The Milk Wagon, a novel by my high school friend Michael Hewes, is described as, "A coming of age thriller about friendship, redemption, and how the ties made during high school can last a lifetime." It's true. St John High School's Class of '87 was special. Many of us have stayed in touch over the past 30 years - some closer than others - but, even if years have passed we can pick up a conversation seemingly right where we left off and be immediately transposed back to a simpler time hanging out at the picnic tables behind our shotgun school building in Gulfport.
The Milk Wagon is based on three main characters, inspired by Michael's two closest friends and later college roommates. Since we're all in quarantine, I thought it was a great excuse to get Michael, Ron Donegan, and Jeff Mallette in a Zoom hang out to swap a few stories that may or may not have inspired scenes from The Milk Wagon. And, it was a great night. We also Ginger Melvin-Hobbs, upon whom the main character is drawn, as well as John Halliday and Gary Sinopoli - two members, along with Ron, of our high school band IDO2. I also invited principal Dr. Lanny Acosta to pop in for a surprise.
Check out the fun in the videos below and click here to order The Milk Wagon on Amazon tonight. It will make for a fun read this week.
A coming of age thriller about friendship, redemption, and how the ties made during high school can last a lifetime.
For Matt Frazier, Jason "Hop" Hopkins, and Mark Ragone, 1986 was the year that changed everything, and it was the year that everything changed.
It was the year Matt fell in love.
It was the year Mark started a band.
It was the year Hop actually almost, kind of, but not really got a girlfriend.
And it was the year Nate Mayes disappeared.
Matt, Hop and Mark have been friends since elementary school. They played ball together, they hung out together, and they somehow managed to work their way through the awkward years of junior high together. Now, they are finally starting to come into their own as they prepare to start eleventh grade, but on the first day of school, a new kid named Nate Mayes arrives, and with him, a secret. Once the boys learn the horrifying truth, they take it upon themselves to try and make it right, and in so doing, set in motion a chain of events that have unexpected and life-altering consequences for everyone.
The Milk Wagon was there through it all.