Excerpt from “Walkers”

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
Author Joseph J. O'Donnell

by Author Joseph J. O’Donnell


Monday, August 18th, 10:00 p.m.

It was a pleasant summer evening. The stars were out and no moon had risen to obscure their beauty. William Schmidt, or Willie as he was known to his friends, was standing in his driveway preparing for his evening jog. “God tonight is beautiful,” he thought, as he performed his leg limbering exercises against the bumper of his little blue pick-up truck.
As he did this he glanced over to his former neighbor’s house across the street. It had been several years since that family moved away. They had helped their neighbors fight for road improvements, but Willie had personally seen to it that they would cease their intervention and leave the area. “They were foreigners.” Willy thought at the time. “They had no place here.” ‘Foreigner’ was the name Willie gave to anyone who did not have family roots in this Appalachian area of Pennsylvania.

The hillbilly mentality did not necessarily localize itself to the southern part of the mountain chain. Willie and the rest of his family belonged to a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. The white supremacist group was strong here and their passion about it was fierce among the local families. Most of them were tightly connected because of the constant intermarriage among their kin.