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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.

LATEST

American politics is a strange animal. In few other counties are there only two parties and is so much money spent on campaigning.

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They gave us white handkerchiefs and asked us to wear them over our faces for the purpose of anonymity. We were led to an idyllic fairground setting with a plank bandstand, square bales for seats and a wooden wagon in the middle.

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This summer, people in New York state had something to talk about other than the wet weather. Convicted killers David Sweat and Richard Matt escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility near the Adirondack Mountains, kindly leaving a note that read “Have a nice day.”

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I was admittedly intrigued when an Icelandic farmer told me his town was owned by the mafia. I could imagine The Godfather playing out much differently in the north, where a horse head is more likely to be dinner rather than a threat, and the gangsters would be hard to tell apart because they would all be wearing wool sweaters.

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“You put a suit on a monkey – and it’s still a suit,” I’ve always said. Usually the other person would try to correct me and suggest that I’ve switched the expression, that it’s “still a monkey.” “No,” I would reply. “It’s my belief that it’s OK to be a monkey. It’s the suit that should be called into question.”

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“They’re going to be happy chickens,” he said, pointing to the fence that took up most of their lawn. “The happiest chickens in town.”

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