RURAL ODYSSEY IV - PARALLELS Abilene - Cowboys - “Cordel” is a return to the “Rural Odyssey” series, a narrative in fiction telling of Professor Mike O’Brien’s work on a “History of Abilene,” life with his young wife, Professor Mariah Palafox O’Brien, and their jobs at DDEC (Dwight D. Eisenhower College) in Abilene. After telling of his “History of Abilene,” the book recounts Mike and Mariah’s trip to Brazil in the summer of 1971 via Fulbright Lecture Grants. Mike gives talks on Eisenhower, Abilene and the Cowboy days, cowboys and “cordel,” and Mariah lectures on American Literature. “The Great Gatsby,” “The Sound and the Fury,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” are a few highlights. They meet important military, literary, and folkloric figures in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Bahia and Recife and visit Brazil’s famous tourist and cultural sites as well. Mike’s Catholic and Mariah’s Jewish heritages come into play.