The jerrod

series

Jerrod Texas - a way of life slowly dies

Jerrod, Texas like many other small towns in the Lone Star State is aging without dignity or hope. Founded at the turn of the twentieth century in the first cotton boom before World War I, its semi-desert climate made it an ideal place to exploit sandy soil and cheap labor. 

The founding families also farmed wheat and melon crops to rest the cotton-depleted soil. Their sons who served in World War II came back to claim their legacies and put the town's laborers to work adding to their wealth.

The children of that generation heeded the baby boomer mandate of self-betterment through education or high-paying factory jobs. They left behind the sons and daughters of workers with no prospects.

The community draws its last breaths as automation and corporate farms require fewer and fewer dawn-til-dusk laborers. Occasionally there is an oil boom to help the economy to one knee. 

People like the central characters in this book can be found in any dynastic farming community. They are the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who made the town work to their benefit and passed along mortgage-free farms and ranches which guaranteed sustenance for those who resisted the urge to leave.

The dynasty children face the same challenges all such generations face--make a go of it or lose it all. The stories in the Jerrod Series visit the lives of those from both persuasions.

Jerrod, Texas vicinity

The jerrod

series

Jerrod Texas - a way of life slowly dies

Jerrod, Texas vicinity

The community draws its last breaths as automation and corporate farms require fewer and fewer dawn-til-dusk laborers. Occasionally there is an oil boom to help the economy to one knee. 

People like the central characters in this book can be found in any dynastic farming community. They are the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who made the town work to their benefit and passed along mortgage-free farms and ranches which guaranteed sustenance for those who resisted the urge to leave.

The dynasty children face the same challenges all such generations face--make a go of it or lose it all. The stories in the Jerrod Series visit the lives of those from both persuasions.

Jerrod, Texas like many other small towns in the Lone Star State is aging without dignity or hope. Founded at the turn of the twentieth century in the first cotton boom before World War I, its semi-desert climate made it an ideal place to exploit sandy soil and cheap labor. 

The founding families also farmed wheat and melon crops to rest the cotton-depleted soil. Their sons who served in World War II came back to claim their legacies and put the town's laborers to work adding to their wealth.

The children of that generation heeded the baby boomer mandate of self-betterment through education or high-paying factory jobs. They left behind the sons and daughters of workers with no prospects.

   Kilborn is a classic tale of the most enduring conflicts: father v. son, age v. youth, sanity v. madness.

   The protagonist is Drake Kilborn, a virtuoso spray plane pilot, golden boy of his hometown Jerrod, TX and victim of his own encroaching madness. He's in the sights of Texas Ranger Freddy Espinoza who works for him undercover.

 

   “Drake, whatcha doin’?” Drake picked up a crescent wrench and scratched the side of his jaw with it. “Fixin’ it.”

 “What’s wrong with it?”

Drake giggled and looked to one side, cocked his head down as if sharing a secret. “Don’t know. I’m gonna find out. Look at all this stuff. It looks like worms in here,” he said, pointing to the engine well.

Freddy was relieved. It was obvious from the bird’s nest of hoses and tubes Drake had piled on the engine, the car wasn’t going anywhere for a long time. Freddy glanced down below the fan blade.  A discarded radiator hose was almost hiding the tracker’s red light. Freddy had no reason to believe Drake had seen it. 

Drake leaned up. “What are you doin’ here?”

  “You told me to come today.”

  “Musta been somebody else. Never mind. Hey, Momma,” he yelled, “come meet my new friend.” Drake pitched the wrench on the top of the car’s battery, turned, and walked quickly toward the rear of the hanger.

  It was obvious Drake wasn’t going anywhere, as his behavior was becoming more erratic. Freddy got in his car and drove toward the crossing. Had he turned and looked back, he would have seen Drake back at the hangar door, wiping away a tear and smiling the most brittle of smiles.

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   Freddy holstered his weapon, took the light back from Dan, slid on his heels to the creek bottom and to Drake’s limp body. Dan followed him down and swallowed hard. It looked like a mangled rag doll. The EMT's came behind him.

  Freddy’s first shot puffed a plume of sand in front of the beast’s snout, causing it to flinch, look up, and back away from Drake Kilborn’s body. A sow and piglets ran into the shadows of overhanging willows.

  There was a coolness settling in the air, but Freddy felt a trickle of sweat moving down his spine. He steadied his grip, took a breath, exhaled and squeezed the trigger again. The boar to jump backward and shook.

  The beast squealed as the third shot hit him. He turned and stumbled halfway up the opposite bank, paused, tumbled to the bottom on his back, kicked the air and fell still.

Espinoza begins with Texas Ranger Freddy Espinoza being called to the wreck scene where spray plane pilot Drake Kilborn is being attacked by a feral hog.

  As they moved closer to the creek, the stinging acrid smell grew stronger as a primal cacophony of squeals and grunts rose from the creek bottom.

  Baker moved beside Freddy. “You want me to hold your light?” 

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  He backed down the metal steps on the side of the grain bin. On the ground, he looked over the top of the front wheel then got on his hands and knees to look around the bottom. He spotted the long chrome handle of the wrench sticking out of the wheel flange. He leaned in on all fours, grabbed the tool, and began to back out.

As he stood, he scraped his forehead on the tire’s tread. He reached up, felt the wet. Blood. Again. He knew it would bleed like he had been struck by a hammer because of the medications. He leaned against the tire, pushed the rag onto the wound, took it away, looked, dabbed.

He swallowed and looked up. A single hawk was making figure eight’s in the uprushing hot air currents. Wonder what that's like?

   He wiped his hands with the ever-present red rag. From the top of the John Deere Harvester, he could see miles in any direction.  

   He took his baseball cap off and wiped the sweat from his bald head with the back of his hand. Three hours after sunrise, the heat was setting a mirage over the small Texas cotton-farming town of Jerrod, five miles away. He shrugged, took the ratchet wrench out of his back pocket, and lined it up with the nut on a pulley. He pushed hard. The wrench came off and banged out of sight toward the bottom of the machine.

Scotty McTague has decided this will be his last year running the family's commercial wheat-harvesting business. But, he must prepare the machinery and assemble the crew for one more sweep through the fields of High Plains.

  “This is it. It ends this year,” Scotty McTague whispered. He massaged his left hand, rubbing the tingle away. Yeah. You said that a year ago.

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