Moral Ambivalence and Quiet People

Moral ambivalence on a quiet afternoon.
Moral ambivalence on a quiet afternoon.

Watch out for the quiet ones. They often take you places you didn’t think you’d go. After Buck Crenshaw and his twin threw William Weldon from a hayloft and broke his arm in THE HOUSE ON TENAFLY ROAD I thought I’d never see Buck again.

But there was Buck in his quietly scheming yet tentative way tapping my shoulder. I’m going to West Point, he kept saying so when an actual human friend wanted me to tag along on a trip up to the academy to see her son I was game. I’d been going to football there for a while, but this time we walked the grounds on a perfect late spring day.

Buck came along, of course, in my mind. What’s the story, Buck? I asked myself or Buck or my muse. No one answered, but weeks later after I promised Buck I’d write something about him (I’d already imagined him now in cadet uniform, with violet eyes like his mother’s and sandy colored straight hair sitting at his desk and being far more studious than I would have guessed) I stumbled upon the controversy surrounding admittance of the first black cadets to West Point.

West Point Military Academy, courtesy Library of Congress
West Point Military Academy, courtesy Library of Congress

I shook my head, no. I’m not going to write about evil white boys hazing perfect black boys. I knew life was more complex than “this color is good; this color is bad” and I didn’t want to touch the subject. AND THERE IT WAS. Buck sat a little smugly at his desk now (polished uniform buttons and all). Yes, he seemed to say, I want no part of this messy race stuff. I want to be an officer and beat my twin brother in all things and win Rose Turner’s hand in marriage and THAT’S IT.

But what about this Milford Streeter (who is as seriously flawed as everyone else) arriving as one of the first (but not the first) black young men to give the Academy a go?

Buck looked me in the eye. So? What of it? I’m at the top of my class and going for colors. I have nothing against Streeter and I’ll be the gentleman  I’m supposed to be.

But what will your brother Fred and his friends a year ahead of you at West Point think when you befriend Streeter?

Buck got a little ruffled at this question and replied: I SAID I’D BE A GENTLEMAN TO STREETER. I NEVER SAID I’D BE HIS FRIEND.

I noticed something in the way he said it though–a crack in his aloof and confident demeanor. Buck Crenshaw wasn’t hard like his brother. He’d allow a sort of friendship and there’s where Buck’s troubles began.

Perfection is a myth. Flawed humanity is the reality. Compassion is the only hope.

Buck and I would love for you to read his story. WEARY of RUNNING is now available in paperback and for KINDLE at AMAZON.COM.

And for those of you who haven’t read the other story about the people of Tenafly Road, my first novel THE HOUSE ON TENAFLY ROAD will be on sale (KINDLE COUNTDOWN) in ebook form beginning Friday, June 5th-12th.

20 responses to “Moral Ambivalence and Quiet People”

  1. Reblogging on Oddysey of a Notice Writer.

    Great news about the new book, Adrienne. Loved ‘The House on Tenafly Road,’ and I’m looking forward to reading this one. You go, girl!


    • Thanks Kate for the kind words and the reblog! Never in a million years would I have thought I’d meet such nice people on the internet (I hardly knew how to use the computer a few years back). haha.

      Will you be putting out a novel or book of short stories any time soon? Your writing is sooo good!



      • Adrienne, I’d love to put out something… but I can barely find time to write a short challenge fiction. Things have gotten so busy this year… I am hoping that in two years when I stop working that I can be asking you for some tips on writing, publishing, etc. Thanks for the kind words about my writing.

        I am so looking forward to your new book. I am such a fan of the first, and I cannot wait to see what happens in the sequel!


      • The great thing is that you already know how to write so well–so when you do have the time–WATCH OUT! 😉 In the meantime you keep a lot of people very happy with your blog stories.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Odyssey of a Novice Writer and commented:
    Very excited to share with you that one of my favorite bloggers and writers, Adrienne Morris, has a new book. Please take a few minutes to read Adrienne’s post. And then check out her work. I have read ‘The House on Tenafly Road’ (review here), and am looking forward to reading her new book. Thanks!



  3. Thanks to Kate for reblogging this. I’m going to download the first book, and then the second (West Point has always fascinated me) to go on my TBR pile on my Kindle!


  4. Reblogged this on Don't Doubt The Dog! and commented:
    If you like historical fiction, I recommend that you check out and support Adrienne Morris and her “The House on Tenafly Road” series. She is an indie writer and is a very interesting person as well. Plus she has and loves Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.


  5. Not quite a reply, or should I write “this is not a reply” (see
    Hello Adrienne
    This is Howard of Saving School Math, and it feels like the Crusades (from a European angle, that is).
    Many thanks for the “like” on “discriminant”. I had real fun writing that one. And for the follow.
    I do like your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I took a gander at I successfully taught in a few inner city schools so I’m interested (sort of). I say sort of because I immediately noted the tone. I like debate and social commentary, but not when the method falls into attacking people you disagree with. I don’t follow much of Michelle Malkin but it gets nowhere to just say she’s a liar (as is suggested in a post).

      It’s a tactic of shutting up all opposition that I’m unimpressed by.


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