Dear ePublisher:

I really meant to write sooner, but the week I downloaded the Summer 2011 issue of Southern Reader, my folks’ house was hit by lightning, just as the old barn had been hit 20 years ago. And, for the record, a chicken house was also fried when I was about five. In fact, if I allow myself to go off on a tangent, I could speak about the six white oak stumps and the black oak stump that can be seen from the east end of our house—all struck by lightning in the last 10 years. But I’ll not go there.

Anyway, the electrical charge that came into the folks’ house snuck over here, (next door), unobserved, on one of the many wires that connect the two least that’s what the fire marshal told us next day. Can you guess which electrical component took a direct hit here in this house, leaving it disabled and me unable to communicate my good feelings about the recent emag I had just perused? The bottom line is that, without an implement of inspiration, it just took me a little longer to write this letter about the issue.

That being said, Lisa Love is still my favorite “Southern Reader Writer,” but I enjoy Ron Burch nearly as well. Most guys don’t like to talk themselves down—for any reason or under any circumstances—but he does it so gracefully. I also liked Anthony L. Holt’s reminisces, Marshall Lancaster’s lesson in wisdom and Jasper D. Skinner’s account of the war. The ePublisher’s Story was also very good—a bit more solemn than usual, but maybe it just touched me in a tenderer spot. Anyhow, I liked it.

Also, the article on Dallas Frazier was interesting. Why is it the public never hears so much about song writers like they do song singers? I hate to admit it, but I had never heard of Dallas Frazier and yet, I now know I’ve been enjoying some of his music for years.

Diane Kimbrell’s confession of being a coulda-been murderess was good. It’s a friendly reminder that people can’t be too careful. And Bettye H. Galloway’s tale about her pet chicken was interesting. We had a goose, when I was a kid, who behaved about like her “Chickadee.” It would follow us around like a dog, but if we’d try to pet it, we always got nipped. Getting nipped by a goose isn’t like being pecked by a chicken. You probably already knew about that hangy-down hook do-hicky on the end of a goose’s beak that they can twist and pull with. And she’d twist and pull the skin on your arm or the back of your hand and it would smart like all get-out. Didn’t take long for us to realize she was only a supervisor and not a playmate. She also used to sit on the bad light bulbs we threw on the floor in the feed rooms of the chicken houses, trying to hatch them.

Now I have rattled away plum down here to the end of this email, so I should leave you alone. I do pull up on occasion (I have it bookmarked), and I hope you are being flooded with good reviews. I have passed the address on to some of my family and friend (that’s singular...I have A friend) and hopefully, the dastardly lot of them pulled it up and appreciated what they read.

Have a good day; take care and all that other stuff we say when we sign off, and congrats on the issue. Very entertaining.

Doug Combs
Olney, Illinois

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