Conor Kelman comes of age during a time when hyperactivity was unlabeled. Teachers and parents considered him to be insolent, stubborn, and difficult to control. After all, he never paid attention and was always in the wrong place. In those days, parents and teachers used the switch, belt, and paddle to correct him.
The fifth-grade teacher called striking students with her hand or whatever she held in her hand, love pats. Conor’s best friend, Billy Dill, said Conor was the most loved kid in fifth grade.
Conor’s first love was Gabbie the Gibson guitar he brought home from a pawnshop. The ghost of Red Nolan came with the guitar, but they had a love and hate relationship.
His second love was Wylina. He met her in third grade and she introduced him to coffee and cigarettes in the fifth grade. They planned to marry until Conor’s folks moved him to Minidoka County, and Wylina went to the Caldwell Fair with another boy.
Seems as though Conor had spent his entire life trying to fit-in and searching something to call his own.