Friday, March 25, 2016

Milkman’s Matinee

A Boy Remembers His Father

An autobiographical novel

by John J. Dorfner

Cooper Street Publications, Raleigh, NC 27615

reviewed by Mykola Mick Dementiuk

This is a tale of memory and recollection of a boy’s love for his father while growing up into manhood. When suddenly the father snaps it away by taking his own life as a sort of chastisement of the boy’s budding awareness of that self-worth. Now what boy could live with that?! Yet John Dorfner did, almost making a circle of his love that much stronger for his Dad by going back in memory to the time he remembered the past as he rode on his father’s milk truck and assisted in the labor, sharing in the everyday toils of the Milkman’s Matinee.

Each day the boy and his Dad awoke very early to make the delivery of dairy products on their route through the still-sleeping Kingston, NY community. They’d travel and talk about everything in the world, baseball games, girls and boys in school and especially Dad’s skill of being an outdoors man and bringing down some deer while hunting. One thing about Dad was that he was always smiling, perhaps from an era when the customer is always right, but Dad “was always so nice to everyone”, always having a “Yes, Sir, Yes, Ma’am,” on his lips that the boy Dornfeld wanted to flail, “Don’t say that...tell them how you really feel.”

Still the boy Dorfner stood in awe of his Dad, it’s certainly clear in this autobiography but it’s more than that, the boy accepted the man not only as his father and teacher but also as someone, though still unbeknownst to him, he would one day write of in a book as a sort of literary homage. Though it’s a short book yet it’s very moving in the way it was written, trying to explain the past while living in the present time, which is the here and now. Dornfeld has done an excellent job in reliving that past and giving further life to the man who will “haunt (his) milktruck for an eternity."

Dorfner is also the author of Kerouac: Visions of Lowell and Kerouac: Visions of Rocky Mount, please contact him directly:

Lambda Award given twice, Bisexual Fiction 2009 and Gay Erotica 2011

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