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"When I was in high school, my chemistry teacher approached me and asked with a sly grin, "You interested in mining?"
I told him absolutely not. I was going to be a writer.
Little did I suspect that he wanted to send me to a student conference on metallurgy where I could seek the fellowship of like-minded teens on a minimally supervised road-trip to the Big City.
Undeterred by my abrupt negative response, he grumbled, "Well, you're interested in mining your own business, aren't you?"
And he sent me anyway.
Now I realize I should've listened more carefully to everything he said."
Gerald Everett Jones is the author of the Rollo Hemphill series of comic novels, including My Inflatable Friend, Rubber Babes, and the forthcoming Farnsworth's Revenge. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the College of Letters, Wesleyan University, where he studied under novelists Peter Boynton (Stone Island), F.D. Reeve (The Red Machines), and Jerzy Kozinski (The Painted Bird, Being There).