Dad's old ragtop Willys Jeep rolled backwards down the steep mountain road and turned over. Bang! It landed on the driver's side and lunch stuff, thermos bottles, and Dad's gun flew everywhere. It was pitch black at 5:30 a.m., and my body trembled with fear. "Dad!?" I yelled. There was only silence. Oh, God!
The stories in A Wet Ass and a Hungry Gut begin in 1956. Danny, age eight, and his family had just moved from Yuma, Colorado, to Meeker, population 1,500, located in the White River Valley of the northwestern Rockies. Danny and his hero, his dad, quickly fall in love with the high country east of Meeker, where majestic 10,000-foot peaks skirted by stands of aspen and pine surround them with paralyzing beauty. Rainbow, cutthroat, brook, and brown trout are abundant in the White River and the area's many alpine lakes and streams, its forests home to thousands of deer and elk.
This is a perfect backdrop for Danny and his dad to develop a father-son bond spanning decades while hunting and fishing, described by Danny only as "God-awful special!" But demons haunt and taunt Danny's unconditionally loving mom, creating many problems for the family.
Throughout the book, Danny finds himself in a variety of situations, including first-time sexual experiences and learning how to drive a stick shift; high drama and gut-wrenching tragedies; a touching love story with his high school sweetheart, followed by infidelity and shattered hearts and dreams; fierce battles with alcoholism when he finally meets an angel named Mary. All are part of A Wet Ass and a Hungry Gut, Half a Century of Stories from the White River Valley.
Surrounded by tall weeds, Beverley's hot lips touched mine. I was twelve and she, fourteen. One thing led to another, and then, "What's wrong?!" she yelled. Gasping, I replied, "I...don't...know!"
Extremely drunk, Mom yelled, "Give me that!" I ran to the back door and, in the darkness of night, threw the bottle of vodka as hard as I could. Crack! I heard it hit Dad's scrap-iron pile, shattering into a thousand pieces.
My mug shot and fingerprints were taken then I was handcuffed and escorted to a jail cell. Bang! The steel door slammed shut; the jailer locked it and walked away. Damn it! Damn it!
Schook! Snap! Damn! That sounded like the action on a semi-automatic pistol when chambering a live round. I turned around and was staring down the bore of a loaded pistol, just six feet away!
My heart pounded with fear and my lungs felt like they were going to explode as I chased the runaway Jeep station wagon down the mountain. Kenny, the eight-year-old son of my boss, was inside!
Author's quote: "I've always loved gambling, and I'd be willing to bet you can't read A Wet Ass and a Hungry Gut without laughing and crying!"
About Danny W. Campbell
See more books from this Author
Published October 6, 2011
by London Publishing.
Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors.