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Years ago, while on a meandering drive through my native McHenry County, I came across a old steel bridge that spanned a railroad. (If you've read Wheatyard, this bridge partly inspired the creek scene from early in the book.) This was near Harvard, a town which once billed itself as "the milk capital of the world." Spray-painted on the bridge supports, amongst many other names and messages, was one that has stuck with me: "Milk City Madman."

That name still makes me smile, and I can't help wondering what that guy is like now, and how much "madness" he has retained. My guess is that he's now thick around the middle from too many weekend afternoons on the couch with sixpacks of Bud Light, and has four kids, a roof that needs repairs and, in the back of the garage, a snowmobile that hasn't been ridden in fifteen years. Just a hunch.

May 29, 2013 in Personal, Wheatyard | Permalink