*Not your average publishing company

Dear Jolene Montgomery


Dear Jolene Montgomery,

I have your copy of Trout Fishing in America. I picked it up at a used bookstore in Tucson Arizona almost 25 years ago. From the publication and printing information I have guessed your purchase date to be 1973. The book doesn’t feel like summer, fall, or winter so I am imagining that you bought it sometime in the spring. Spring is a good time to read a book like this with the words blooming like algae in a still pond.

In the spring of 1973, I was 5 years old and wore a Cub Scout bandana all the time. I was not in the Cub Scouts, but I was a fantastic pretender from even this early age. As a point of fact, I once pretended to be the roof-liner of a 1974 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. I spent 6 months drooping and sagging with cigarette burns and a large tear in my shirt. After this I did an ironing board but felt too pressed upon to continue and quickly changed to a vase. Watching flowers slowly die isn’t as bad as it sounds. Dying flowers are very noble.

At any rate, I have enjoyed the book as much as is possible and picked up several other books by this same author, though the ones with penned names inside the cover do not match yours. Perhaps if you should read this, I could return the book and we could share a coffee.

Your friend,
A blank page

Additional words by the author, Eric Lee Short:
I once read The First Circle and was so impressed by Solzhenitsyn that right there in the middle of the book I decided to be Russian. I should have known better from earlier attempts at being Oaxacan, a Brit, and even a Detroiter, but I can be stubborn and ironically faithful if the art is high enough, or something like that.

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