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The Book

Mid-Strut

“I just wanna hold you,” he keeps saying, as she shrieks into the night. He wishes he could let her go, but he can’t, for she has become a symbol to him—his only escape from the changes in his life, changes that reflect the larger changes in all of America at this chaotic time.

Arnie has lost his job, having been fired for heroic behavior. The repercussions of this incident echo throughout the book.

He has also lost his music. His favorite radio station is now playing rock ‘n’ roll instead of the sweet old tunes of his courtship days.

And for all he knows he may also be losing his wife, as well as the steel industry that has been the heart of his town since he was born. And so, he seeks relief by immersing himself in the exploits of Joe Namath—the son he might have had. He is another Western Pennsylvania steel town boy, who is about to make his debut as a pro football quarterback.

What happens to Arnie after his tangling with the majorette is unexpected, heart wrenching, and in its surprising way, miraculous.