The Wheels of Progress

Hughie leaned the 12-gauge against the doorframe, handy but hidden. He stepped onto the porch.

The man got out of the Cadillac, smiled at him. “Mr. Tweedy? My name’s Hoskins. I represent––”

“I know who you are,” said Hughie. “If you come to talk  about selling, I’m not interested.”

The man’s eyes went hard above the smile. “Mr. Tweedy, there’s a law in this state. Eminent domain.”

“Don’t apply here,” said Hughie. “You want to run your pipeline through my grandaddy’s trees on my granddaddy’s farm. A privately owned pipeline.”

“We’re creating jobs.”

“Bullshit. You’re thieves. Get off my land.”


Friday Fictioneers


This is a vignette based on the true story of my friend Hughie Tweedy and his fight against the DAPL pipeline. This is one of those times that the truth was far more interesting and bizarre than fiction. Hughie fought the heinous corporation as long as he could, but the corrupt Iowa legislature sided with the shareholders and the pipeline went through his farm. America espouses democracy, but in most of its practices it is yet another in a long line of financially motivated oligarchies. 


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  1. Sandra

    Sometimes all you can do is just say it like it is. You might not be able to stop things happening, but at least you know you said your piece. Good one.

  2. Lynn Love

    This one resonates Josh – when it comes down to it, in most capitalist states that claim to be democracies, money talks louder than personal rights and freedom. Wonderfully written as always

  3. Jan Vanek

    I cheered for Hughie until I was saddened by the “rest of the story.” I can’t imagine the pain, anger and frustration, to have no say in what’s to become of precious land, trees, etc.

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