IZEE Growing Up In A Logging Camp: Introduction
Rusty Miles never had a real identity. I was that "Little Miles" kid, youngest of "The three Rs," Rita, Robert, and Russell. My parents were somewhat older than those of most of my friend's.
When we moved to Izee, I wondered why Dad wouldn't play baseball, like the other men in the logging camp. While other dads got together at the ball field, drank beer, played, and had lots of fun, my father would go off fishing, by himself.
Oh, I could go along with him, if I wanted too. But, Dad didn't believe in talking much because it "Scares away the trout." Anyway, it was more exciting to watch the younger men play baseball, after they got off work, and get into fights. Someone would cuss about being called: "Out!" The next thing you know, there would be fists flying everywhere.
Sometimes, their wives would get into it, too. Women are dirty fighters. They scratch, and pull hair. Maybe, even kick you someplace. That's why Mom said we didn't want to go. She went only one time. Just when the fighting and cussing got real good, Mom said: "Rusty, I'm glad your father isn't here to see this. We're going home! These people are just, plain, stupid. They drink up every dime they earn, and they don't even have a pot to piss in!"
My Mom was right. While we Miles had indoor plumbing, most of our neighbors still used outhouses. "We are not going to learn to talk like this, Rusty. These people should wash their mouths out with soap, but they probably don't even have any. If they do, they sure never use it!"
There was never conflict in our house. We had better sense than to fight among ourselves. We were a family. Mom saw to it.
"People in families stick up for one another. They defend each other and do what's right." As Mother often said, "Anyone, with a lick of good sense, should know that."
A spectator but once, Mom didn't like me to go to watch the baseball because of all of the fighting. I'd tell her, "It doesn't happen much, anymore. All of my friends get to go!" Mother would sigh, sit down with Agatha Christi, tell me to "Be back before dark, and you walk home!" I was not to ride in a car with people who had been drinking, even if the driver's own children did. It was a long walk home, from the ball field to the cookhouse, where we lived.
IZEE by Russ Miles © 2004
Russ Miles is the author of the novel, For Sale By Owners:FSBO.
Seasoned Real Estate NAR® Broker Disabled by Multiple Sclerosis,
FOR SALE BY OWNERS:FSBO ISBN 0-595-28703-4,in trade paperback,
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The American Library Association is facing significant financial challenges. The Trump administration wants to gut federal support for libraries. And librarians are fighting over whether its next executive director should be required to have a MLS degree...
The National Book Critics Circle announced the winners of its 2017 awards tonight:
Layli Long Soldier, Whereas (Graywolf)
Carina Chocano, You Play The Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Trainwrecks, & Other Mixed Messages (Mariner)
Xiaolu Guo, Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China (Grove)
Caroline Fraser, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Metropolitan Books)
Frances FitzGerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (Simon & Schuster)
Joan Silber, Improvement (Counterpoint)
The John Leonard Prize:
Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf)
The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing:
The Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award:
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And while shares of print and e-book readers are similar to those from a survey conducted in 2016, there has been a modest but statistically significant increase in the share of Americans who read audiobooks, from 14% to 18%.
Overall, Americans read an average (mean) of 12 books per year, while the typical (median) American has read four books in the past 12 months. Each of these figures is largely unchanged since 2011, when the Center first began conducting the surveys of Americans' book reading habits.
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