Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

John Van Kirk

Second Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


Harold Smartwell heard the car coming up the road a long time before he saw it. He could hear its rubber tires popping the loose gravel that served to pave the road. Taking a long drink from the Coca Cola bottle he was holding, he squinted down the road toward the setting sun. Maybe somebody he knew was heading toward home, maybe a ride into Cleecey. Harold had promised his mother that he would make it home from the movies before dark, but in early July, dark didn’t come until late. Even if he didn’t get home before nightfall, he knew he wouldn’t get into trouble.

Harold’s momma was spending the night with his Granny Smartwell over in Dixon, so they could get up early the next morning and start canning apples. Fred Starnes had given them three bushels of those big golden delicious that grew back behind his place. Harold could picture them now, sitting at Granny’s big kitchen table, knives spiraling down the fat apples, hands flying free from thought and leaving a long, unbroken strip of golden skin. They would chat as they cut half way into the peeled fruit, then smartly twist their knife blades until the apples burst in two. From his earliest memory, he heard their voices catching up on family news, gossiping, and talking about how good an apple pie would taste in deep December. He’d spent his life watching the two women work at putting up everything from blackberries to homemade sausage, but just this year he’d felt the urge to leave the summer kitchens behind.


Creative writing – 20th century.

Kentucky – Fiction.

Included in

Fiction Commons