Say It Ain’t So, Hose

(Monte Dutton photos)

Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, November 13, 2017, 11:12 a.m.

And you know the sun’s settin’ fast
And just like they say nothing good ever lasts
Well, go on now and kiss it goodbye but hold on to your lover
‘Cause your heart’s bound to die
Go on now and say goodbye to our town, to our town
Can’t you see the sun’s settin’ down on our town, on our town
Goodnight

By Monte Dutton

This Iris DeMent song, released in 1993, always floods into my mind when I get sentimental. This time it’s over our college in our town. Specifically, it’s about football, a favorite topic of my nostalgia glands, which are near and dear to my heart as well as being mythical.

Presbyterian College is not my alma mater. Furman University is, and seldom have I been prouder than on Saturday as I watched the Paladins conquer The Citadel, 56-20.

I have fondness for PC, too. It’s funny that the first college football game I remember was Presbyterian at Furman, won by the Paladins, 13-9, at Sirrine Stadium. Thanks to the web that goes worldwide, I know that game was in 1968, when I was 10, but I remembered the score. Maybe that was why I went to Furman. Maybe it was fated, even though I didn’t make the decision until seven years later. I never imagined going anywhere except Clemson until the fall of 1975, when I visited Furman with a high-school football teammate who was being recruited. Oddly enough, my friend, Roy Walker, went to PC. Furman wanted Roy but captured me, and I wasn’t any good at football.

Now, as my alma mater returns to prominence, Presbyterian football is endangered, and my roots run deep at both schools.

Some of the best times my father and I ever had were sitting in wooden stands behind the end zones – inside th

The Occasional Chip Off the Old Block

(Monte Dutton sketch)

Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, April 14, 2017, 1:30 p.m.

Mornings like this scare me because I remind myself of my old man. He’s been gone since 1993. I’ve outlived him. He lived on, this morning, when I had errands to run.

When I was a teen, my father ruined a lot of plans because of the way he could kill an afternoon. He’d get me to ride up to the hardware store, or a garage, or any other place where people hung out, and hang out. He’d talk to everybody in the post office, or the grocery store, or the filling station, or, more often, all three and several more.

By Monte Dutton

Meanwhile, not having social media, I’d stare at my watch.

It is my habit to write during the first half of days. I get up, stagger into the kitchen, put on some coffee, turn on my laptop, take my meds, and visit the facilities. Then I’ll sip coffee while thoughtfully perusing the social media that is now available. I’ll check the email, rid my website of spam responses, and, then, I’ll write. Sometimes it’s a chapter. Sometimes it’s a blog. Quite often, it’s a blog and then a chapter.

This morning, I needed to venture out into the civilization early. I couldn’t fix breakfast because I had no food. I had several copies of my latest novel to ship. I needed some office supplies. My cell informed me that a prescription refill was ready.

I had no plans to kill the entire morning. I’m satisfied it was my daddy’s spirit.

I hardly ever eat breakfast out. This morning I decided to give the Clinton Café, which despite its name of many incarnations, recently opened in what was originally a Subway many moons ago, a try. I’m happy that Clinton now has two places where a man can order a fried bologna sandwich basket. I enjoyed two eggs, over medium, grits, sausage, and enough coffee to make me slightly giddy. I also read a chapter of the novel, In Farleigh Field, that is conveniently located in my phone.

From there it was on to L&L Office Supply for some mailing stickers because I was shipping two books to Aurora, Illinois, in a predominantly pink box once designed to transport packets of Sweet ‘n’ Low. I talked baseball with Billy Glenn, which is always enjoyable, and this morning’s topic of conversation was the Atlanta Brave’ new ball palace.

Complete Supply of Ink and Toner Cartridges

Next, after affixing one of said labels, it was on to the post office, where I chatted pleasantly with other patrons and the lady behind the desk, who knows me well for my frequent use of media mail.

Then I talked current events, and when he’s moving into the new building, with Walter Hughes at Sadler-Hughes Apothecary. One of my favorite spaces in Clinton is soon going to occupy a new one. I fret slightly in the way small-town people do when something familiar changes.

Next was Ingles, where I played my regular game of seeing how high a percentage of items I can purchase that are discounted, thanks to my bonus card. I often let that card dictate what I buy. If, for instance, none of the cottage cheese is on sale, I do without cottage cheese. Realizing there is a certain element of misleading salesmanship at work, I do it as much to lend some competitive aspect to shopping as to save money, though the latter is nice.

Then, the “low fuel” light went on in the truck, so I ventured out to the Pilot Truck Center on I-26 to fill up. By then, nature called, no doubt a result of Clinton Café coffee, and I had a spare quarter, so I weighed myself, knowing full well that the scales there are a good 20 pounds off. I know it’s wrong, but it still makes me feel better. What’s a quarter for a positive attitude?

Now I’m back home, writing. That qualifies in my world as an exciting day.

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.

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).

A Kid’s Got to Start Somewhere

The Orioles flock to the ball. (Monte Dutton photos)
By Monte Dutton

Clinton, South Carolina, Tuesday, April 12, 2017, 9:15 a.m.

Thomas Phillips is three. When he takes off his cap, he forgets to put it back on. He sees little use for his glove. He plays for the Sadler-Hughes Apothecary Astros, though he probably doesn’t know what an Astro is.

Me, neither.

Probably not going over the signs.

He requires instruction, which he may or may not choose to heed. Hit the ball, Thomas. He chops at it on its tee. The ball squirts a few yards. He looks at it. Run, Thomas! Run! He heads in the general direction of first base. Go to second, Thomas! Okay. Quite often he requires accompaniment. Baseball is a team sport.

On Tuesday afternoon, Thomas and his Astros took on the Orioles. Seldom did either team record outs. Many runs scored. I have no idea how many. No one watching has any idea. Coaches have no idea. Players? They don’t care. They’re still getting to know each other. They know, at the end of the game, there will be snacks.

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.

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).

 

Atlanta on TV and in Memory

The start of the Rinnai 250 Xfinity Series race. (Getty Images for NASCAR)

Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, March 4, 2017, 2:17 p.m.

I love Atlanta. I love Griffin, where I stayed in the Best Western for most of 20 years, and I love Hampton, where Atlanta Motor Speedway is, and where I used to play my guitar and sing my songs at the town farmer’s market, and I love an evening get-together at Minter’s Farm, where my friend and fellow expatriate sportswriter Rick Minter collects old farm contraptions and grows vegetables and Christmas trees.

He’s at the track. Like me, he still writes a little racing on the side, but he gets to be in closer proximity.

By Monte Dutton

I notice a Dillon just wrecked. I wrote a 5,000-word chapter and updated the outline. I read from a novel by a Georgia author. I played a little guitar. Darrell Waltrip has been blowing through the jasmine of my my-yi-yind. And a Dillon just wrecked.

If only I had a summer breeze, it would theoretically make me feel fine.

Michael Waltrip just said a driver is “making up for that first initial start.” No telling what will happen during his last initial start. Chase Elliott sounds great. So does everyone else in a TV booth with Michael Waltrip, but NASCAR has a Waltrip thing. I pick up the guitar.

Well, I’ll admiiitttt, I’ve got a Waltrip prob-LEMMMM!

I’d like to get back to the track. I’d better not step on any toes.

The original topic was how I love Atlanta. I have significantly digressed.

It’s the environment. Everybody around here talks the same way I do about NASCAR. I don’t even mention it anymore. I get tired of nodding my head. I got a crick in my neck last week at the high school basketball game.

Daytona 500 winner Kurt Busch at Atlanta. (Getty Images for NASCAR)

The first time I watched a Cup, then Winston, race at Atlanta, then International Raceway, I went with a football coach, and Morgan Shepherd won. The first time I wrote about a race at Atlanta, it snowed a foot, and, several weeks later, Morgan Shepherd won. Two races, three weekends, and I could almost write Morgan Shepherd’s life story.

One year, the concrete floor of the media center had patches of solid ice. School kids were grazing all through the aisles. A bus was parked outside. The PR director came around, encouraging writers to go across the track to work in the press box. I asked him if My Weekly Reader needed more space. It wasn’t till I came back in the fall that he spoke to me again.

I age myself. Is there still such a thing as My Weekly Reader? I bet it’s digital.

I’d hate to walk up the steps behind the old press box, on what is now the opposite side of the track, mainly because I hated to walk up them then. That was where the most famous sportswriter in the South waved a white handkerchief because the PR director was delivering Lincoln’s Second Inaugural before he’d let Dale Earnhardt speak.

Hampton, Georgia, must be like Clinton, South Carolina, based on the millions of people who don’t go to the races at the track there. It’s not a lot like Clinton, South Carolina, because we don’t have but thousands around here.

I hope there’s progress when the Cup of Monster NASCAR Series holds its Sumpin Sumpin 500 if for no other reason than the damned thing is still 500 genuine miles. It’s allegedly 500.5 miles, but that really depends on the paths the winning car takes over 325 laps.

The Xfinity cars are in the second stage of finity, so, instead of overhearing Michael Waltrip, I think I’ll start watching the action.

(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.

(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.

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).

Oh, the Troubles that Poor Tree Has Seen

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

Clinton, South Carolina, Friday, July 8, 2016, 10:20 a.m.

Mother Nature bared her teeth last night. I was minding my own business, watching the Truck race from Kentucky, and the wind started howling, the lightning started flashing, the thunder started crashing, and all the sound and fury inside the house ceased.

It’s still quiet. The power is still out. This morning, I discovered that the proud cedar tree in my backyard had been beaten into submission, one of its limbs lying atop the roof. When this house was built, the contractor asked if I wanted to cut down the tree. It wasn’t pretty. It had been struck by lightning once, and since “it is said” that lightning never strikes the same place twice, I thought it might be good luck, so I told the contractor to leave it be.

Monte Dutton
Monte Dutton

I was just thinking about when people come in now to clean it away, wondering if the man with the chainsaw will ask me if I want him to dig it up or cut it down to ground level. Maybe I’ll tell him to leave a stump about three feet high. The way I can sit on it and play guitar.

The heat is rising outside and drifting into the house to recompense for the cool breezes that wafted in the storm’s aftermath. I’ll soon have to recharge the cell phone in the truck.

My wi-fi must have some kind of battery backup. I’ve no power, but I have wi-fi, which means I can post this blog as long as this laptop doesn’t run out of juice, at which time I can run another laptop out of juice, and it could be that whatever is keeping the wi-fi going will run out at some point.

Or the power could return, at which point all my troubles will be over except a huge tree, drooping in agony with body parts strewn everywhere.

She never even had a name. I never spoke to her, so a name was optional. I stopped the lawn mower many a time under her branches, the better to sip iced tea in her luxuriant shade. She heard me sing along with Ray Price, Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, Gram Parsons, Jerry Jeff Walker, Hank Snow and Jimmy Buffett, but she never heard them, so she might’ve thought I could sing.

The City just arrived with a pickup and two bucket trucks. The hour of salvation is at hand.

(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. 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.

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

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

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).

Funny How Time Slips Away

Complete Supply of Ink and Toner Cartridges
Complete Supply of Ink and Toner Cartridges

Clinton, South Carolina, Thursday, July 7, 2016, 9:29 a.m.

PC head football coach Harold Nichols with Dr. Joe Gettys.
PC head football coach Harold Nichols with Dr. Joe Gettys.

Here on the local front, it’s been a calm week. Dr. Joe Gettys, who was a calm man, died at age 109. At age 108, he attended most, if not all, the Presbyterian College football and basketball games. I expect it would be hard to find anyone who lives for more than a century without being serene and unflappable.

Such was the case with this man. I never knew him well, but I knew who he was for most of my life. He’s just one of the wellsprings of wisdom that wet my fingers but ran right through them. If “Dr. Joe” had an enemy, which I doubt, he certainly outlived him (or her).

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

Being a wiseacre for most of my life and, at the very least, since I went off to college, I had a long-running joke about how Presbyterian College has the oldest home crowd in college basketball because having a 108-year-old man at every game makes it impossible for other schools to compete. It’s entirely possible that my alma mater, Furman University, ranks second, but it was impossible for the Paladins to match the Blue Hose in, uh, “experience,” as long as Dr. Joe was in the audience.

It’s wide open now. Several who work in the PC athletics department have Furman connections, too. The tongue-in-cheek debate was great fun.

(Photo by Monte Dutton)
(Photo by Monte Dutton)

Maybe it’s because I’m not a kid and don’t recognize them, but I often think about how this time doesn’t have the “characters” it did when I was in my formative years. Word of Dr. Joe’s death brought me back to such ruminations of J.A. Orr, the kindly man who ran the Western Auto; Grady Adair at McGee’s Drug Store; Rembert Truluck at the print shop; and my grandfather’s old friends, Trig Cash and Clarence King.

By the way, some reading this will be taken aback by the references to “Dr. Joe.” That’s the way people talk in small towns like this one. It’s meant as a term of endearment. Kids mean well when they call me “Mr. Monte.” It’s something I’ve come to accept solely because the kids who say it consider it a sign of respect. I don’t, of course. I’d prefer something more youthful like “hot shot” because I like to think my flame hasn’t burned out.

I’d take “Mr. Monte” over “Mr. Dutton” any day.

Sometimes it's tough to keep everything in perspective. (Monte Dutton photo)
Sometimes it’s tough to keep everything in perspective.
(Monte Dutton photo)

I know well the glassing over of youthful eyes that comes when I mention someone whose legendary career was over before they were born. They aren’t legends to the kids of today who get their history from SportsCenter.

I was different at their age. The first sports book I ever read was a biography of Mel Ott. He had a leg kick like Sadaharu Oh, who hit 868 home runs for the Yomiuri Giants. Ott hit 511 for the New York Giants.

Oh is Sino-Japanese. The paragraph above might as well be Sanskrit.

History means nothing to people today. That’s why we’re stuck with Donald Trump.

(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. 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.

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

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

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).

Just Another Night in the House Ross E. Templeton Built

DSCF1797
Good thing she’s a blur. (Monte Dutton photos)

Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, January 30, 2016, 5:50 p.m.

Monte Dutton
Monte Dutton

I’m looking live at Presbyterian College’s Ross E. Templeton Center, where, at halftime, the Gardner-Webb University Bulldogs hold a tenuous, 25-23 edge over the homestanding Blue Hose in Big South women’s basketball.

I’ve written better leads.

It’s been a busy week on the local courts. I followed Laurens District 55 High School to Simpsonville, where Hillcrest resides, on Tuesday, watched Clinton High play Chester at home on Wednesday, and drove to Anderson, home of Westside, on Friday. Now I’m halfway through the first half of a doubleheader, which amounts overall to a quarter. The men take on Liberty later this evening.

Gardner Webb's Rick Reeves, who, in fairness, is younger than Jon Voight as Adolph Rupp.
Gardner Webb’s Rick Reeves, who, in fairness, is younger than Jon Voight as Adolph Rupp.

I’m not writing game stories on these tilts, so my notes are a little more ragged. So far, I’ve noted that Gardner-Webb head coach Rick Reeves reminds me of Jon Voight playing Adolph Rupp in Glory Road. I’ve scribbled that I think the Bulldogs’ uniforms are snazzy, but, in spite of my political preferences, I’ve a fondness for bright red.

Red Devils. Red Sox. It might be conditioned from birth.

Allie Wagner pulled down 11 rebounds.
Allie Wagner pulled down 11 rebounds.

Fan bases have their own personalities. Ohio State fans are feisty. Nebraska fans are loyal. Stanford fans are bright. Clemson fans wear bright colors.

Presbyterian fans are cranky. They gripe almost constantly. When I sit in the stands here, I do it, too, because it’s highly contagious, but now I’m sitting at the press table, dispassionate as always. All season, I’ve surmised that referees have been instructed to call traveling more often. It has effectively limited the ability of Blue Hose fans to scream “Walk!” constantly. Some have been known to infect their tonsils on the basis of the word walk alone.

DSCF1809If a basketball court had a lawn, PC fans would scream for the visiting team to get off it.

Coach Reeves/Voight/Rupp just got a technical foul. PC’s Aianna Kelly just hit two free throws, and the Blue Hose have suddenly built a 38-32 lead.

DSCF1796By the way, late in the first half, a Gardner-Webb player named Charlisa Jenkins made a shot for the ages … and was fouled. She was falling to her knees and put up a shot that didn’t seem geometrically possible until it took a bounce off the backboard that must have been affected by spin. Truly, I believe she is the Spin Doctor.

DSCF1829

6:19 p.m.

For many years, I’ve had a hobby of giving teams names they should have, as opposed to ones they actually have. For instance, Tulane should be the Fighting Blacktop. The Tulane Blacktop. It’s really the Green Wave, or, maybe, the Green Waves. In South Carolina, we have a wealth of misplaced nicknames. Laurens should be the Arabians. Irmo should be the Bombecks (dated, I know), Chester the Drawers, Union the Labels, Dorman the Volcanoes, and Pickens the Slims. It was a great loss when Mayo High School stopped playing ball. I miss the Nays.

Sophomore center Evan Maxwell. He's definitely 6-10.
Sophomore center Evan Maxwell. He’s definitely 6-10.

Clinton’s playing Aiken in football come the fall. The Pains.

Ruben Arroyo
Ruben Arroyo

Why did I write this? Because I have decided that the university playing the Presbyterian men in a little while should be the Sweet Land of Liberty.

Of Thee I sing. The coliseum could be the Good Earth.

No one ever listens to my ideas.

8:30 p.m.

DSCF1808Big victory for the Blue Hose women. If one had based a prediction on the looks of the two teams, the only conclusion would have been that the rugged Gardner-Webb squad would have prevailed. One would have been wrong.

Ronny Fisher
Ronny Fisher

The 60-53 victory wasn’t as pretty as it seemed. Both teams shot 35 percent from the field, although Presbyterian was a 10th of a percent more accurate. The only major difference in the statistics of the squads was Presbyterian’s advantage in free throws. The Blue Hose hit 13 out of 15. Janie Miles and Taylor Petty each had three three-pointers, and three were how many Gardner-Webb had as a team.

Every time I enter the mine of Presbyterian’s women, I find another vein of ore attesting to Ronny Fisher’s coaching ability. He is a quiet, humble, patient, methodical teacher of fundamentals. I can’t think of another coach I’ve known who is more unassuming. I can’t think of many who were unassuming at all.

Janeil Jenkins
Janeil Jenkins

8:47 p.m.

Liberty head coach Ritchie McKay
Liberty head coach Ritchie McKay

The men’s team is now four minutes and a second into the second half, and Liberty leads, 43-37. I’ve had high hopes for the Blue Hose, who are vastly improved in every way that can’t be measured, but there’s plenty of time to regain control of this game. At the moment, the Flames are aptly named as they are shooting nearly 60 percent from the field, and have hit seven three-pointers.

9:19 p.m.

Liberty wins, 65-61. The Flames are young and big, and they’re going to get better next year than they are now. Somehow, Presbyterian grabbed four more rebounds, and the two teams made the same number of field goals, but 11 of Liberty’s and only six of Presbyterian’s counted for three, and so were the die cast.

The Presbyterian men (8-13) have risen by one, and fallen by one, 12, and four points in the past two weeks. Coastal Carolina, which clobbered them earlier, visits on Wednesday.

Gregg Nibert
Gregg Nibert

Although I didn’t really need to query him for the purposes of this column, I spoke briefly with Gregg Nibert, the Blue Hose’ indefatigable head coach, afterwards. It seems as if every loss just makes him more determined to turn the corner. Ten of his 16 players are freshmen or sophomores. The splendid sophomore, DeSean Murray, had 23 points and seven rebounds against Liberty. It’s the usual. He entered the game averaging 20.1 and 7.8.

“We’re young,” Nibert said as he walked away. “We’ll be okay.”

On the other hand, Liberty’s roster has 11 who are freshmen and sophomores. It gets better, but it never gets easy.

(Graphic courtesy of Meredith Pritchard)
(Graphic courtesy of Meredith Pritchard)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

The editing process is complete, and I’ll let you know when Forgive Us Our Trespasses is available for download from Kindle Publishing. It’s a tale of crime and corruption, young and old, good and bad, cops and robbers, etc.

Meanwhile, Crazy of Natural Causes, set in Kentucky and concerning the reinvention of a football coach, was published late last summer, and, if you haven’t read it, I’d appreciate it if you’d give it a look here: http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Natural-Causes-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B00YI8SWUU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436215069&sr=1-1&keywords=Crazy+of+Natural+Causes

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

My second novel, The Intangibles (2013), is about a high school football coach and his players trying to cope with rapid change in the 1960s South. http://www.amazon.com/The-Intangibles-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B00ISJ18Z6/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51JrJlU8vKL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR107%2C160_&refRID=0AD3V83MM7SDKFNKQ5YB

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

The first, The Audacity of Dope (2011), is about a pot-smoking folksinger who wants no part of being a national hero. The accidental hero learns how to be a real one. http://www.amazon.com/The-Audacity-Dope-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B006GT2PRA/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51zCT-MrcFL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR105%2C160_&refRID=09V773T1A5GZXP96KS3Y

My short stories, book reviews, and essays are here: https://wellpilgrim.wordpress.com/

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton. I’m a tad more irreverent @wastedpilgrim and a little more literary @hmdutton. I’m on Facebook at Monte.Dutton and Instagram at Tug50. Um, I think that’s it. Oh, yeah. Google+. I’m on there, too.

 

Women Playing Basketball Artfully

(Monte Dutton photos)
(Monte Dutton photos)

Clinton, South Carolina, Sunday, January 24, 2016, 9:11 a.m.

Monte Dutton
Monte Dutton

I make a lot of gametime decisions. A couple weeks ago, I couldn’t make up my mind between the basketball games at Clinton High School and Presbyterian College, so I watched parts of both. Yesterday morning, snow was on the ground, and I figured — in fact, I wrote — that I thought I’d just stay at home like everyone on television was saying.

Two o’clock rolled around, and, there I was, sitting at the Templeton Center media table, watching the Blue Hose women play the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.

DSCF1793I wasn’t writing a game story. In fact, the reason I went, in addition to preferring basketball in person to basketball on TV, was … this. I watched the game from a different perspective.

Before the game even started, I noticed, for the first time, that Presbyterian fans dutifully stand for the reciting of the Big South Code of Spectator Conduct. It’s because they know the national anthem is coming, so they go ahead and rise for the whole shebang.

DSCF1792When I watch women’s basketball, I often find myself going through a decision-making process in which I carefully assess which players are the prettiest. This, of course, is because I am a man. It’s just good, clean, wholesome fun.

I couldn’t care less which player is the handsomest man, and, in fact, it never even occurs to me. When it does, it’s more along the lines of, Sheesh, I’d hate to meet up with that guy in a back alley.

DSCF1783

An adjective occurred to me. Many women who play basketball are willowy.

DSCF1782Another P.A. announcement that stood out was: “It may be freezing outside, but the court at Templeton Center is burning like the Sahara!”

About midway through the first quarter — women have quarters, men have halves, in college basketball, that is — two of the three referees pored over video as if it were the Zapruder film, attempting to discern whether or not a foul was merely rough or “flagrant” — having already determined it wasn’t fragrant — and, after folding their arms and thoughtfully scratching their chins as they philosophically reasoned, decided to leave the call as originally called.

DSCF1790Meanwhile, I was thinking, There’s got to be some kind of red flag to throw out on the court. A coach should have to request a review. The continent moved three inches while those two were talking. It was a man and a woman discussing the call. No wonder it took so long. If they’d been married, they’d be discussing it yet.

On the positive side, in all the games I’ve written about this year, it seems as if the referees are calling traveling and double dribbling more often. I applaud this, though not on press row because it’s poor form.

DSCF1781

The Blue Hose (11-7, 7-2 Big South) were splendid. Their ball movement — translation: they move the ball around — was the best I’ve seen all year, by any team, in person, and the most impressive part of the performance was how they were unfazed by a wide variety of ploys attempted by the Chants (7-11, 2-7) to slow them.

Ronny Fisher
Ronny Fisher

This is a blog, so I can bury the score if I want. It was Presbyterian 66, Coastal Carolina 42.

With two players scoring in double figures — Salina Virola 12, Rebecca Walker 10 — Presbyterian outrebounded Coastal Carolina, 42-24, and committed 15 turnovers while forcing 21. I would imagine Ronny Fisher, the PC head coach, would have preferred fewer turnovers and a higher shooting percentage than 38.5, but taken as a whole, the performance was impressive.

              I’ve got so many books for you to read, and guess what? I wrote them!

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

              The Audacity of Dope (2011) is a freewheeling yarn about an obscure singer-songwriter who finds himself a national hero with all the annoyances that it implies. Riley Mansfield just wants to write his songs and smoke his weed in peace, but that’s not the way it works out. http://www.amazon.com/The-Audacity-Dope-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B006GT2PRA/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51zCT-MrcFL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR105%2C160_&refRID=1QPG325FX6P3YS6G6QP0

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

              The Intangibles (2013) is a tale set mostly in 1968, but it begins with a cameo appearance by November 22, 1963. It’s got a big cast of characters, black and white, trying to make sense of life in a small Southern town during desegregation of public schools. http://www.amazon.com/The-Intangibles-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B00ISJ18Z6/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51JrJlU8vKL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR107%2C160_&refRID=14MDGFY70Z4HJHMR31KB

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

              Crazy of Natural Causes (2015) takes Chance Benford from football coaching to flawed redemption. Set in the hills of eastern Kentucky, it’s a story of a man who loses everything and has to reinvent himself. It’s a fable on the absurdity of our times. http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Natural-Causes-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B00YI8SWUU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436215069&sr=1-1&keywords=Crazy+of+Natural+Causes

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

              Coming soon! A crime novel, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, about a bad politician and a good cop, with a son going bad to hang in the balance. It’s also the story of a prominent family’s self-destruction. I should know soon when it will be out.

              Follow wellpilgrim.wordpress.com, too. You’ll find short fiction, reviews, and essays there. Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, or, more irrevently, @wastedpilgrim, or, more literarily, @hmdutton. I’m on Facebook at Monte.Dutton and Instagram at Tug50.

For My Clemson Friends, Bound for Phoenix and Brimming with Dreams of Glory

South Mountain State Park, overlooking Phoenix. (Monte Dutton photo)
South Mountain State Park, overlooking Phoenix. (Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Wednesday, January 5, 2016, 10:06 a.m.

Based on my social-media feed, I would estimate that approximately 10,000 people from here in town are going to watch Clemson play Alabama for the national college football championship in Glendale, Arizona on January 11.

Wait. Only 8,000 people live in Clinton. Okay, 8,000 people are going to Arizona. Well, 7,999. I’m not. It sure is going to be lonely.

Monte Dutton
Monte Dutton

Fortunately, I have been to Phoenix — Glendale is a suburb, a little to the west of downtown — both downtowns, since Phoenix has two — and then there are Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, and even Avondale, which is even farther west, little more than a crossroads, and where Phoenix International Raceway is located.

For twenty years, I wrote about NASCAR races at PIR. I started traveling out there in 1993, and the track started hosting two annual races in 2005. I don’t think I went to all of them, but I didn’t miss many. Twenty is a conservative estimate.

For a while, each year a friend and I had ourselves a little adventure by driving from the race in Fort Worth, Texas, one week, to Phoenix the next. They are back-to-back in the fall, and, one year, when the schedule fell the same way in the spring, I even made the trip twice. I took different routes. I stopped at national parks and monuments. I visited Billy the Kid’s grave in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, one year and had a hard time shaking Morman missionaries on the campus of New Mexico State in Las Cruces. I passed on the Book of Mormon but purchased a book on Billy the Kid. That was on one of the two trips I made alone.

It's a desert. A painted desert. In Arizona. (Monte Dutton photo)
It’s a desert. A painted desert. In Arizona. (Monte Dutton photo)

A few days ago, on Facebook, a “friend” noted that, according to his GPS, it was 1,981 miles from here to Phoenix. The reason he noted that was that the other time the Tigers won the national championship, it was 1981. Most responses assumed that person was himself driving to Phoenix. I hope not. If so, this blog is too late, unless, of course, he, family, and friends are presently able to get a signal between Midland and El Paso, where there are just a few more people than there are on the moon.

El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico (Monte Dutton photo)
El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico (Monte Dutton photo)

What I hope to do is give you — the many, the excessively proud, the members of IPTAY, which was originally “I Pay Ten a Year” but is now probably, oh, “I Pay Tenmillion a Year,” and it’s still IPTAY because IPTMAY is impossible for people who put a P in Clemson to pronounce — a few pointers for your Phoenix trip.

First of all, I hope it is better than my senior year in high school, when my entire family, and Big Don Fulmer, got up on Saturday after I had played football on Friday night, and drove to Tuscaloosa, in Granddaddy’s Cadillac, wearing a bumper sticker that read: CLEMSON-ALABAMA, THE DAY THE TIDE DIED.

That bumper sticker wasn’t on the Cadillac long.

What do I remember about that game? (1.) The Tigers spent much of the game in the shadow of their own goalpost; (2.) The Crimson Tide blocked Clemson’s first two punts; (3.) George Wallace was at the game and waved to the crowd from his wheelchair; (4.) The stadium’s name was changed from Denny Stadium to Bryant-Denny Stadium that night; (5.) Alabama eked out a 58-0 victory over Clemson; and (6.) After the season ended, Red Parker was no longer Clemson’s head coach.

Parker just died. May he rest in peace. I thought he did a great job running Tiger Football Camp, though it failed miserably in turning me into a blue-chipper.

That was a long time ago, and much has changed.

Sedona, Arizona. (Monte Dutton)
Sedona, Arizona. (Monte Dutton)

Regardless, don’t just go to Phoenix, Arizona, a unique part of America, and hang out with other fans and the Tiger Band, yelling cheers that you have been yelling every week, all year long.

Be careful, by the way. Imagine Buford Pusser (Walking Tall) being sheriff of a major city. That is Joe Arpaio, the 83-year-old law of Maricopa County. He is the most powerful figure out there. If you see him — let’s hope not — ask him. He’ll tell you how powerful he is. I heard him talk all about it one time after one of his deputies arrested Kurt Busch near the track.

Go see the Coyotes play hockey or the Suns play basketball. The hockey arena is near the football stadium. Or go see the Sun Devils play in Tempe. By all means, go to Tempe. Arizona State University has dazzling scenery, and most of it is human.

Because flying is better from a distance, I used to enjoy watching planes land and take off at Sky Harbor International Airport from South Mountain State Park south of Phoenix. (Monte Dutton photo)
Because flying is better from a distance, I used to enjoy watching planes land and take off at Sky Harbor International Airport from South Mountain State Park south of Phoenix. (Monte Dutton photo)

Many will tell you to go up north to Camelback Mountain, and that’s good, but my recommendation would be to take a drive in the other direction to South Mountain State Park. I think it can be directly entered by driving down Central Avenue from the city.

After winding up the mountain, near the summit is a vista offering a spectacular view of the valley below. It always reminded me of the scene from Patton when the general is watching the advance of Rommel’s tanks in South Africa, only the view from South Mountain is of skyscrapers, and airliners landing at Sky Harbor flying at a lower altitude than the adobe hut up on South Mountain.

Phoenix thoroughfares are mainly a grid. They are straight except when interrupted by hills rising up out of the vast expanse known as the Valley of the Sun.

All the latitudinal streets have names like Van Buren, Camelback, McDowell, Buckeye, etc. The one longitudinal street name is Central, which is apt. The streets to the west of Central are numbered avenues; to the east are numbered streets.

A scene from the road to Phoenix, southeast of Tucson. (Monte Dutton)
A scene from the road to Phoenix, southeast of Tucson. (Monte Dutton)

The Mexican food in Arizona is not that of which you are presently accustomed. It’s good, but it’s a little hotter, and the names are different. It is Sonoran, not Tex-Mex. On menus, there are no burritos. There are, however, “burros,” and you will be relieved to know they are not stuffed with meat that once brayed. This may make you a bit cautious in deciding whether or not to sample the cuisine. I recommend that you do. My favorite little hideaway is called the Tepee, and it is located at 4144 East Indian School Road on the east side of Phoenix. It’s nothing fancy, just family-owned and friendly. One memory of mine is watching Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M upset Alabama while sitting in a booth. Another time local Boise State fans were gathered there. The Broncos are considerably more popular in Arizona than in South Carolina, though I’m not sure why. Idaho is a long way from Arizona, and no crow would fly it without stopping.

El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico. (Monte Dutton photo)
El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico. (Monte Dutton photo)

Once I watched one of the more disastrous games in Atlanta Braves history on TV at another Mexican restaurant in the area, but I don’t remember where it is because that’s when I discovered that Phoenix also has lots of New York Yankees fans, and by the end of the game, I was drunk and don’t remember anything else.

My must-see (and dine) for Clemson fans is T-Bone Steakhouse, which is as close to an authentic cowboy joint as you will find here in the modern age. It’s way out in the country, south of town, not too far from South Mountain State Park. I’ve eaten there when quarter horses were lined up at a hitching post out front. The menu is limited. I’d pass if you are vegetarian or vegan or any other terms I have never fully understood. You can order the T-Bone, the Ribeye or the Filet, and I think there’s a chicken, and maybe a seafood, option. What you order will be cooked on an open grille out front, and there is a modest salad bar, and the meal will come with a baked potato, and they’ll bring a skillet of beans for everyone to share. The prices are quite reasonable, too, which is often a factor in my dining decisions.

After races at PIR, I used to meet friends at T-Bones, which isn’t too far out of the way if you’re driving back to the city from the track. It’s located at 10037 South 19th Avenue, meaning that is 19 blocks west of Central Avenue and 38 blocks west of 19th Street. If you get within a mile and it’s dark, you’ll see the amber lights of the parking lot if you look up the hill, a little to the left.

Got it?

(Graphic courtesy of Meredith Pritchard)
(Graphic courtesy of Meredith Pritchard)

The good news is that many authors are adept at cooking. Also, you can download it for free. The bad news is that a recipe of mine is in it. http://www.amazon.com/KP-Authors-Cook-Their-Books-ebook/dp/B0175UM12W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452098248&sr=8-1&keywords=kp+authors

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

Most of my books — including the current novel, Crazy of Natural Causes — are available here: http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1

By the time you’ve finished Crazy of Natural Causes, there’s a good chance the next one, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, will be out.

Read my blogs on fiction, other books, writing, etc., at www.wellpilgrim.wordpress.com.

They’ll Be Home for Christmas … But Only Briefly

(Photos by Monte Dutton)
(Photos by Monte Dutton)

Clinton, South Carolina, Tuesday, December 23, 2015, 8:03 a.m.

Monte Dutton
Monte Dutton

I stood out in the hall while Ronny Fisher discussed the game just completed with his Presbyterian College women’s basketball team. The door was open. I could hear every word. Fisher didn’t utter so much as a phrase that could possibly have been misconstrued.

To borrow an old sports cliché, no violation of “the sanctity of the clubhouse” (or locker room) occurred. Fisher had no secrets to hide behind closed doors.

DSCF1719The 60-50 victory over North Carolina Central wasn’t particularly efficient or impressive. It was a victory. Victories are hard to come by for the working class of Division I. The Blue Hose had just gotten back from Boulder, Colorado, and a loss to the PAC-12’s Buffaloes. They’ve fallen to Virginia Tech (58-44), East Carolina (84-57), Vanderbilt (56-38), and the aforementioned Colorado (72-60).

Ronny Fisher
Ronny Fisher

A 49-47 loss to Kennesaw State is the only one Fisher would like to have back.

Both the Presbyterian women and men awakened this morning with five victories and six defeats. The men are off to Richmond today and Marquette Sunday. The women have one more game, at home against High Point on December 29, this year.

DSCF1710Fisher told the young women, none of whom is a senior, to enjoy Christmas but not too much. He prescribed workouts on the honor system and told them when to be back on campus to get ready for High Point. He also talked about the true meaning of Christmas and asked them to find some time for the Lord amid the gifts, sparkling lights, and Santa Claus.

DSCF1714NCCU hadn’t looked like a 1-9 team, but they were. They outscored the Blue Hose, 30-27, in the second half but never got closer than six points. Presbyterian had one player score in double figures, and Janie Miles only had 10. No one had a hot hand, but several’s turned cold. Still, the field goal percentage (45.1) wasn’t bad, and NCCU’s (31.9) wasn’t good. The Eagles’ slippery guard from Arlington, Texas, Kristin Askew, scored 20, but even she was just five of 13 from the field. All five were three-pointers.

Fisher walked outside and talked to me.

DSCF1724

“We built a 20-point lead (actually 19) and played really focused,” he said, “but then we relaxed. I don’t think it was the travel (from Colorado). I think it was more that we relaxed and thought it was going to be easy.”

DSCF1725Easy isn’t often in the Presbyterian athletic department. They’re up to challenges, though. The Big South schedule begins with High Point. The conference is plenty tough. The good news is no more Virginia Tech, no more East Carolina, no more Vanderbilt, and no more Colorado.

“Eight minutes into the game, [NCCU] had five offensive rebounds,” Fisher said. “Then we talked about it during a timeout, and I think they had six at half.

DSCF1726“They’re a pretty big team. We give up a little size. We’ve got to block out. … You’ve got to come to play, and we did play hard when we built a lead, but we just relaxed … We were just half a step slow, and we thought it was going to be easy, and it wasn’t.”

Perhaps a bit of unfamiliarity was a factor.

“It’s a great learning experience,” Fisher concluded. “I told our kids, ‘I hope we get to learn again with a [19]-point lead.’

“Let’s try it again next game.”

 

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

I hope you enjoy these blogs, and if you enjoy reading that takes a good deal longer, I’d like for you to consider my novel, Crazy of Natural Causes, set in the hills of eastern Kentucky. http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Natural-Causes-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B00YI8SWUU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436215069&sr=1-1&keywords=Crazy+of+Natural+Causes

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

Crazy is my third novel. Most of my books, fiction and non-, are available here: http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1

Soon, my fourth, a crime novel entitled Forgive Us Our Trespasses, will be released as my second KindleScout winner.

Check out my fiction site, www.wellpilgrim.wordpress.com, from time to time.

And I hope your holidays are joyous.

Diet Dr Pepper is the official soft drink of this particular blog because I bought one for refreshment at the game.
Diet Dr Pepper is the official soft drink of this particular blog because I bought one for refreshment at the game.