John Shelton Reed, mischief maker (the prequel)

“When John dropped out of high school to join the Navy, my father hunted him down and shipped him north [from Kingsport, Tenn.] to Deerfield and then to MIT, where he… orchestrated such pranks as planting a large cardboard missile from a military recruitment display nose-first in the floodlit MIT dome and then painting a crack down the dome as though the missile had crash-landed there.”

— From “Kinfolks,” a 2007 memoir by Lisa Alther, younger sister of John Shelton Reed, retired Kenan professor of sociology at UNC Chapel Hill

3 thoughts on “John Shelton Reed, mischief maker (the prequel)”

  1. Yo there–’99’ here, Judith, wife of none other than John’s partner in crime, Barry Merrill…I LOVED ‘Kinflicks’ and ‘Original Sins’ and hope to snag your other books, as well as this 2007 entry. Please pass on to John how much we love regaling the antics those two and Howard Brittin while they entertained Kingsport during their reign of mischief.

    Just thought I’d pass along a loving hello and hope that not only I have the chance to meet John and Dale someday, but also you. Thanks for the fabulous books!

  2. Barry Merrill! Now there’s blast from the past! Please tell him hello for me. Yes, those young men provided Kingsporters with a lot of entertainment. Thanks for your kind words about Kinflicks and Original Sins, Judith. I’ll certainly pass your regards along to John and will also hope that our paths will cross one of these days.

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