EXCERPTED FROM WELCOME TO FREEDOM POINT
Chewing gum was the enemy. So were long fingernails and metallic gel pens. Cigarettes, real or imaginary. Curse words and baseball caps and glass bottles at lunch. For a short while, comic books with sexy drawings, too, but if anything was really destroying Freedom Point Junior High, it was the school-wide yawning epidemic.
Little local help was available. Nothing ever happened in or to Freedom Point, let alone medical miracles. Even most maps forgot the tiny Wisconsonian dot way-way up near the border, up where the state was barely still the state, up where life was allowed to nod off, for anyone, of any age. That’s why Del Calhoun came to town.
It was due time that the towniest townies and tweens alike embraced the idea of a motivational speaker. Lethargy wasn’t going anywhere, nor was the lingering sense of communal apathy. It was in every fiber of Freedom Point—the old pastel strip mall and dried-up memorial bog—like somebody left a postcard out in the sun and let the color drain and called it a town. Freedom Pointians struggled to find the energy to do much of anything in such an uninspired space, and, for that, the ancestors were mostly to blame.
PRAISE FOR WELCOME TO FREEDOM POINT
“Fresh, witty, delightfully weird, Welcome to Freedom Point is equally infused with quirky charm, youthful energy, and the palpable sense of age-old loneliness that can sneak up and gut you. A collection of deeply human contradictions.”
— GINA FRANGELLO
author of A Life in Men and Every Kind of Wanting