BOOKS: SIDE TRIPS: AN AMIABLE TOUR OF SOME REAL AMERICAN ORIGINALS

AN AMIABLE TOUR OF SOME REAL AMERICAN ORIGINALS

Bob Popplewell is a personnel consultant (trained in psychometrics ) who owns a rattlesnake ranch 60 miles west of Dallas on I-20. There he sells freeze-dried serpents through the mail and, when not firing people for a living, runs eight 900-number phone lines through which he hopes to minister to American Dreams. His own dream is of becoming "a major player in the turtle trade." Not far away, as Mike Bryan tells us in Uneasy Rider: The Interstate Way of Knowledge (Knopf; 349 pages; $25), is Phil ("Shorty") Kendrick, a former egg deliverer who, having seen Jesus, is planning a 450-ft....

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