short story #9

Winnebago
 
FATHERS
 
The twelve-foot underpass on this two-lane backroad momentarily stopped us. Mr. Hester was borrowing the ten-foot Winnebago from his father-in-law and never made the connection that he had a three-foot air conditioner on top.
            He was driving our Methodist church youth group to a summer music festival at Camp Sumatanga, a thankless endeavor given our crew of teenaged hormones.
            Greeeeeaaaaaaaak.
            “Goddamyoumotherfuckinsunuvafabitch.”
            The last five syllables, barely comprehensible, hit decibel levels beyond the nearby hills.
            “Benny!  Get out and check it!”
            And so Benny, his son, did, stepping in fresh dog shit on the roadside, and muttering to himself as he returned to the rolling cabin on his way to the shower stall. 
 
My father laughed when I told him this tale the next day.
            “What a schmuck,” he said.
            He never went on such trips, never volunteered to go. He never owned a Winnebago either, or wanted to. He was wiser than Mr. Hester. 
            And Jewish.
 
– Terry Barr
 
 
 
Terry Barr writes about music and memory for CultureMass, and teaches Creative Nonfiction at Presbyterian College. His work has appeared in The Museum of Americana, Red Fez, Steel Toe Review, and RiverLit.
 
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