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Brandon Meeks

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Boy Meets Girl

I grew up in a family that couldn’t seem to sire any offspring that wasn’t a manchild. So apart from the matrons of the clan, we boys had little exposure to the strange ways of womenfolk. As it stood, I knew next to nothing about reading moods. Or even that moods were the sort of thing that needed interpretation. This…
Brandon Meeks
January 4, 2023
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The Bootlegger

When I talk about where and how I grew up, folks, even a bit older than me, assume that not only am I from another state, they imagine I must be from another century. Case in point. My home county is dry. I don’t mean that we get little rain, I mean that we have no legal alcohol. This is…
Brandon Meeks
November 17, 2022
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Good Directions

The fella that runs the local feed store is a Cajun from Ville Platte, Louisiana. He moved up here to Arkansas because the woman he met in the personal ads said she could abide thickets and pine trees but would not tolerate bayous or raising a coonass baby. I stopped by the store yesterday because I needed some laying pellets…
Brandon Meeks
October 11, 2022
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The Rainmakers

Uncle Dude and Aunt Lura lived across the field beside us when I was growing up. They were both born between the two World Wars and lived through the Depression. Dude was born at the foot of Mount Saint Helens, Lura was born in the same room where she died in the Arkansas Delta. They had lots of odd superstitions…
Brandon Meeks
October 4, 2022
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Second Hand Memories

Memory is the thing with which we forget. I tend to believe that Memory lives in those deep crevices in the soft pink tissue of the brain; in the darkness of the crooked rows that look to have been dug by a plow mule with the blind staggers. A man can be going along, thinking a thought, and Memory will…
Brandon Meeks
July 28, 2022
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A Bushel of Poke Salad and a Gallon and a Half of Coal Oil

Uncle Jim didn’t care much for Lyin’ Ed and nobody really knew why. Some speculated that it had to do with the fact that both had been sweet on Aunt Ginny decades earlier. Others reckoned that it stemmed from a schoolyard rivalry that had followed them into adulthood and now into old age. Aunt Ginny once gave voice to the…
Brandon Meeks
July 14, 2022
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Mother Jones

Some people won’t believe in something they haven’t seen, others refuse to believe in something precisely because they have. When it came to the question of religious egalitarianism, I reckon my people were firmly in the latter category. Even as a boy I knew that there were as many kinds of religions in our small Southern town as there were…
Brandon Meeks
June 23, 2022
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The Intruder

I suppose that most men would like to think that they could shoot someone to defend life and limb. But I expect that many wonder if they actually could pull the trigger if it came down to it. This was certainly true of me. It is almost a truism that every house in the South contains more guns than people.…
Brandon Meeks
June 8, 2022
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The Neighbor

Robert Frost tells us that “good fences make good neighbors.” I suppose there is some truth to that. But I met the best neighbor I ever had the night his fence row burned to the ground. At the time, I was living in Forrest County, Mississippi. Pastoring a country country church that was the product of three earlier splits. Of…
Brandon Meeks
May 25, 2022
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The Fox Hunt

I’ve heard tell that fox hunting is the sport of kings. Be that as it may, in the hills of Arkansas it is largely the purview of fools and knaves. There are no aristocrats. No gaudy outfits. No prized horses. In fact, there are usually no horses at all. Perhaps stranger still, no guns. Unless someone totes a side arm…
Brandon Meeks
May 11, 2022
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The Legend of the Dogwood

My grandmother is the closest thing to a saint I have ever known. She is good and kind. She gives herself away until she is all but spent. She has always worked hard and loved harder. She prays and goes to church. And I’ve only known her to cuss when it thunders. But like many of the medieval saints, her…
Brandon Meeks
April 27, 2022
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Dirt

When I was a boy I was convinced that when God decided to make the world He started with Arkansas. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers were merely nicknames for the Ouachita and the Mighty Mississippi that hemmed in our corner of the Delta. And the first man, Adam, likely lived somewhere between West Memphis and the Louisiana line. After all,…
Brandon Meeks
April 14, 2022
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The Silent Killer

I started playing the piano when I was 11. My family wasn’t musical and didn’t own a piano. So every afternoon when the bus dropped me off from school I would walk the mile from my house to my grandmother’s house. She had an old upright with so many missing bits of ivory that it looked like a snaggle-toothed kid…
Brandon Meeks
March 16, 2022
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The Hog Killin’

A dozen years ago or so, I was pastoring a small country church in the smallest county in the state of Mississippi. After church, one of the deacons said, “We’ve got a big dinner set on. You wanna come eat? Gonna be good.” “Sure,” says I. His name was Gabe. He was chairmen of the deacon board, pater familias to…
Brandon Meeks
February 28, 2022