Rural Missouri - August 2011 - (Page 36)

N E I G H B O R S by Jim McCarty jmccarty@ruralmissouri.coop e’s flown across the Atlantic, followed the Lewis and Clark Trail, scuba dived in the Caribbean, photographed the Rocky Mountains and pedaled across Montana. But these days, Stan Crader’s adventures really knew about,” says Stan. keep him a little closer to home. One of these is a lady who dresses in Since 2007, when his first book, “The men’s clothes and works on cars. Stan Bridge,” was published, this Black River remembers being afraid of her Marble Electric Cooperative member has been Hill counterpart, who kept mean dogs offering up a look at what it was like in a fenced-in yard that was devoid of growing up in small-town America durany grass. “Everyone asked why I didn’t ing the 1960s. This book and another put her in the first book. Problem was, called “Paperboy” tell the story of TomI wanted everyone to have a redeeming my Thompson, who may or may not be quality. I didn’t know how to do that.” Stan. Tommy lives in a fictional town In “Paperboy,” readers learn she is called Colby, which some might recoghiding from a dark past and has adopted nize as Stan’s hometown of Marble Hill. the persona to stay hidden. “It’s a novel,” Stan says of his books. Few of the people in this book are “Everything is made really what they seem, including the up, nothing is town gossip, the high school princitrue. But, all of pal and old Mr. Koch. Only the town’s the stories are paperboy takes the time to get to know inspired by these people. When he does, the town something Marble HIll changes — for the better. that hap• Tagged as Christian fiction, neither of pened to these books is an in-your-face sermon. me, someInstead, those depicted in the books thing that make mistakes, but learn and atone for happened to a friend or something that them. “It’s not a book where you are was told to me by someone.” going to have a Bible lesson,” Stan says. Stan says the incentive to write came “I wanted to write a story, and I wanted from his wife, Debbie, who grew up in it to be suitable for anybody. If my mom St. Louis and had an altogether different picked up the book, I wouldn’t want to upbringing than her small-town husbe embarrassed. So many books, they band. Stan never realized the people he feel like they’ve got to put smut in there. met while bagging groceries or deliverYou don’t need that.” ing the newspaper were unusual. Stan used the books to comment on In “The Bridge,” Stan wanted readers weighty topics that are as relevant today to travel back to their youth by recogas they were in the 1960s. Racism, teen nizing events and people from their pregnancy, war, gossip and crime all own experiences. “I wanted it to be a make their mark on Colby’s inhabitants. bridge to the reader’s own memories. With both of his books selling well The perfect novel provides just enough — and all of the profits going to charinformation for the reader to create Stan Crader’s two novels — “The Bridge” and “Paperboy” — tell what it was ity — Stan was encouraged to get started their own visual. They can create a betlike growing up in a small town much like Marble Hill during the 1960s. on a third book in the Colby series. This ter picture than you can with words.” one will be called “Fifteen.” In it, we find The story recalls the summer of 1967, Tommy and company nearing the magical age terpart in Marble Hill or Lutesville, which merged when the biggest concerns for 12-year-old Tommy when a driver’s license opens up new freedoms into one town in 1986. One of these was the Thompson were earning enough money to buy a along with great responsibility. Houn Dawg, a drive-up diner that plays a big role mini bike and how to win the heart of Wendy . . . While he admits writing is hard work, Stan in both books. or maybe it will be Melody. says he’s enjoying it as much as his previous The area’s old iron bridge is long gone, but Here Stan introduces us to a cast right out adventures. These days, he’s spending less time kids still fish and swim in the creek that it once of “Mayberry R.F.D.” There’s Uncle Cletus, who at the family business, a Stihl power equipment crossed. Stan moved the bridge onto the same Tommy turns to for advice. There’s his best friend, wholesale supply. With operations in six states, road as the cave, something that puzzled a lot of Booger, who must cope with a family tragedy. Stan could have relocated to a larger town long locals who read the book. “People ask me where There’s a school bully named Clyde Goodpasture, ago. But he says he prefers the smallthat road is I talk about,” Stan says. who terrorizes Tommy and his friends. Then town atmosphere of Marble Hill. “There’s no iron bridge on the way there’s the Codgers who loaf on the bench at the “Everyone I knew in college had to the cave, they say. It’s a novel, I courthouse and the ladies at the Colby Curl. to go to work in an office in a city, can do that.” Many readers of Stan’s books have identified Hear Stan read from his living in an apartment and wearing While “The Bridge” is a great look with his characters. In fact, a lady who grew up in books in our online edition a coat and tie. For me, going to Cape back in time, Stan’s writing really Germany told Stan she knew people just like the at www.ruralmissouri.coop. (Girardeau) would have been scary. came of age, along with Tommy, in ones he wrote about. Way too much concrete.” the sequel. “Paperboy” shows how “In reality, nobody is interesting enough in preconceived notions about even the most unsathemselves to be a character in a good book,” You can order Stan’s novels from book stores or vory characters often are wrong. Stan says. “So you’ve got to take a blend, and from his website at www.stancrader.com. Profits go to “With ‘Paperboy,’ it was for people to take the that’s what it is. Although there were a few charthe Joplin tornado relief effort or the Missouri Consertime to get to know someone and find out that acters in the book who didn’t need a lot of help.” vation Heritage Foundation. they have a redeeming quality that no one ever Most of the book’s locations had a real coun- H The Village Novelist Stan Crader offers a glimpse of small-town life using the people and places of Marble Hill 36 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://www.ruralmissouri.coop http://www.stancrader.com http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - August 2011

Rural Missouri - August 2011
Comments
Columns
Stop and smell the barbecue
2011 Missouri Youth Tour
The fight on Bloody Hill
Missouri snapshots
Out of the Way Eats
Eight seconds to win
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
Touring history
Marketplace
Around Missouri
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - August 2011

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