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.
a typing manual similar to the one Trout had used in class at Ohatchee High, and a volume on organic gardening. The desk also held a portable typewriter and beside it, a thin stack of typed sheets. He thought of reading them while he waited, but decided against it. Whatever she had written, it was private. And in a place like this your private thoughts would surely be intensely personal and even painful, part of whatever it was they did here to help you save yourself. There was much he wanted to
red tee-shirt. Joe Pike’s underwear was likewise pale pink, but he didn’t seem to notice, or at least he didn’t remark upon it. Joe Pike’s mind seemed to be fixed on the motorcycle, or whatever larger thing it was that the motorcycle represented. There was a gently stubborn set to his jaw, almost a grimness there. On Sundays his sermons were vague, rambling things, trailing off in mid-sentence. He didn’t seem to be paying the sermons much attention, either. In the pews, members of the
Pike Moseley the football player. He could see the shabby wooden pressbox a great distance away, up there at the top of the stands, and he said to himself that he would never make it because his legs had stopped bending at the knee and his butt was bumping along the concrete steps and he had lost heart. He had passed mere pain on the first trip up, and by now everything was simply sweat-gushing, gut-churning, air-sucking misery. By the time he neared the top, he was barely moving. He thought
more? Overpopulation? Holes in the ozone layer? HEADLINE: EVERYTHING TURNS OUT OKAY. “All of it.” She gave a little flip of her hand, bestowing all-rightness on the world. “Look, Aunt Alma, if you want me to work at the mill…” “No,” she said firmly. “I think you’ve made the right choice, Trout.” She waved at the Dairy Queen. “Enjoy yourself. No pressure. A little spending money in your pocket and nothing earthshaking to worry about.” No, nothing but a girl trying to take my clothes off.
cut loose?” “I believe that is exactly what he is doing.” “Can he? On his own?” “Oh, yes.” “Profit and progress,” Trout repeated Cicero’s mantra. Phinizy nodded. “He doesn’t need Aunt Alma’s money?” Trout asked. “No.” “Then why is he so nervous about her?” “Because he’s in love with her.” It was an incredible thought and it did a little ricochet number on the inside of his head. Aunt Alma was…Aunt Alma. It was as difficult to think of her as a, well, a love object, as it was to imagine