Thursday, May 08, 2008 – Permalink –
By Michael Perry
About the Author
Michael Perry was raised on a small dairy farm near New Auburn, Wisconsin, and put himself through nursing school working as a cowboy in Wyoming. As of this writing, he is the only member of the New Auburn (nee Cartwright Mills) Area Fire Department to have missed the monthly meeting because of a poetry reading.
A collection of stories about life in a small Wisconsin town. What it's like to be in the volunteer fire department with your brothers and your mother.
Unable to polka or repair his own pickup, his farm-boy hands gone soft after years of writing, Mike figures the best way to regain his credibility is to join the volunteer fire department. Against a backdrop of fires and tangled wrecks, bar fights and smelt feeds, he tells a frequently comic tale leavened with moments of heartbreaking delicacy and searing tragedy.
"... The village board sent someone around to recite nuisance ordinances chapter and verse, but beyond rearranging the bikes and aligning the camper with the speedboat - feng shui primitif - nothing has changed. You take what you can get in this life. Someone calls you white trash, you go with it, and fight like hell to keep your trash. You understand it is a matter of distinctions: yuppies with their shiny trash, church ladies with their hand-stitched trash, solid citizens with their secret trash. In a yard just outside town, a spray-painted piece of frayed plywood leans against a tree. It reads Trans Ams: 2 for $2000. It has been there for two years."
New Auburn, Wisconsin, 54757
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<Doug Klippert@ 5:55 AM
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