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INDEPENDENCE DAY AT BRENDA'S NUT FARM, 1938

NEITHER MEG OR HER OLDER HALF-SISTER BEVERLY HAD ANY IDEA WHAT INDEPENDENCE DAY WAS, OR WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. AFTER ALL, ANY UNDERSTANDING OF THE "REAL" WORLD, OR OF HISTORY, HAD RESULTED FROM OCCASIONAL TRIPS TO A WALMART PARKING LOT AND FROM LISTENING TO BRENDA'S 1938 WURLITZER. BUT INDEPENDENCE DAY HAD COME AND MEG WAS JUST ABOUT TO LOSE HER MIND FROM THE EXCITEMENT "SO TO SPEAK"...

SISTER BEVERLY - ON THE OTHER HAND (OR FOOT) - HAVING CAREFULLY LISTENED TO THE WURLITZER - HAVING A MUCH SHORTER FUSE THAN MEG, HAD FORTIFIED HER MIND. SHE DID NOT INTEND TO LOSE IT. AFTER ALL, SHE HAD GLEANED FROM THE WURLITZER THERE COULD BE AN ATTACK INITIATED BY AN IRATE BAND OF ILLEGAL SHAWNEE INDIANS BEING BUSSED BACK TO CENTRAL AMERICA FOR HAVING ENTERED THE COUNTRY THROUGH THE CUMBERLAND GAP TRYING TO STEAL DANIEL BOONE'S NUTS AND REDISTRIBUTE THEM TO PEARL HARBOR IN NEW YORK BETTY CROCKER CAKE MIXES RECALLED GROUCHO MARX... YOU BET YOUR LIFE - HARRY REID LOSES HIS SEAT... ELIZABETH TAYLOR RE-MARRIED THE ROCKET'S RED GLARE THE BOMBS BURSTING CORE CURRICULUMS IN AIR WITH THE S AND P 500 INDEX REACHING ONE THOUSAND, SEVEN HUNDRED POINTS...

BEVERLY INTENDED TO BE PREPARED. HER NIPPLES WERE TURGID FROM CONCERN SOME OF HER NUTS WHICH SHE HAD PERSONALLY GATHERED, SORTED, AND CRACKED, MIGHT WELL BECOME REDISTRIBUTED TO THOSE HAVING NO NUTS OF THEIR OWN. SHE INTENDED TO BE INDEPENDENT FROM ANY AND ALL OF IT.

AND MEG? HER MIND BEING LOST? WELL, CLIMATE CHANGE HAD REARED IT'S UGLY HEAD, BECOMING BEAUTIFUL FOR THE SPLIT SECOND REQUIRED TO GENERATE A FLASH FLOOD WHICH WOULD EXTINGUISH HER FUSE...

IT WAS, IS, AND WILL REMAIN EXCEEDINGLY COMPLEX... ONE MIGHT WELL HALFWAY NOT WANT TO BE THERE IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND...