Dairy Queen Days
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The place: Moseley, Georgia. The time: the summer of 1979. As 16-year-old Trout Moseley moves to the small town that bears his family’s name and legacy, his mother is a patient in an Atlanta psychiatric facility and his father -- a 300-pound motorcycle-riding Methodist minister -- is delivering scandalous sermons comparing Jesus with Elvis and the Holy Ghost with his college football coach. As summer stretches toward an uncertain future, Trout faces the challenge of reconciling powerful ancestral traditions with his search for a sense of self. He finds refuge in a job at Dairy Queen and in Keats, the strong-willed, sharp-tongued girl who captures his heart. But when chaos breaks out, Trout must figure out how to save himself.
Robert Inman is the author of four novels, including “Home Fires Burning,” “Old Dogs and Children,” and “Captain Saturday.” His fifth novel, “The Governor’s Lady,” will be published in Fall, 2013. He has written six motion pictures for television including two “Hallmark Hall of Fame” productions. His seven stage plays, including an adaptation of “Dairy Queen Days,” are published by Dramatic Publishing Company. Inman is an Alabama native and University of Alabama graduate. He and his wife Paulette live in Conover and Boone, North Carolina.
stood looking at it for a moment, then on impulse he leaned close and put his ear next to the plaster girl’s. Nothing. He straightened quickly, looked around, felt his face flush. HEADLINE: BOY HEARS SECRET OF LIFE FROM STATUE. VISITS POPE TUESDAY. Trout looked at his wristwatch. Three-thirty. He was wide awake now. Might as well get a few things done. He found the church unlocked too, and toted several boxes full of Joe Pike’s preacher stuff to the study. It was empty except for a mahogany
Son and the Holy Ghost. And beyond that, I’m pretty much open.’ And the Holy Ghost said, ‘That’ll have to do for starters.’ And then He told me to rest up and then get on back to Moseley, Georgia and work on the rest of it. So here I am.” It was astonishing, Trout thought. He had sat through years of Joe Pike’s preaching, and this was something entirely new. Joe Pike’s sermons had always been heavy on scripture and theology, spiced with anecdotes and snippets of humor -- a clever phrase here, a
discourse about the hardware business. Aunt Alma was unusually quiet. Perhaps, Trout thought, still taken aback by Joe Pike’s sermon. She seemed to have made an effort to soften herself today. Her dress was a fluffy summery thing and there was a string of pearls just below her throat. Something, Trout thought, of the girl she had once been. There was a prim set to her mouth and she ate with small, precise motions. Uncle Cicero liked talking hardware and he liked the word “your.” As in, “You’ve
“Christ!” he blurted. Just then, the door from the kitchen opened. Rosetta stood there staring at them. My, my. White folks ‘bout to come to blows in here. Fightin’ over Jesus. At the table, there was an embarassed silence. Finally, Rosetta said to the blasphemers, “Fellow on the phone said to come quick. Wardell Dubarry’s painting his house.” By the time they got there -- all riding in Cicero’s police cruiser -- Wardell Dubarry was well along. It was a bright red, a shade that reminded Trout
kids your age don’t want their parents telling them what to do and how to think. I didn’t. I wanted my father to just leave me alone.” “Is that why you ran away from Georgia Military Academy and went to school at Moseley High?” “Yes.” “Is that why you went all the way to Texas to play football?” “Mostly.” “Well, that’s fine for you,” Trout said. “I don’t want you telling me what to do either. But I want you there when I need you. And you’re not there.” “I’m sorry,” Joe Pike said quietly,