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Excerpt from Crusoe's Island

We had grown up close to each other, but, seperated by a generation, still didn't know each other. But when I got to the park, I heard rumors about Clyde: he'd been in the Navy, he'd been to Chapel Hill, to Mars Hill, to Bowling Green University, graduating finally from Pfeiffer College, the Methodist school just seventeen miles up the road. If you left your pocketbook in his way, the last summer's secretary warned me, Clyde Miller would paint right over it. He didn't care. He thrived on eccentricity. He lived in the kitchen of the ranger barracks, made it his pad, even had a hi-fi system built right into the kitchen cabinets. The other seasonal help, lifeguards and park attendents, boys between college semesters, were awed by the man, thirty years old, who filled the barracks with barbells and other weight-lifting equipment, papered the walls with Playboy centerfolds, and left cold bourbon in the fridge where even his own mother could see it. They told me Clyde had slept with a hundred women. And I, at nineteen, was tantalized.

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