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The Alibi Store

   An adventure story of Johnny Bidler's summer working as a carnival barker and his discoveries regarding abusive people. Just after he graduates high school in May, 1965, he finds work helping set up booths for a carnival at his local fairgrounds.
   Mabel Morgan, who owns one-third of the show, introduces Johnny to several game owners, including Max Thompson. She takes him under her wing, helps him learn the language of the carnival, and advises him regarding pay and proper procedures.
   Max Thompson, the last man for whom Johnny works, asks him to work as an agent in the milk-bottle joint for the week the carnival is in town. Johnny’s need for college money causes him to agree to work for Max. During the week that he works the milk-bottle booth, Max asks him to consider working the game through the summer.
   While Johnny is driving home from helping set up the carnival, he hears a radio news report that says the Vietnam Conflict is escalating and that causes him to worry about getting drafted before he can get a student deferment.Max and Johnny build a tip-up-beer-bottle joint - the alibi store. Through the summer, they have continuous disputes regarding the beer-bottle game and pay. Johnny objects to working the alibi store because unless allowed to win, players always lose. Max always has to be prompted to pay Johnny the money he has earned.
   The Alibi Store illustrates how one young man chooses to stop the abusive treatment he receives from his father and his boss. In the process of dealing with these problems, Johnny discovers that the only constant in life is change.

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Reflections from an Hourglass

   Reflections from an Hourglass is an eclectic collection of free verse poetry. The Nature Poems range in subject from The Mountain Blue Bird to Honeysuckle Night. In this group of poems, Sand may prepare you to read A Murder (of crows); think of a crow flying. In the section People in Poems, the first poem, Escape, is another “puzzle” poem. The Mendicant, Scoundrel, and Watching a Leaving, as well as the other poems in the group, explore the nature of a wide variety of people. In the Perspectives segment, which is intended to provoke thought, questions are asked in Carousel, unintentional suicide is revealed in A Resolution, and in Retrospect, whimsy flies with the aide of a mixed metaphor. There are a few Love Poems, which include Day Dream and Heart Flames, and several Unrequited Love Poems where the reader can experience Courting Shadows, Illusions of Love, and A Portrait of Liquid Amnesia among other poems that illustrate lost love. Finally, the Cowboy Poetry section contains only All a Man Needs, Talkin' with a Woman, The View from a Porch, and Wagon Trails, all of which have been published in regional magazines.
   Twenty of the poems in this e-book have been published. They have appeared in either regional magazines, some of which no longer exist, or in both regional and national anthologies. Previous Publication Acknowledgments will tell you where and when the poems were published.

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Fools Tomorrow
A cautionary tale that illustrates the illusion
of control in business and in life.

   In 1951, Jon Whittee (a. k. a. The Leader) establishes Jon Whittee's Advertising Agency in Blair, Texas. His executive staff consists of the best men in their fields. Jon fears them all, and consequently, creates rules through which he controls them as if he owns them.
   During the brief history of the agency, the Family Group — the executives and their wives — struggles against each other. More importantly, they do all they can to usurp Jon's control over them.
   In an effort to remove Jon from the company, his most trusted executive suggests Jon run for mayor. The outcome of the election results in chaos within the company and between the executives and their wives.
   Jon makes every effort to maintain control of the Family Group and his company. Through his actions, Jon discovers an unexpected fate.
   Fools Tomorrow is a story of abuse of power, petty jealousy, character assassination, control, egotism, manipulation, and rape.

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Somewhere Out There

   Somewhere Out There is a diverse group of stories. A. K. A. Mister Murphy is a humorous story that goes beyond ridiculous and proves that Clyde, the writer of the letter/story, is, as evidenced by the details, a klutz. In Baseball Rules, a psychopath named Geoffery, plays "baseball" by his own rules, much to the detriment of his ex-wife Gloria. The Boss's Choice shows sexual harassment, in 1951 America, at its worst. The Losers shows how a Peregrine falcon, a red fox, and a team of ducks might interact. Timmy Weston experiences the results from a rabid skunk bite in Chasing Life Through a Shinnery. A grizzly bear causes the loss of a life and gold in A Lost Fortune. Through the eyes of an unknown protagonist, the story and results of an illegal hunt are revealed in Looking Out for Howard. A summer job as a carnival barker, causes Johnny Bidler to realize he has a conscience, and The Snow Tiger shows what he does to deal with it and his boss Max Thompson. Somewhere Out There is the story of a creature few, if in actual fact any, have ever seen; Caleb Woodman claims to have both seen and helped kill four of the lizard/birds. The results of John Seaburg's suicidal thoughts, manifest themselves in The Seekers. The Copper Mountain Rider is a ghost story first told by Harlan Jenkins during the drive to a hunting area, then experienced by his hunting partner John Saunders. Monsoon Depression shows how Frank Dawson deals with his divorce and job loss. The Penny Race reveals the rivalry bewteen Bobby Shields and Theodore Malcolm Byrns III, who both want to purchase an 1872 Indian Head Small Cent (penny). The String Jar illustrates how dangerous time travel can be if the ability is in the wrong hands. Thanksgiving with the Family Group shows how a "company family" can be as dysfunctional as any family in America. In The Antique Solution, George Faulks and Ginger Jeffers use "old" methods of communication to circumvent the ever observing Big Brother society in which they live; their attempt to escape that control leads to a life-threatening situation. Loss and Found is another letter/story from Clyde the klutz, to his friend Jake.

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