This category contains 24 posts

My Wandering Horse

This story originally appeared in the November 2009 issue of Texas Coop Power Magazine. In 1998, I moved from north to south Texas, which was somewhat like moving out of the country. I didn’t know many people, and I tried to avoid most of the ones I knew. When I wasn’t at work or … Continue reading

Cool Kid, Part One of Many

Nike high-tops were all the rage in fourth grade. Boys did not lace them to the top, but instead tucked the tops in their jeans and left the tongues sticking out in front. I told mama I wanted some of the shoes with the big tongues that stuck up. We drove all over looking for … Continue reading


My great-grandfather was a coal miner from West Virginia. Not really, but I used to tell people that when I was a kid. He was, though, a rail road worker from West Virginia, and the rest of what I say about him is true as far as I know. Grandpa hated school. He once put … Continue reading

My First School Paddling

JOSHUA, TX, 1980: Amber (not her real name) sat next to me in Mrs. Yonner’s first grade class. I did not like Amber. She was stinky and sneaky, and she stole little things—pencils and such—from her classmates. One weekend, my dad took me fishing at the Nolan River in Cleburne. I got bored with fishing … Continue reading

Old Pilgrim Church, Elkhart, Texas

My great-great grandfather, and his father before him, were Primitive Baptist pastors in Elkins, West Virginia. The church is still there today, almost unchanged from how it was 100 years ago—a one room frame building with outhouses amid a cemetery on a hill. Until a few years ago, a cousin of mine was still pastor. … Continue reading

Lie’s I’ve Told, Part 2: The Razor Blade

Not far from my house was a creek. I used to play there with my friends. It was the scene of much trouble. Falling in while wearing school clothes. A fire I started and thought I’d put out coming back with a vengeance. Fights. Early exposure to pictures of unclothed ladies. The creek was my … Continue reading

Lies I’ve Told, Part 1: The Peanut Butter Spoon

Mama cooked supper every night. And like other mothers, she did not want us to “spoil our supper.” So, when I asked one day after school if I could have a spoon full of peanut butter, she said no. “Please. I really want some peanut butter,” I said. “And people in hell want ice water. … Continue reading

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