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SPARKY AND THE DIPSHIT a Rollicking Memoir of America's Heartland
For one summer Rod Russell-Ides and his older brother were a perfect synergy of high jinks and well intentioned mayhem to themselves, their dysfunctional family, and the Great Bend, Kansas population. From medical specimens in the refrigerator to adventures with dynamite, SPARKY AND THE DIPSHIT takes us on a wild ride you won't want to end.
How they survived the summer of 1961 is a darkly funny, harrowing journey recounted by a master storyteller. Laugh our loud funny and shockingly poignant, SPARKY AND THE DIPSHIT captures the exuberance of youth's innocence when anything is possible. Getting away with it is another story. With dad as the town doctor and a family reputation to uphold, we get a voyeuristic view of life in a small town. With little effort, the brothers' escapades are hidden from their perfectly coiffed, cocktail soaked mother to admirably disastrous effect. Throughout, the author's love for his flawed family keeps us turning pages.
"I have revisited that magic summer in stops and starts. Shook out a sleeve. Emptied some pocket of its boyhood treasures.", writes author Rod Russell-Ides. "Now something in me wants to see that ragged coat whole against the sky, like some renegade kite caught in a whip of a Kansas wind."
I am glad that Russell-Ides survived his Kansas summer of teenage internal combustion, so we could read about it. SPARKY AND THE DIPSHIT is rambunctious, outrageous fun and spiritually glowing to boot. In the most complimentary sense, this is one helluva yarn."--Marco Perella, ADVENTURES OF A NO NAME ACTOR
"In this breakout memoir, Russell-Ides makes you believe that there was no better place to be sixteen than Great Bend, Kansas, in the summer of 1961. A cast of unforgettable characters. A CLASSIC."--Richard Sand, Ben Franklin Award winning author.
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Born in Oklahoma City, Rod Russell-Ides currently resides in Dallas, Texas with his poet/playwright wife, Isabella Russell-Ides, his homeschooling daughter, Rachel and her three sons, in a 1914 craftsman house. He is a landscape designer; built the biggest man-made waterfall in Alaska. He has written one country western musical, and recorded two CD's. He plays the guitar, has performed as the Geisha Cowboy and has invented an electric drum tree -- the only one of its kind. He has been variously, a go-cart racer, a horseback rider, a painter and a sculptor. He attended the Choate School and SMU in Dallas.
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