Bandwagon: A Retrospective
by Dwight Dixon
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

"One by one the members of the commune turned from their flight and joined, defying the fire and standing their ground."

The Author tells the story of a commune of marijuana growers founded by Smokey fifty years ago. Big Man, a former convict, is now out of prison and beats the Judge to death, and the Author brings him back to life. Narc poisons the drugs being grown in the commune and kills Big Man, so the Deputy arrests Narc. The Author and Nancy, an accountant for Clark, Smokey’s father, say “Grow Garden Grow,” and the garden grows, after which the Author leaves because the people think he is a prophet. Narc and Big Man’s girlfriend escape prison and set fire to the hill near Bandwagon. Nancy and the Author stop the fire by saying, “Stop Fire Stop.” Clark invites the commune members to a party, and Nancy declares her love for the Author.

In his short fable set in the 1960s, Dixon manages to weave in a variety of positive thematic elements. The themes of bravery and dedication to a worthy cause are evident when the commune members ban together to stop the fire. Love and devotion are demonstrated in the story of Smokey and the waitress Lenora as is the teamwork of Nancy and the Author in helping the plants of the commune grow and in stopping the fire. Leadership and justice are strong themes in the story as well. The Author shows leadership when he makes the garden grow and stops the fire. Justice is demonstrated by the death of Big Man and the arrest of Narc. The theme of the “good guy” winning is shown by the Author bringing the Judge back to life and by Nancy and the Author making the garden grow again.

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