A Story by Silas House
Illustrated by Arwen Donahue and including 'Brennen's Ballad' by Sue Massek
Monterey, Kentucky: Larkspur Press, 2011. Special Edition of 45.
5.75 x 8.25"; 68 pages. Handset in Garamond type. Printed on a hand-fed C & P. Printed on dampened Biblio paper. Drawings by Arwen Donahue. Handbound by Carolyn Whitesel in her own decorated papers over board. Design, composition, and printing by Deborah Kessler, Leslie Shane, and Gray Zeitz. In cream color dust jacket. Signed by Donahue, Massek, and House. Numbered.
Author's Note: "This story was inspired by an incredible song by Sue Massek, a Kentucky singer-songwriter-musician who is best known as the banjo player for the Reel World String Bank. In her song 'Brennen's Ballad,' Massek manages to capture in about 300 words what took me thirty-one pages to articulate. ...
"Living in a small rural town, I have witnessed too many recruiters talking poor teenagers into signing up for service. ... My father ... felt he didn't have very many options, so he signed up with the Army. That resulted in a trip to Vietnam that changed his life, and my entire family's life, forever. ...
"We cannot stand by and condone these wars and the way our veterans are treated upon returning from those wars. And we can't just blame our government, or anyone else. The reason I titled this story 'Recruiters' is because it is about all of us.
"We are the recruiters."
Prospectus: "Silas House is the nationally bestselling author of six books including Clay's Quilt, Elie the Good, and Something's Rising (with Jason Howard). House serves as the NEH Chair in Appalachian Studies at Berea College. A native of Eastern Kentucky, he is the father of two daughters and lives in Berea.
"Arwen Donahue earned her BFA at the California College of the Arts in Oakland, California. She co-authored the book This is Home Now: Kentucky's Holocaust Survivors (with Rebecca Gayle Howell). This is the third book she has illustrated for Larkspur Press. She lives and works her family farm in Nicholas County, Kentucky.
"Sue Massek is a musician committed to using the music she writes and sings as a tool for social justice. As a member of the Reel World String Band since 1977, she has toured throughout the USA, Canada, and Italy. Her solo work has taken her the Guatemala and Nicaragua. She currently works for the Kentucky Foundation for Women and lives with her partner on a small farm in Willisburg, Kentucky."