The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

As The Small Town Turns

September 8, 2010

Chapter Two

_ — Editor’s note: This is Chapter 2 of The News Courier serialized novel, “As The Small Town Turns.” The Chapter 2 chosen from five submissions was by Carol Schwarzenbach. Other submissions, which will not be included as part of the book, are also published in today’s edition. As you will remember from last week’s first installment, our heroine Raquel Traubenkraut Roddenheimer, a single mother of two, attended Coffee Call at the Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives with her father and met the drop-dead gorgeous Buck Welch, a veteran who had just returned from the Iraq War.

Carol Schwarzenbach

There it was again, that look in Dad’s eyes. It is so haunting, like something once seen and long ago put aside, yet always there.

I hate that look. I know Dad is back there again, reliving his honored duty in the service, wanting to forget yet knowing he must never forget. I guess that is why this time at Coffee Call is so meaningful to him, giving a listening ear and as much support as he can to those who are new to Coffee Call.

Buck Welch! Hah, now I remember him. Buckthorne Barthalow Collired Welch. He was the one all the gals wanted to be around. So self-confidant. So handsome. So smart. So compassionate. He had it all.

He was as they used to say the Big Man on Campus, even in high school. Every Friday night would find him as the star quarterback, making those unbelievable scoring throws to Robert Tom Rolle. What a twosome they were.

Buck was from the most stable home life you could ever imagine. His family had been around these parts forever. They owned and operated the largest chicken and egg business in the tri-state area. They were proper church-going folk and were known mostly for giving a helping hand to those in need.

Bobby Tom on the other hand was, as the saying used to go, “from the other side of the tracks.” Being raised by a single mom and an elderly set of grandparents, Bobby Tom was the exact opposite of Buck. Crude, rude, and well, not the most handsome guy in school but with a gift of speed and agility that was the dream of every football coach.

Saturday nights would find them downtown on the square in Buck’s shiny, spiffed-up retro Chevy, a convertible, of course, which seemed to have a “come-hither, girls” light attached. They were always surrounded by eager young girls all in their favorite high school colors, thinking how very cool they looked, just waiting to be able to say to the not-so-cool girls, “I got to ride in Buck’s car.”

The school color of their legging showed their team spirit. Then there were the young men from local car clubs, stopping around to take a look at That Engine. Wow. What a lot of car.

Buck Welch had it all, then. What a surprise to run into him at Coffee Call. He was not so handsome now. Time and war had written a sad story on his face. Buck came from a long line of military men and women, so it was no surprise to anyone when he joined the Army. It was his friend Bobby Tom that had walked with him to the recruiting office and saluted him proudly as the papers were signed.

Their relationship seemed odd to many of the townspeople. But the secret between them was a bond that to this day has never been broken.

Dad started to recount the story Buck had told him about his time in Iraq. It seems that Buck had a fairly uneventful tour until two days before he was to ship home.

It had been such an ordinary morning,


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As The Small Town Turns
  • Church Bulletin 8/7/12

    August 7, 2012

  • Epilogue: As the Small Town Turns

    Editor’s note: The News Courier editorial staff chose Karen Bethea’s epilogue for our original novel. Our runner-up this week was D.K. Hutchins. We would like to thank all of our talented authors who contributed to “As the Small Town Turns” over these weeks. It has been a very enjoyable and satisfying endeavor for The News Courier and we hope it was enjoyable for those who participated. In coming weeks we will publish photos and short biographies on all of our authors whose chapters were chosen for the novel. But whether your chapter was chosen or not we would like to say thank-you to all for being such good sports and getting into the spirit of this project.

    December 20, 2010

  • Chapter 16 As the Small Town Turns

    Editor’s note: Chapter 16 of The News Courier original novel, “As the Small Town Turns ...” is written by Karen Bethea. Runners-up are D.T. Hutchins and Cynthia Boris.
    It’s time for a bang-up conclusion for the saga of Raquel and Buck. The novel will conclude Dec. 19 and the only thing that remains is the epilogue.
    If you haven’t sent in a submission, now is the time.
    If you make it exciting enough, we might have to revisit them for a satisfying epilogue. Please see novel rules in this section and we look forward to your conclusion.

    December 20, 2010

  • Chapter 15: As the Small Town Turns

    Editor’s note: Chapter 15 of The News Courier original novel, As the Small Town Turns, is written by Diane Hutchins. This was a week that brought several fine submissions. Runners up Karen Bethea, Cynthia Boris and Elizabeth Carter are printed in this section. It’s time for a bang-up conclusion for the saga of Raquel and Buck. If you haven’t sent in a submission, now is the time. If you make it exciting enough, we might have to revisit them for a satisfying epilogue. Please see novel rules in this section and we will be looking forward to your thrilling Chapter 16.

    December 20, 2010

  • Chapter 14 ‘As the Small Town Turns’

    Editor’s note: Chapter 14 of The News Courier original novel, “As the Small Town Turns,” is written by Karen Bethea. We had three excellent submissions this week. Runners-up are Harriette Rost and Cynthia Boris. The action has turned wild. With only two more chapters, now is the time to jump in for the big conclusion. If things get too hot, who knows? This saga could live for yet another chapter.

    December 20, 2010

  • Chapter 13: As the Small Town Turns

    Editor’s note: Chapter 13 of The News Courier original novel, “As the Small Town Turns,” is written by Cynthia Boris. Our runners-up this week are Karen Bethea and Elizabeth Carter, whose submissions are published in this section. Readers and potential contributors have just three more weeks as we draw the saga of Raquel and Buck to a conclusion with Chapter 16 on Dec. 12. There’s still time to get in on the action.

    December 20, 2010

  • Chapter 12: As the Small Town Turns

    Editor’s note: Chapter 12 of “As the Small Town Turns” is written by Bill Hunt. This week’s runner-up submission is by Cynthia Boris. The News Courier is anxiously awaiting Chapter 13 as the story heats up. Please keep sending submissions. Hint: Wouldn’t it be great if somehow Bobby Tom could meet Raquel’s friend, Maggie…? We’re just saying. Please review the rules of the game in this section and get your submission to Karen Middleton by Wednesday.

    November 17, 2010

  • Chapter 11: As the Small Town Turns

    Editor’s note: Chapter 11 is written by Harriette Rost. Our single runner-up this week is Cynthia Boris. We continue the story as Rock tries to disguise his abducted daughter Roxanne Marie’s identity as he prepares to go on stage in Branson to compete in an Elvis impersonator contest. The law is involved now. The News Courier staff is excited to see how our readers will come to the toddler’s rescue -–– if it’s not too late. If readers have previously submitted chapters that were not chosen to continue the saga of Raquel and Buck, please do not be discouraged. Hint: Let’s not forget Bobby Tom stuck up in a veterans’ hospital recuperating from wounds. Let’s get him back in the action.

    November 17, 2010

  • Chapter 10, As the Small Town Turns

    Editor’s note: Once again, Cynthia Boris has submitted an excellent chapter to As the Small Town Turns. We received no other submissions last week, so there are no runners-up. However, we welcome your Chapter 11 submissions, so please review the novel rules in this section. We continue the story as Rock speeds toward Branson with his abducted 2-year-old daughter Roxanne Marie. As The News Courier looks forward to drawing the novel to a conclusion by the end of the year, please jump in and help us resolve this cliffhanger.

    November 1, 2010

  • Chapter 9, As the Small Town Turns

    Editor’s note: The Chapter 9 submission chosen for The News Courier original novel, “As the Small Town Turns,” was written by Cynthia Boris. As readers will remember, from Chapter 8, Raquel’s ex-husband, Rock Roddenheimer, abducted their daughter, Roxanne Marie, from her bed in revenge for having been thrown out of the house and humiliated by Raquel’s new friend, Buck. Now, as Rock speeds toward Branson in his 18-wheeler, the gravity of his rash actions begins to soak in, and back in the small town, Raquel is devastated to learn that her daughter is missing. Other excellent chapters were submitted by Karen Mastich and Carol Schwarzenbach, which are printed in this section along with rules for submitting Chapter 10.

    November 1, 2010



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