Listening to a Continent Sing

the companion website to the book by Donald Kroodsma


Western Kentucky: Burgin

May 23, 9:00 a.m.

Sunrise at 6:26 a.m.

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Riding peacefully down Main Street in Burgin, having just heard two dickcissels outside of town, I'm drawn to the ruckus off to the left, where several students are having the time of their life.

"It'll make you feel better--just throw it into the garbage bin." Textbooks, no longer needed here and wanted by no one anywhere, from The Elements of Style to Adventures in English Literature to Geometry ("the most evil thing in the world"), are ripped from their covers and thrown into the dumpster. All freshmen, they volunteered for this job: Jason, Ben, David, Wesley, Moose, Travis, and Rob, but they had nicknames, too, "Weasel, Brady, Boner, Moose, Sloth, T, and me . . . can't say my nickname on air . . . la Bitch . . . with a capital B . . ."

". . . we love Kentucky . . . Kentucky's the best state. . . not as polluted as California . . . we don't like gay marriages . . ." At which they profess some repulsion at the idea that, back in my home state of Massachusetts, gay marriage is now legal.

And where are they headed from here? Will they stay in Burgin? "I'm going to California . . . Texas . . . He's going to get laid . . . You cannot say 'get laid' on video camera . . . I'm going to Michigan . . . with that accent? . . ."

On why the pants are worn so low: "I like to show my butt off . . ."

To the merry sounds of seven guys having good, clean fun, and getting out of class to do it, I head back onto Main Street, peddling west.


Traffic on main street


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