I didn’t get a chance to post last week because I was on my way to Alpine, Texas, for a writer’s retreat sponsored by the Writer’s League of Texas. My friend Beverly and I traveled across Texas to the Big Bend country by car. She drove every mile of the way—thirteen hours total, but for some reason we thought we had to make it to Fort Stockton the first day, which left an hour to go the next day.
This was my fourth visit to the retreat and Beverly’s first. She took Memoir and I was in the Non-fiction class. We both came away with a lot of new knowledge and friends.
I have another project to get started on (in addition to my second novel.) It will be a bio/memoir about my dad—Wally “Preacher” Hebert. Thanks to the class I took I have it outlined—just have to fill it in. With the help of my siblings it shouldn’t take too long.
On the second day of class our instructor gave us homework. We had been learning how to write scenes, so he sent us off to compose one. The following is my endeavor, entitled “The Tractor in the Cornfield.”
“Hey Preacher. Bet you can’t hit Uncle Jimmy’s tractor over there.” Red picked up a rock and tossed it to the lanky Cajun standing next to him. Red McGregor and Wally “Preacher” Hebert stood on the side of the road in front of a sea of green fronds curling in the breeze. Their ride was late picking them up for the drive to Firestone where they were scheduled to work the evening shift.
The ancient tractor stood next to the cornfield, its bright smokestack reaching for the sky. The hot Louisiana sunshine shimmered on the silvery pipe. The glare made it difficult for the two middle-aged men to see, but the one called Preacher hefted the baseball-sized rock in his left hand a couple of times, and calculated the distance between him and the tractor.
A little farther than from the mound to home plate. He hefted the rock again, wound up, and let it fly. The rock hit the shining pipe dead center. It flew off in three pieces and lost itself in the green silk of the ready-to-pick corn.
Red stared at his uncle’s maimed tractor. “Damn,” was all he said.