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Ryan Dennis

Ryan Dennis is the son of a New York dairy farmer and a literary writer whose early essays were originally published in Progressive Dairyman.

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If there ever was a movie that captured the American spirit, it was Rocky. A no-name working class guy from the streets of Philadelphia goes up against the heavyweight boxing champion of the world.

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I had started the milking early on Christmas morning so the family wouldn’t have to wait long to open presents. On the way to the parlor, I passed the sick pen. 1225 sat in the dim light, her eyes sunken and her chin in the straw.

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It’s the price one pays for having friends. This year I got weddinged.

It happens to many people: You hit that age when all of your friends are getting married, and suddenly your calendar is filled with nothing but ceremonies and receptions.

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In the opening scene of Death and Nightingales, Beth is awoken by the bawling of a distressed animal. While in some ways it may be the call of the beast inside her, it is also, in actual terms, a cow with bloat. She slips the trocar in her dress, finds the cow in the brush and pierces its side to give it relief.

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“But it’s past its expiration date,” she said. “How do you know it’s still good?” “Because it’s butter,” I said. “It’s always good.”

I know when my father has done something wrong because there’s no butter in the fridge.

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When I was in junior high, our school principal showed up drunk at a basketball game. He shouted at the referees over a bad call, calling the decision “asinine.” When they gave him a warning, he told them to look it up.

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