A year in the life of a man and his truck.
The vehicle used by country chronicler Perry (Off Main Street, 2005, etc.) is his 1951 L-120 International Harvester pickup, altogether rusted and busted. The best repair, he’s told, “would be to jack up the radiator cap and drive a new truck in under it!” But Perry resurrects the handsome old L-120. In this vivid Wisconsin Book of Days, the truck is put to work hauling plywood, paint and feed sacks. Perry portrays himself as a flannel-shirt-wearing prairie bachelor who eats his lunch in a sagging armchair. Among the topics he covers here are cooking, bad weather and good women. It’s artful Americana, Homeboy Style. He owns three rifles, two shotguns and one revolver. He’s a member of the New Auburn Volunteer Fire Department and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire) School of Nursing. He doesn’t drink, he makes bruschetta for lunch and he appreciates the work of Raymond Loewy. He knows when to grow a deer-hunting beard and how to appreciate a painting. And he writes for a living. He can offer a fine set piece on such matters as dirt-track racing and the fire-department barbecue, as well as his growing relationship with the fetching Anneliese, a woman who also knows a bit about the fabric of a good life.
A reminder, by a talent of the hinterlands, to celebrate small-town life and to treasure human relationships.