Title: The Kerr Construction Company
Author: Larry Farmer
Genre: Travel Adventure Romance
Dalhart McIlhenny is restless after finishing college. With old school values from his rural upbringing in Texas and a chip on his shoulder from being a Marine during the Age of Aquarius, he sets off on a quest. He wants something different in his life. Something others of his generation wouldn't understand. The Indian Capital of America. That's what they call Gallup, New Mexico, and that's where he'll search for whatever it is he wants. But first he must find a job. One no one else wants. One as a laborer for minimum wage for the Kerr Construction Company, working with the local Navajo and with illegal aliens. Far away from the fast cars and parties he doesn't care about like others do. He becomes best friends with an ex-bullfighter from Durango and finds allure in just trying to survive in a world that doesn't care. Then he meets Carmen.
I had just begun reading when I heard, “Would you like a glass of water?” and looked up. She was Mexican, with dark-brown skin, and beautiful. Not just gorgeous, she had an aura. Who the hell would divorce her?
“Are you Carmen?” I asked.
“How did you know?”
“Your boss.” Right in front of her I felt myself melt as her smile penetrated my senses.
“That son of a gun,” she said with a wink. “Well, you know who I am now. I’ll be your waitress. Oh, yes. I already asked you, but you didn’t answer. Would you like a glass of water? And I can take your order, too, if you’re ready?”
“Yes to both. I’ll take your special for today.”
She returned with a pitcher of water and an empty glass for me. I watched the serious look on her face as she seemed to struggle reaching my table. Her hand trembled ever so slightly as she poured. I tried reading the book I’d brought, but couldn’t pay attention to it even after she left. I watched her from the corner of my eye as she walked to the kitchen and back, cleaned tables, and handed new customers a menu. I forced myself to refocus on the book. But I couldn’t remember
anything the book said.
Suddenly I heard a crash and looked up at the next table. She’d knocked over the glass of water while she poured. She gave an apology to the lady and then glanced at me, smiling shyly. “I’m so clumsy today,” she said just above a whisper.
I still couldn’t concentrate on my book. Then another crash. It was from another table, and now there were two puddles on the floor. I grinned her way as if embarrassed for her. This time she apologized to me before she did the customer.
“I’ll be right back,” she said as she rushed by my table. “I can’t believe this.”
I heard myself humming the words to the Marty Robbins song “El Paso.” Felina, that was the girl in the song. Now I knew why the doomed cowboy in the song fell so strongly for the Mexican maiden named Felina.
“I’m better,” she laughed as she walked by my table to clean up the mess close by. She kept looking up at me as she stooped to sop up the water.
I put my book away. To even pretend reading was a distraction. I didn’t stare at her, but I wanted to be able to think about her freely.
“Here’s your enchiladas,” she said a short time later. “They’re not as good as mine. Don’t dare tell I said that.”
“Good to be back?” I asked her. “Your boss said you lived in North Carolina.”
“It’s awkward now,” she said wearing a pained expression. “I guess in his biological sketch—” She stopped mid-sentence, realized what she’d said, and blushed slightly. “I mean, biographical sketch. I guess in his biographical sketch of me he said why I’m back.”
She didn’t have an accent. All the Mexicans back home had accents.
“Yeah,” I answered. “Sorry to hear it.”
“I have to find my way again, so I’m living with my mom for awhile,” she said still wearing the pained expression.
“It happens. I’m not divorced, and I’m living in the back of a panel truck.”
“I just came from Texas and needed a job. I didn’t have any money.”
“How long have you been here?”
“A couple of weeks.”
“That’s enough time to get a place.”
“It feels too much like staying. I was like that when I lived in Houston, too, and that was for two years.”
“You lived in the back of a panel truck in Houston for two years?”
“Oh no.” I grinned. “I had an apartment. But I never bought a bed. I slept on the floor the whole time. Afraid to commit. Then went back to college to get my degree.”
“You have a college degree and you live in the back of a panel truck in Gallup, New Mexico?”
“Yep. Home’s where I hang my hat.”
“Do you know your way around Gallup yet?” she chirped.
“I can show you around.”
I almost heard myself swallow.
“I’d like that.” I hoped I wasn’t blushing. “Nobody has, yet.”
“Sure, I’d love to.” Her bright smile returned. “How about tonight?”
“Yeah. Yes. Yeah.”
“Hey, why don’t we just go to a movie?” she asked, her smile even broader now. “There’s a movie on about Woody Guthrie, at the cinema. He’s like you except he didn’t have any college.”
I looked at her quizzically. “How am I like him?”
“He hopped freight trains, you live in a van…I don’t know.” She laughed.
I’d seen the movie the previous night, to tell the truth, but wanted to see it with her. “Yeah, let’s go.”
“You don’t have a date or anything?” she asked shyly.
“Me? No.” I’d get rid of her for you anyway, I thought to myself wickedly.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Amazon – as ebook https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J9OJGGM/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i5
As part of paperback ‘A Thousand Miles From Nowhere’ - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1509224173/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i3
The Wild Rose Press (as ebook)- https://www.thewildrosepress.com/books/the-kerr-construction-company
And as part of paperback - https://www.thewildrosepress.com/books/a-thousand-miles-from-nowhere
Nook - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-kerr-construction-company-larry-farmer/1119985591?ean=2940149742424
Google Books - https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Larry_Farmer_The_Kerr_Construction_Company?id=0ZgTBAAAQBAJ
Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-kerr-construction-company-1
Audible (As part of audiobook ‘A Thousand Miles From Nowhere’ - https://www.audible.com/pd/A-Thousand-Miles-from-Nowhere-Audiobook/B07L9JFNDF?qid=1544721299&sr=sr_1_2&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_2&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=CG5F970H8AFWCFCX2B95&
BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-kerr-construction-company-by-larry-farmer-2019-07-12
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22240125-the-kerr-construction-company?ac=1&from_search=true
November is a time to be thankful. What are you most thankful for this year?
Fall weather, Thanksgiving, family, and football.
Why is your featured book worth snuggling up to?
The Kerr Construction Company, a novella, is a fictionalized account of a Texan and Marine veteran dissatisfied with the Age of Aquarius. Even with a college degree a career seems too redundant. Dalhart McIlhenny needs to find himself. A quiet unassuming life in Gallup, New Mexico, the Indian capital of the world, has special appeal as a place for this. Even more so after he meets Carmen. The author, Larry Farmer, is that former Marine. I wanted something different as I set out. New Mexico was different. If travel adventure and romance has any appeal for you, I hope you become as charmed as I was during the aftermath of the Vietnam era.
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Runs November 1 – 30.
Drawing will be held on December 1.
I was born and raised in Harlingen on the border with Mexico on the southern tip of Texas, near the Gulf of Mexico. I was raised with old school values on a cotton farm. After high school I went to Texas A&M and was in the Corps of Cadets there. I quit in the middle of my senior year to join the Marines in the hope of going to Vietnam. I also served in the Peace Corps in The Philippines. I travelled around the world between these two events in my life and saw enough to need to relate it. I worked for eleven years in Switzerland. I married there and raised two of my three children there. I now work for Texas A&M. And finally have time to reflect on my life and its meaning. And write about it.
Social Media Links:
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MeWe Author Page: https://mewe.com/i/larryfarmer4
Texas Author Page (Indie Lector Bookstore): https://www.indielector.store/larry-farmer.aspx