, so named, I’ve been told, because its hard, sandy, clay infield drains well after thunderstorms, is going out in style. The Red Devils (22-1) won their 19th game in a row Monday night, 3-0 over Eastside (17-8), one of Greenville’s almost innumerable suburban schools. Technically, the Eagles are from Taylors, which is named after Andy, Opie and Aunt Bea, or that’s what I prefer to believe.

J.P. Duncan
J.P. Duncan

The Red Devils are a club that pitches well, bunts with a maniacal persistence, hits towering drives occasionally when its batters swing away, and seems to play better as pressure increases. They possess a never-say-die mentality that occasionally inspires a game in which they give up six runs in the top of the first and wind up winning, 10-6.

At some point in almost every interview I conduct with head coach Sean McCarthy, he says, “They’re a special bunch.” Far be it from me to quibble.

Brayden Gibbs
Brayden Gibbs

On Monday night, Clinton had 19 at-bats. Eastside had 26. In part, this was because the Eagles batted once more. In part, it was because the Red Devils sacrifice-bunted four times and tried five. Once this year, they executed three squeeze plays in a single game and two in a single inning.

Tristan Smaltz
Tristan Smaltz

In two playoff games so far, Clinton pitching hasn’t allowed a run, and Clinton fielding plays a considerable role in the stinginess. Tristan Smaltz and Davis Cunningham have combined for 21 strikeouts in 12 innings. Smaltz is small and lefthanded. Cunningham is a tall righty. Aaron Copeland chipped in two thirds of an inning to nail down a 2-0 victory over Daniel. Cunningham went the distance in the 3-0 decision over Easley.

Todd greets Peyton Spangler, now playing at Newberry College.
Todd greets Peyton Spangler, now playing at Newberry College.

It’s such a pleasant crowd. Until this year, Clinton hadn’t won its region in 22 years. Sure, the fans are loud and feisty, their spirits kept high by public-address announcer and Voice of the Red Devils Buddy Bridges, but mostly, they are delighted. Bridges was back last night, having missed the Daniel game because his son was getting married, and I half-expected the fans to give him a lemon pound cake or something.

The foes on Monday from Eastside.
The foes on Monday from Eastside.

McCarthy is nervous and superstitious before games, in marked contrast to his players, who are as playful as baseball players are wont to be, and one of the reasons he seemed panicky before the Daniel game was that he didn’t get a chance to hand the lineup card personally to Bridges. I lean more toward the players than the coach while wandering around the field taking pictures, and this makes McCarthy uneasy, and it makes me chuckle, which makes him even more uneasy.

DSCF2868Afterwards, he has recently succumbed to the coach’s habit of answering every question with the same answer, and I don’t mind because his team has given me more than any writer can ask, that being a good story to right night after night. Whatever he asks his players to do, they do, and McCarthy deserves lots of credit for teaching them how by instilling in them guts and a penchant for glory.

Aaron Copeland
Aaron Copeland

On Friday, they can nail down their district, which is a unit I didn’t know existed until I started following these proceedings closely by word and presence.

Two teams, Daniel and A.C. Flora, will face off to determine which gets to take on the Red Devils on Friday night. I’d like to see the big dogs hunt a little more at the plate, but I ought not complain because what a writer likes is a good story, and these Red Devil baseball games write themselves.

 

Longer_Songs_Cover_for_KindleMy book of short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, is called Longer Songs, and you can buy it here.

The Audacity of Dope is a tale about a pot-smoking singer-songwriter who becomes a reluctant national hero. He prevents someone from blowing up the plane he’s on, and both hilarity and drama ensue. My first novel is an irreverent, fun read.

The Intangibles is my most personal. Set mostly in 1968, it draws on memories from my childhood and teen-aged years. It’s a story of civil rights, bigotry, and high school football.

(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)
(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)

Crazy of Natural Causes has a main character who is an outrageous football coach at the beginning, loses everything and has to start over. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

TrespassesCoverForgive Us Our Trespasses is a yarn about a corrupt, ambitious politician who wants to be governor and will do anything to achieve it. It has a parallel story of a good cop who’s trying to stop the monster and another of kids gone wild.

To peruse all my books, including most of the non-fiction ones from my NASCAR years, click here.

 

A Place in Heaven for Red Devils

Scan1Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, March 12, 2016, 12:17 p.m.

Early on Friday afternoon, I drove the familiar highway, 76, that leads from here to Joanna. When I got there, I turned off on a back street and drove by the house where an old girlfriend used to live, oh, 40 years ago or thereabouts. I imagine five families have lived there since, or, maybe, that girl’s mother and dad still live there, though it’s likely one or both have died by now.

I noticed how the community has a Dollar General Store of its very own now, but it was sad to see the ruins of the old textile mill, and it bothered me that all the rich men who made all the money from all that cotton didn’t even have the decency to clean the mess up when they shut down and moved away.

Monte Dutton
Monte Dutton

I looked at the ancient, gnarled trees that filled a block across the street from the First Baptist Church, and I thought about the stories those trees could tell.

What brought me there was a funeral of a good man who asked little in return for his goodness. Bobby Joe Simmons had died on Tuesday, at age 81, in a Columbia hospital. According to what I heard, he’d undergone heart surgery, and, for a while, it looked like he was going to be fine, but then he took a sudden turn for the worse and was gone almost before anyone knew death was imminent.

(Monte Dutton photo)
(Monte Dutton photo)

For decades, Bobby didn’t just head up the Clinton High School Boosters Club. He was the Clinton High School Booster Club. Back in those days, the common belief was that a booster club didn’t need to get too big for its britches. It needed to be there for the kids, but it didn’t need to be so big that it became a hindrance. It didn’t need to become a hotbed of discontent. The way it worked back then was that Keith Richardson, the great Red Devil football coach, called Bobby up and allowed as how they could use a little help to buy some new helmets, or the shoulder pads were getting a little worn, or they needed money they didn’t have to buy a new blocking sled.

Charlie Craven (10) connects with Tay Cook (3) as Kris Holmes (21) tries to help out. (Monte Dutton photo)
(Monte Dutton photo)

On such occasions, Bobby would commence to raise some money. As Buddy Bridges said in the eulogy, he ran the Red Devil boosters out of the trunk of his red car. Sometime he might set up a folding table at a produce stand that became a fireworks stand around various holidays. He’d peddle tee shirts, bumper stickers, license plates, and put a cap on the table, upside down, so that folks who didn’t want to buy anything could leave a dollar bill or maybe a five if it was payday.

The eighth and most recent state championship was in 2009.
The eighth and most recent state championship was in 2009.

No one who knew Bobby was the least bit surprised to learn that he worked at Monsanto for 28 years without ever missing a day. He probably played hurt as much as the ballplayers did.

Back in those days, it wasn’t the athletic booster club, as it is today. If the drama department needed some paint to do props for the play, Bobby would sit behind his folding table and try to help. The high school had lots of teachers who probably never knew the booster club was there for them. I doubt it bothered Bobby. He had enough to do just trying to help the people who knew he existed.

I prefer live crowds like this one. (Monte Dutton photo)
(Monte Dutton photo)

He was a pleasant, mischievous fellow. He had a twinkle in his eyes. He used to call one county newspaper the Agonizer (pronounced “aye-guh-nye-zer”) and the other the Comical. At various times, I worked for both of them, but Bobby just loved to laugh. He didn’t mean anything by it but comedy.

I also worked for a while at the Greenwood Index-Journal. I called it the Index Finger. It was Bobby’s fault.

Donaven Blackmon will play at Newberry College next year. (Monte Dutton photo)
Donaven Blackmon will play at Newberry College next year. (Monte Dutton photo)

I spent 20 years of my life getting figuratively drug along by stock cars, and I didn’t see Bobby much, but when I did, at a Red Devil or a Presbyterian College athletic contest, I always stopped to chat for a while. People like talking to people who laugh at their jokes and tell their own to return the favor.

“That’s about the funniest dern story I ever did hear, but did you hear about the time old man Turner hooked his son in the ear fishing?”

“Naw. Why don’t you tell it?”

The Clinton High logo dates back to 1972. (Photo courtesy Tex Glenn and Dale McWatters)
The Clinton High logo dates back to 1972. (Photo courtesy Tex Glenn and Dale McWatters)

The last time I saw Bobby when he wasn’t looking up at me from a casket was about this time a year ago in a supermarket. I noticed he’d gotten older. Undoubtedly, he noticed the same about me, but we both had the class not to mention it. It was like every conversation I ever had with him. I enjoyed it.

What I take no joy in is writing this column about one of the little-known heroes that shape small towns and schools when it’s too late for that hero ever to know how much he meant to me. It’s a detestable trait most humans have. If we tell people what we think of them, apparently, we’re worried they may not say as much nice in return. Or we’re worried they might get “the big head.”

(Monte Dutton photo)
(Monte Dutton photo)

People in small towns worry about big heads.

Bobby Joe Simmons, while his placid, pale face was looking solemnly out of a cushioned box, had a soul that, somewhere, was trading old stories with Charles Norman, Dick Vaughan, Allen Petty, R.P. Wilder, Charles Cummins, Cal Gault, Derwent Long, Robert Lee and a hundred other Red Devils who were around way back when and aren’t anymore.

Batesburg-Leesville's QuaJae Wingfall (11) and Clinton's Jalen Carter.
(Monte Dutton photo)

This great supporter of Clinton High School was a great citizen of one of the little outposts out on the School District 56 frontier. The Joanna of my youth was a hard-nosed textile burg. I don’t think a soul lived there who hadn’t, at one time or another, fought with and against everybody else in town. Together they’d fight anyone who had a discouraging word about Joanna. It isn’t even incorporated. The folks from there speak of it as if it were a principality, one where even a poor man was a king in his way.

Tristan Smaltz.
(Monte Dutton photo)

Those of us who were Clintonians were in the majority, but we were second-class teammates to the boys from Joanna, and they represented the true heart of four state and six upstate champions in the 1970s alone.

No one loved the Red Devils more, though a lot loved them. No one was more loyal to Richardson and the coaches who followed him than Bobby.

No one was a nicer fellow.

One would think being the Clinton High Booster Club — no one felt the need to call Bobby the president because if there was a secret shake, the secret was between his left hand and his right — would convey a certain prominence. It didn’t, at least not for those who generosity was beyond Bobby’s reach. Richardson knew who he was. The kids who played sports did.

It was all he needed. I’ll miss him. Lots of folks will.

(Graphic courtesy of Meredith Pritchard; cover by Jennifer Skutelsky)
(Graphic courtesy of Meredith Pritchard; cover by Jennifer Skutelsky)

As you may have noticed, I use these blogs as a promotional tool for my novels.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

One, Crazy of Natural Causes, has been out since late July of 2015. In the interest of peace, love, and understanding, I’d love for you to give one or two or (soon) four of them a read. If you’ve never watched an R-rated film, then I wouldn’t recommend my novels. If you have, I expect you’ll love them.

Another, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, will be out soon. It’s a crime novel about corruption and patronage in a small town. The tale unfolds across two generations at the same time. It’s got sex, drugs, corruption, murder, and frank language. Very little, if any, rock and roll, though.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

The Intangibles (2013) is based on boyhood memories and is set in a small Southern town amid the tumult of the 1960s. The Audacity of Dope (2011) is a freewheeling yarn about a pot-smoking songwriter who somehow becomes a national hero, and that comes with complications.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

Crazy and Trespasses are my third and fourth novels. I’m working on a fifth, Cowboys Come Home. Most of my books can be examined and purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1

My short fiction, reviews and essays can be found here: https://wellpilgrim.wordpress.com/

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing) and @wastedpilgrim (more humor and opinion). I’m on Facebook at Monte.Dutton and Instagram at Tug50.