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Dickie in The Eighth: Semester 1 (Volume 1)

Fleegle Jr., Richard Q.

ISBN 10: 0692357416 / ISBN 13: 9780692357415
Published by John Ellerbach, 2015
Used Condition: Very Good
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Title: Dickie in The Eighth: Semester 1 (Volume 1)

Publisher: John Ellerbach

Publication Date: 2015

Book Condition:Very Good

About this title


The Eighth grade can be a rough time for many people. In the 1966-67 school year, Richard Quinten Fleegle Jr. III was not spared any of the agony as a student at St. Vincent Catholic, Stillwater Springs, Wisconsin. He writes about those challenging experiences 49 years later, upon retirement, attempting to tell the whole, embarrassing truth to his children and grandchildren. His writing style in this book is characteristic, digressive Dickie. In fact, one of his many nicknames—one that he actually likes—is “Ramblin’ Man.” In Dickie in The Eighth: Semester 1, Fleegle presents 70 snippets (chapters), many of them based on stories he used to tell his young children—censored versions when they were young, but now written in complete candor and detail upon Dickie’s retirement. Fleegle began compiling information while in The Eighth, having written and saved many journal pieces. He also saved all the short, witty poems his father wrote for him while Richard Sr. was under the fog of a major depression. It wasn’t until 1991, however, that Dickie returned to Packerland County and did weeks of research, including interviews with more than a dozen local “informants,” who were extremely helpful in supplying information about the tumultuous time he was in The Eighth. These informants include the local bar owner, Pug Gotsinger. Pug had hundreds of hours of audio recordings surreptitiously taped from patrons over the years. Another major contributor to Dickie’s humorous and often embarrassing reminiscences was Sheriff Augie Meredink. Meredink had all kinds of notes, official records and recordings to share. So why did Dickie wait nearly half a century before he told it all? His father asked him to wait. In 1991, Dickie’s formerly estranged father tells his son it is important to write down all the fears and foibles, but it is also important to allow Packerland plenty time to “digest it all in historical perspective.” Senior said: “We’ll laugh at ourselves and understand what we all learned in a couple more decades.” Dickie and his wife, his sweetheart in The Eighth, are moved back to Stillwater Springs in 2015. Here is what she writes in the book’s forward: -- “I give those people (Packerlanders) a lot of credit for being so forthcoming. Packerland is one of the best places on earth. Dickie and I have lived so many places, and he agrees with that assessment, too.” --“Although I kept encouraging Dickie to write this, I feared that his confessions about profane rages against God and his use of so much raw language would be a bit too much. True, despair, ignorance and shocking language are part of life, and they certainly were a big part of our experiences for the past 49 years.” --“OK, I’m a bit overwhelmed and embarrassed by it all. However, I can say that as an editor and proofreader for this book, I did have a good time, and I operated under the assumption that Richard Fleegle Sr. was right: Time passed will put The Eighth, The Springs and Dickie’s return to The Eighth in 1980 (he taught The Eighth in Lima, Peru) in perspective. Therefore, although I did give Dickie my constant input (I even put a bit in the book myself) I did not ask Dickie to revise history by sanitizing his perspectives on the past. I do hope, however, Dickie and I don’t have to slunk way down in our pew when we go back to St. Vincent today, 49 years after a series of Dickie “nukes.” --“Dickie and I have decided to buy a home in The Springs and invite my father to live with us. All of our kids are dispersed throughout the United States, but I hope they will come visit us often. We’ll see the rest of you in church, all of us sitting upright, a lot wiser and even more humble.” –Jeanie Fleegle, January, 2015 Dickie in The Eighth is published in two different volumes. The second book, Dickie in the Eighth: Semester 2, tells of Dickie’s second go-round in The Eighth, this time as a teacher.

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