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  • Waffle House Rules

    by Joe Formichella

    The “ Last Best Class” of Fish River Community School had lost one of its members every year since the second grade. Waffle Houses were popping up throughout small-town Alabama with one corporate rule: "Good Food Fast." Struggling to cope with the tragedy that shadowed him most of his life, Dr. Jimmy Ryan dedicated himself to bringing people back from the brink, driven by his own guiding principle "Ain't Dead Yet." Not until Jimmy's own death did the folks at the Waffle House in Penelope, Alabama, learn the full extent of the secrets buried with the dead—secrets resurrected over hot coffee refills at the Waffle House. 

  • The Shoe Burnin'

    by 24 Contributors

    The first Shoe Burnin’ occurred on a cold winter’s night some years ago in Alabama; when the firewood ran out, a box of old shoes provided the assembled group of friends and artists with the fuel they needed to stock the hearth and share stories and songs late into the night. The bond forged that night began a tradition of fireside Shoe Burnin’s, and in remembrance, many stories and songs shared since have involved shoes — all the places they trod and the myriad experiences of those who wore them. “The Shoe Burnin’, Stories of Southern Soul” is a collection of those works.

  • The Shoe Burnin' Story

    Hear the stories firsthand from the contributors

Featured Author

Joe Formichella

Joe Formichella is the prize-winning author of two novels, Waffle House Rules and The Wreck of the Twilight Limited. He has written three books of nonfiction: Murder Creek, Staying Ahead of the Posse, and Here's to You, Jackie Robinson, which captures the history of the Pritchard Mohawks of the Negro Baseball League and was accepted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Joe edited The Shoe Burnin' and is currently editing The Salvage Man, written by Kurt Meyer. Known for his constant support and nurturing of new writers, Joe lives on Waterhole Branch, a retreat and inspiration for writers, musicians, and visual artists on Fish River near Mobile Bay, Alabama.

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