Learning to ride, falling down, getting back on
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Theron Hopkins is a high-school English teacher in Wheatland, California, and the author of The 80-Yard Run: A Twenty-Week, Coast-to-Coast Quest for the Heart of High School Football (Skyhorse Publishing). His story in this issue is his first published fiction.
Everybody has a father somewhere, and mine is at the Sandia Indian Bingo Palace in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Every weekend he sits at the poker table in his cowhide boots, brushpopper shirt, and wide-brimmed felt hat, tapping cigarette ash into a Coke can and saying things like “Hell, yes, I’m in” and “Tell him he’s called” and “Goddamn! I need a queen.”