“The road gets funny.
The pavement gets almost liquid and shifts under your wheels as you drop
down the fall line…. That’s the thing about street-skating…” That’s the thing if you are Boyden “Boy”
LaChance, and you’ve smoked a bone and shot-gunned a Colt 45 and have an
inevitable date at the County House of Correction. Skaters
brings together two very difficult local historical narratives---King
Philip’s (Metacomet’s) War (1675-1678) and the tenure of Franklin County
Sheriff Donald “Red” McQuade (1976-1993)--- in the story of a band of renegade
skaters in a dying New England mill town.
This reading and discussion will focus on primary sources regarding both
narratives, and on the process of re-examining history through fiction.
Wesley Blixt has worked as a reporter, teacher and
activist in the Pioneer Valley for more than 40 years. He earned an M.F.A in fiction at UMass
Amherst and currently writes “Of the Earth,” a weekly farm and food column that
appears Wednesdays in The Greenfield