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"Race Fletcher," a chapter from Deconstruction Acres, a novel by Tim W. Brown

"Race Fletcher," a chapter from Deconstruction Acres, a novel by Tim W. Brown



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Published by Tim W. Brown
"Race Fletcher," a chapter from Deconstruction Acres, a novel by Tim W. Brown, published in 1997. Originally appeared in the Spring 1994 issue of Chicago Quarterly Review.
"Race Fletcher," a chapter from Deconstruction Acres, a novel by Tim W. Brown, published in 1997. Originally appeared in the Spring 1994 issue of Chicago Quarterly Review.

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Published by: Tim W. Brown on Jul 23, 2009
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 Deconstruction Acres
, a NovelBy Tim W. Brownhttp://www.amazon.com/Deconstruction-Acres-Tim-W-Brown/dp/1886625034The Local “Townie” Take on College Town LifeUnderdog manages to get kicked out of Jasper College within
weeks of arriving.Booted by his parents as well, he becomes a townie and gets a job at the campus copy shop.He’s pursued by Judy Baine, the sexy daughter of his landlady, but he’s in love with the beautiful, haunted Ione Twayblade. Things get sticky when Ione begins dating Race Fletcher,celebrity professor and author of a best-selling book deconstructing the
Green Acres
TVshow. “Underdog’s struggle to defeat his hipper-than-thou nemesis and expose a financialscandal involving the corrupt college president prompts many wry observations,” says
The New York Times Book Review
. Best-selling author Wally Lamb calls
 Deconstruction Acres
Race Fletcher Chapter from
 Deconstruction Acres
, a NovelBy Tim W. BrownWilliam "Race" Fletcher moved to Jasper when he accepted an offer to fill the EdwardAbbey Chair in American Civilization at Jasper College. Not without controversy, the collegecreated this position upon the death of Osa Wallace, the sole remaining heir to the Wallace barbed wire fortune. Although the endowment Mr. Wallace bestowed amounted to threemillion dollars, part for capital improvements and part to endow the Abbey Chair, the school'sBoard of Trustees declined to accept any monies from the estate, at least initially.Jasper College president, Milton Flaghorn, objected to "endowing a chair named for aradical who inflames our youth, whose writings advocate the destruction of property in adubious and misguided fight to protect the environment." To argue his position, he citedEdward Abbey urging "gangs of saboteurs" to sneak onto government land and tamper withnuclear missile silos; as well, he referred to instances where followers of Abbey's "monkey-wrenching" philosophy hammered nails into trees to prevent loggers from sawing them down."When a power saw cuts into a tree thus doctored," he explained, "nails can rip through ahuman body with the same devastating effect of shrapnel from a hand grenade." In short,Milton Flaghorn steadfastly opposed any relationship between the college and "a man whoduring his lifetime adopted a philosophy of violence, intimidation and disrespect for the law."Other members of the Board recognized the serious contradiction in the college'smission of training young adults to become responsible members of society, while at thesame time acknowledging the work of a man who labored to undermine the structures of thatsame society. Moreover, all of them, at one time or another, had witnessed the antics of their  benefactor, Osa Wallace, and wondered what sort of example he himself would set. In
 particular, they discussed an incident the winter before when Mr. Wallace was apprehended by sheriff's deputies at the end of a high-speed chase over half the county, after someonewitnessed him tossing a Molotov cocktail from atop his three-wheeled motorcycle throughthe window of a fast food restaurant under construction on Highway 17. Finally cornered,ironically enough, against a barbed wire fence by squad cars closing in, the old man, his beard caked with icicles, looking like a scarecrow stuffed with yellow leaves from corn stalkshe cut a swath through, surrendered. Later, while giving his statement at the sheriff's office,he complained of "all the damn burger joints and strip malls cropping up and spoiling theview from my farm."The fire he started quickly burned out, and damage to the restaurant was limited to a broken window and a handful of melted floor tiles, but the sheriff, vowing to prosecute whomeveryone knew to be the richest man living in Jasper County, charged Mr. Wallace with atotal of fourteen violations, most of which involved breaking traffic laws. Being rich, OsaWallace easily bailed himself out of jail, handing over one thousand dollars culled fromvarious zippered pockets on his motorcycle jacket. Before his case came to trial in the Jasper County Courthouse, however, he came to an untimely end through rounding a blind curveand ramming his motorcycle into the back of a tractor pulling a trailer full of shelled corn. Nevertheless, despite their reservations about the characters of both Edward Abbeyand Osa Wallace, certain members of the Board saw their opportunity to retire some debtsincurred when adding on to the library several years before. They could tolerate the new chair if it meant putting the college's finances back into the black. Thus emerged a split in theBoard, pitting the pragmatists, led by Ephraim Zimmer, against the rejectionists, led byMilton Flaghorn. Counting Mr. Flaghorn's vote as the tie breaker in determining whether or not to accept the money, the pragmatists lobbied hard to add an at-large member, drawn fromfaculty ranks. After a bitter, six-month-long battle, the pragmatists prevailed in seating a

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