I don’t know why it is, but I tend to be fascinated with writers who are still alive and still writing.  I take them as my mentors. Ron Whitehead of Kentucky is one of those writers.  He is a Hunter Thompson protégé. The first time I read his work, I was immediately struck by how he takes his ordinary yet universal experiences and spends them into extraordinary tales that help me to unravel the uncommon in my own experiences.  I especially love how he skillfully extracts a moment in time and holds the reader’s attention.  You can follow Ron on Facebook and learn from his authenticity and his relationship with his readers.  You’re bound to learn that your personal stories are far more fascinating than you ever imagined.  I hope you enjoy his tribute to his father. ~jc

Photograph by Ron’s wife photographer Jinn Bug

On a hot summer June night
When I was 7 years old

Grandaddy Render and his entire Clan
Drove down from Louisville

To spend the weekend with us
On the farm

Whenever Grandaddy Render was around
Music and stories and wildness

Filled everything up and running over
Including beds and couches and floors

So a half dozen of us boys
Decided to put up our tent

And sleep in the backyard
But the party was inside

So right before sunset
We got the tent ready

For whenever we were forced
To go to sleep

And went back into the house
Where we joined in on the fun

As everyone grew louder
Talking singing yelling at the same time

Well apparently us boys
Were the loudest of all cause

Suddenly Daddy yelled
“Okay boys that’s it!

You’re way too loud so
Get outta the house!

All of you run to the chicken house
And touch it and run back!”

Oh No!
The chicken house was way over in the field!

And it was a dark night nearly midnight
The moon wasn’t even out!

But when Daddy said to do something
You better do it or you’d get a good beatin

So I said “Come on!”
And all half dozen of us boys

Filed through the utility room
And out the back screen door

Into the backyard where I said
“We better run!”

And we all sprinted down the backyard
Past our tent

At the barn we flew over the fence
Ran across the meadow

Past the pond
Climbed over the barbed wire fence

Then ran as fast as we could
Across the field

To the chicken house
When every one of us touched it

We started giggling
Then I said “Let’s go!”

And we reversed the journey
Gong as fast as our legs

Would carry us
Across the field

Over the barbed wire fence
Past the pond

Climbed the fence
And soon as we started

Racing across the yard
Back to the house

The most terrible howling scream
Any of us had ever heard

Came out from the barn
Every hair on my boy body

Stood straight up
We all turned together

And saw a gigantic white shrouded
Screaming Howling Clawing Grabbing Ghost

Running straight towards us
We all screamed “RUN!!!!”

And we crossed that backyard
Breaking every backyard

Racing record
We flew through the screen door

Back to the safety of the kitchen
Breathing hard we looked up

As Daddy walked in behind us
Laughing so hard he was crying

Daddy loved to scare
The hell outta us kids

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