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When I independently published my first book Document on February 29, 2016, it was seemingly as random as the day on which it was published. (Leap Year). …


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There was a time in my life when the memories were fresh, but eventually they began to fade and almost completely disappeared into the subconscious recesses of my mind. It took my father’s passing almost three decades later to bring them back, in an effort to make sense of all those things that I had left behind. After all, it’s undeniably part of the fabric of what I became. To deny it would be a lie. But in confronting the past, I have also been forced to confront the hazardous and ever-changing nature of memory itself.

Empty colosseum

Colossus of steel and…


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Downtown from the White Rock Lake Trail

The question was asked recently. Why did you leave Washington?

Because Washington was never home, and I never intended or wanted to return. But circumstances intervened. I tried to set up shop in our family home in Arkansas. It was late 2016, and I had just come off a two-year military mobilization to Washington. My wife wanted me to take a break. So I did, but the “break” entailed publishing a second book and taking a court-appointment to represent a man for the appeal of his federal conviction. So although we call 2017 my sabbatical, it was actually a time of trying to make it work at home without the need to live away from the family. But it didn’t last. I had to go back to real work, and by January of 2018, that’s what I did. Where? In Washington, of course. …


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This is a personal story. These observations are based on things I have witnessed and have happened in my life. My mission here is to tell a story from the perspective of a family and a person that have seen and experienced things the overwhelming majority of football fans have not. People can pay attention or they can ignore it. It’s a free country, and we all have the freedom to think, believe and have any opinion we want. People can consume the products they want to consume.

But I confess I have one other purpose than to just tell a personal story. It’s to point out what I see to be a fracture in the moral soul of this country that appears inconsistent with what we preach, and this phenomenon crosses all social and political lines; Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives, all races, religions, and genders, fans of football. Ironically, the consumption of football is one of the few things that actually unites Americans from all walks and areas of life.


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Chapter 1

Although this story contains things from the world in which we live, it should be read as a work of fiction. All characters are fictional and not based on any actual living person. The events that take place in this story are entirely the product of my imagination.

Jack Armstrong pulled the Jeep Wrangler into the designated parking spot next to the dive bar. The plate on his bright yellow jeep proclaimed him a veteran of the already two-decade-old century’s wars, this one, the so called “Operation Enduring Freedom,” which now after almost twenty years of continuous war was a catch-all name for anyone who’d deployed to anywhere in the world outside Iraq in the never-ending effort to stop terrorism or line the coffers of the weapons industry, depending on your political point of view, or more accurately, which Kool Aid you preferred to consume. …


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The football industry has been due a reckoning for years. Neuroscience — to this point — hasn’t been able to bring it about. No amount of logic or established medical science has done it. Leave it to a most unlikely and ironic source to bring the football industry and its warped culture to their knees: A microorganism.

The industry has been locked in what it perceives is a pitched battle for years with emerging medical science that tells us that football is dangerous for the current and long-term health of players. Football has attempted to deflect these facts and the medical science in various ways. The industry has gone so far as to claim there is no connection between football and insidious diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s and CTE. They have gone so far as to shout down and silence medical professionals. …


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A Retelling

“I reached some plains so vast, that I did not find their limit anywhere I went, although I traveled over them for more than 300 leagues, with no more landmarks than if we had been swallowed up by the sea. There was not a stone, nor bit of rising ground, nor a tree, nor a shrub, nor anything to go by.”

Spanish conquistador Francisco Coronado, 1541

The land was hard.

Had it ever been fertile?

Perhaps.

But there was nothing to indicate it now.

Bedrock.

Chaparral.

Cacti.

Dirt.

Sand.

Vegetation that defied the heat.

A near absence of rainfall. …


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Languid, summer afternoon

Unsullied by noise or movement;

Warm air, soft like a blanket

Hangs like a floating shroud.

River birch stands like a sentinel

Keeping watch over the scene,

As crepe myrtles sway gently.

Sawgrass shimmers slightly

And a lone bird sings out overhead,

Searching for friends.

Clouds drift softly across the sky

Like ships on a celestial harbor,

Sliding slowly, inexorably on some current;

Toward the horizon,

Disappearing in the fading light.

Or simply passing out of sight.


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Although it contains things from the world in which we live and references actual places, this story should be read as a work of fiction. All characters are fictional and not based on any actual living person. The characters and events that take place are entirely the product of my imagination.

He had always felt like it was a fluke of sorts, the fact that he’d been born in such a small town. If one considered it, it was kind of random. The family lived in Little Rock and that was where he had grown up, but that wasn’t where he was born. What they were doing in Paragould was still — all these years later — a mystery to him. And yet, that’s what his birth certificate proclaimed and it was what he had to put down as his birthplace when it was required, even though he hadn’t spent a day in his life living there, nor did he or his family know a single resident of the town. …


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William Wallace National Monument — Stirling, Scotland

A Perspective on Living Outside the Conventional Wisdom

ren·​e·​gade | “re-ni-gād”

Renegade. Noun. A person who deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles. A person who abandons a religion or set of beliefs; an apostate. A person who behaves in a rebelliously nonconformist manner.

Renegade: Adjective. Having treacherously changed allegiance. Having deserted a faith, cause, or religion for a hostile one. Having rejected tradition. UNCONVENTIONAL

Origin. Late 15th century: from Spanish renegado, from medieval Latin renegatus ‘renounced’, past participle (used as a noun) of renegare, from re- (expressing intensive force) + Latin negare ‘deny’.

“A long, long time ago, a renegade was a Christian who decided to become Muslim. That definition is now outdated, and these days a renegade is anyone who breaks laws or expectations to do their own thing or join the other side. Although it may sound cool to be a renegade, renegades or renegade-type actions are generally frowned upon.”

About

Glen Hines

Fortunate son. Lucky husband. Doting father. Marine Corps Veteran. On a writer’s journey. Author of the Anthology Trilogy & Bring in the Gladiators @amazon.

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