Kickass, the doorstop dog, striving mightily to get the keeper through the current deer season without incurring serious downtime, allows him the luxury of remembering the years at his Westfield cabin when his father and his father’s friend Pete spent the weekend enjoying the company of Bob Shepherd, the keeper’s black Army friend from Chicago. It is a memory the keeper likes to revisit, and does so here once again.
From exclusively white lives in northwest Wisconsin, Dad and Pete developed a deer-camp affection for Bob–a non-hunter, and his ability to laugh at whatever it was that needed laughing at, usually human foolishness.
They have all long since gone down the big deer trail with heart health problems, but for a very few special deer-season years a long time ago their hearts beat together in an enjoyable synchrony of having fun with each other when the only significance of any personal color issue was everyone wearing blaze orange.
The keeper can still hear their banter and their laughter, which obviously has nothing to do with Phyllis’s hints that he needs hearing aids.