Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Anthony J. Rinderer

The Life of Riley

Lessons in love and loss from a soul with four legs

The rough-looking man who first plucked me from a basket would later say those who believe dogs have no soul only say that because they lack one of their own. I think maybe I taught him that.

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A Tennessee Christmas

My father wasn’t about to buy a tree

Cutting one’s own Christmas tree certainly does evoke images of a happy family pulling a sleigh through snowy landscapes in the Appalachian Mountains. But my family’s Christmas tree acquisition process wasn’t quite what Norman Rockwell had in mind.

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I had no idea my father was capable of such complex treachery 

In over 30 years of travel abroad I’ve had ample opportunity to haggle for things in exotic markets. I learned the rules of haggling at a very young age, long before I departed my hometown of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, destined for hard-to-pronounce places at the tattered edges of a map. My father showed me exactly how to play this game, and my first lesson occurred about a mile from our house.

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