Sunday, September 14, 2014


I'm featuring Larry Farmer's new book: The Kerr Construction Company. Check it out!

Excerpt from The Kerr Construction Company

“I got a feeling you’re one of those guys that
meditates, McIlhenny,” Ira said as he lit up a cigar while
driving down a dirt road. “You can roll down the
window if the smoke gets to you, suck your ass.”
“I meditate at night,” I answered. “I have to put up
with you and this job.”
“I knew you probably did something weird like that.
I bet you do yoga, too.”
“No yoga.”
“Listen, numbnuts. So what the hell you doing
here? You don’t fit. It’s not that you’re so damn stupid.
You’re the smartest guy I ever met, at everything but
construction. You on some quest? Looking for your
“I grew up on a farm. Later I worked computers in
Houston, and it was the worst experience of my life. It
was the fastest growing city in America, a thousand new
families moving in every week. They all came for one
reason. Money.”
“So what the hell’s wrong with that?” Ira defied.
“That’s why the unskilled come here and why the skilled
go to Houston. You a back-to-nature freak? You like
living in your van?”
“America’s lost its soul,” I complained.
“I knew it,” he gruffed, blowing cigar smoke my
direction. “What else they teach you in college?”
“My daddy was a war hero,” I explained. “I got
uncles that are preachers. I don’t go to church much, but
I got a lot on me. I joined the Marines to go to Vietnam.
I need a cause, I guess. Now America’s just one big
party. So many in Houston were on drugs. New cars.”
“A Texan needing an Alamo to defend.” He
laughed as he again blew smoke my direction.
“I don’t like America anymore. Nothing for me
“And so you’re digging ditches in Gallup, New
Mexico?” Ira smiled wickedly. “That makes sense. And
you meditate to find your head? Smart people got too
much time. Nothing else to do.”
He pulled up to a big water pump. We looked to be
in the exact center of nowhere. Nothing except miles of
“We’re going to strip mine here pretty soon,” he
said as he pulled a shovel out of the back of the pickup.
“I need you to dig a trough from this pump to those
boxes over there.” He pointed behind me at a stack of
tomato boxes about fifty yards away. “You can meditate
while you’re doing it, doesn’t bother me. Just dig
straight. I’ll be placing blasting caps in dynamite, so you
might not want to get too close.”
I was almost surprised he wasn’t smoking on his
cigar as he did so.
“This job sucks,” I mumbled after a while, as I dug.
He looked up. “What did you say?”
“I hate this,” I said sarcastically, straightening up
and leaning on my shovel. “It’s putting my chi at an
imbalance. My harmony at a dysfunction.”
“McIlhenny, shut up. People get fired for that.
Whatever it is you said.”
“Okay,” I mumbled as I returned to my digging,
“but this still sucks.”
Ira went back to squeezing blasting caps with his
pliers, then placed the sticks of dynamite in a box. He
moseyed to the pickup, got a rope, made a loop, and
began to twirl it. While I dug I suddenly felt the rope
wrap around me, felt it jerk and tighten until it pulled me
to the ground. Like some cowboy with a calf, Ira bent
over me and tied up my hands and feet. He then got out
a gasoline can from the pickup and, without blinking an
eye, doused the bottom of my jeans and lit them with his
cigarette lighter.
I felt the fire’s warmth and pretended it hurt so he
would get his stunt over with. It seemed to satisfy him,
and he bent down, rolling me in the dirt until it was out.
“Now get back to work, McIlhenny,” he grunted as
he untied me. “Leave me to my danged blasting caps.
Any other questions, queerbait?”
I kept a serious look on my face the rest of the
afternoon, but found it hard to do so. This was fun.
Maybe I brought all this on myself to break up the day.
“Quitting time, McIlhenny,” I heard Ira shout.
“Another five minutes,” I shouted back.
“I’ll load up,” he answered. “Oh yeah, another
“What’s that?” I asked when he didn’t follow
“Didn’t you say you used to play football?” he
“You’re a fast runner, right?”
What does that mean? “Yeah,” I answered again.
“You better be. This is a stick of dynamite here in
my hand.”
He lit it and threw it my direction. I didn’t look
back until I heard the explosion. There was a hole ten
yards from where I used to be.
“Come on,” he shouted again, not bothering to
laugh. “Let’s go home. Go get your shovel if it’s still
Later I thought of Ira’s shenanigans, sitting in the
restaurant, savoring the rich garlic aroma. He would
have made a good Marine, I decided. I never made it to
Vietnam, but I get to tell my grandkids about when I
worked for the Kerr Construction Company.
I heard Carmen’s voice come from beside me. “You
got a look about you, hombre,” she said as she walked
over to me and planted a small kiss on my lips. “Is that a
smirk? What wickedness are you contriving? Better not
leave me out of it.”
“Nearly got blown up by dynamite today,” I said as
my smirk turned into laughter.
“Good Lord, man. How did that happen?”
“Aw, not really,” I said. “It’s a long story anyway.”
“Don’t eat here tonight, Sweets,” she said with a
wink. “Mother has supper ready for us. She’s going to
bring up Monument Valley. She knows what the hell we
did there. And I ain’t talking the scenery or our intimate
little conversations. I’m talking she put two and two
together and she knows we’re not virgins.”
“She would’ve suspected what was going to happen
even before we left.”
“Yes,” Carmen said with a grin, “but we’ve been so
honorable that she felt she had to give us benefit of the
doubt. But she was blunt when I got in last night. You
coward, you knew it was coming, the way you dropped
me off and hightailed it. So, I thought the best defense is
a good offense and let her know how glorious it was. I
added about classical music and our talks, for effect. I
knew it wouldn’t work, but it kept her busy for awhile.”
“You admitted to her we made love?”
“You’re telling me that an ex-Marine and a divorcee
in their twenties don’t know what they want when the
stars align? She knew it was going to happen. She just
wants us to respect each other and not make it the
centerfold of our relationship. Wait, centerfold, that’s a
pun, isn’t it?” She laughed and gave another wink. “The
centerpiece of our relationship. She adores you. You
come over and exude virtue around her and she’ll let it
slide. She’ll settle for just letting you know that she
Carmen leaned over and planted a long, juicy kiss
on me. I grabbed her as she readied to break away,
pulled her back to me, and gave her one in return.
“Behave yourself,” she said, feigning shyness. “The
customers are looking. I hope so, anyway. Have a beer
on me, mi amour,” she said with a smile that sparkled.
“Read your book and wait on me.”
As she turned to walk away, she stopped, turned
back, and embraced me. “I’m the happiest I’ve ever
been. I’m one hundred percent your woman. I feel
brand new."

A little bit about Larry Farmer:

A native of Harlingen, Texas, Larry Lee Farmer
grew up on a cotton farm. He attended Texas A&M but
dropped out to enlist in the United States Marine Corps,
where he attained the rank of sergeant before being
honorably discharged after three years. He worked as a
computer programmer in Houston and as a civil servant
for a US Air Force Base in Frankfurt, Germany, and
traveled and worked in Europe for two years, which
included flying to Israel in October 1973 to aid the
Jewish State in the Yom Kippur War. He was also in
Greece in the summer of 1974, when the war between
Greece and Turkey erupted over Cyprus, and he was
stuck on the Greek island of Ios for part of that war until
he managed to catch a boat to Athens just in time to
watch the Greek military dictatorship fold.
Back at Texas A&M, he finished his Bachelor's
degree in Business Management and then returned to
Europe and also Israel, where he lived for almost a year.
Later he taught English and was a model in Taiwan,
after which, while still in the Far East, he acted as a
stand in and stuntman in the Hollywood movie Inchon,
starring Sir Laurence Olivier. He then returned home to
get a master's degree in agricultural economics at Texas
A&M. With that in hand, he joined the US Peace Corps
and served for three years in the Philippines. He also
worked for several years as a computer programmer for
the Swiss government. While in Switzerland, Larry was
a country singer as well as a coach for the national
championship American football team Bern Grizzlies.
Since then he has been working in the IT department of
Texas A&M. He has three children.

You can connect more with Larry or get buy links at:

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