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RYAN DENNIS

Ryan Dennis is the son of a New York dairy farmer and a literary writer whose early essays were originally published in Progressive Dairyman.

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I’ll admit to being proud when someone would look at my shirt and start laughing, or say ‘Huddersfield? Why?’ I didn’t care. We were beautiful and ironic and Huddersfield fans. There was only one thing left to do: go to an actual match.

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Ronan puts his hand on my shoulder. “Ryan,” he says. “Do you have the soul inside you?”

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“Hey, man, have you tried climbing?”

I cringed. I was getting a second master’s degree in Iceland, and University Housing had placed me in a dorm.

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The world is smaller than it was several generations ago. It is often said: If a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil, it could cause a tornado in Texas – suggesting just how globally connected our existence can be.

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My parents packed their bags and came to visit me on what they termed their “once-in-a-lifetime trip.” Being farmers, their opportunity to travel locally was limited, let alone to Europe.

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It was a busy road to Headford, and like all Irish country roads, it didn’t have a shoulder. I was going to the Saturday mart – the weekly livestock auction – the only way available to me: by bicycle, with my work shoes strapped on back.

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