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Cuba: Cycling in a Land that Time Forgot

Dale Fehringer and Patty McCrary

Photos by Patty McCrary


© Copyright 2016 by Dale Fehringer and Patty McCrary

  

Photo of a street scene in Cuba.


As our airplane approached the Havana Airport a flight attendant announced that he wished to be the first to welcome us to Cuba. The passengers burst into cheering and applause, which was repeated when the wheels touched down a few minutes later. We weren’t used to such enthusiasm, and we asked the flight attendants about it. It happens all the time, they told us, Cubans are very proud of their country. That became clear as we explored Cuba – this is a complex country filled with gracious and resourceful people. That, and many other things, hasn’t changed much for more than a half century....

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Walking in the Dali Lama's Garden





June Calender


 
© Copyright 2016 by June Calender

Door in building in Dala Lama's garden.

I walk. It’s my exercise and it’s often my transportation. I lived in New York City and had a dozen or more routes I could walk home from work. For a woman of a certain age, walking in New York City, even in the daytime (especially in Central Park where I walked a lot) was not a time to put your mind in idle. I am alert, I watch, I assess. When I travel to other countries, free time is walking time, preferably by myself, away from whatever group or guide I am with. So when I walked out of the gate of the Holiday Inn in Lhasa, I noticed, as I had not when in a van with others, that, in fact, the entire property of the Holiday Inn was fenced and probably the gate was locked at night. To keep us in? To keep others out? Lhasa was, and still is, an occupied city....

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What's Left?





June Calender


 
© Copyright 2016 by June Calender


Dead horseshoe crabs on a beach.

     Living fossil creatures horseshoe crabs have been on earth for 45-million years – which is to say when the dinosaurs were the new kid on the block they were the grannies settling into the mud of the oceans muttering about those ugly, small-brained inheritors of the earth. They survived whatever killed off the millennia-long infestation of “saurs”. Properly considered anthropods, Lumlus polyphemes, are not crabs. Lumlus is the name for the Atlantic variety, the ones from Asia have a different Latin name....

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      Angkor and Sophia         

Chapter 6 of unpublished Volume #1
Tales of the Spinward Marches; The Great Khan

David Winnie

 
© Copyright 2016 by  David Winnie

 
 

 

Photo of  a middle eastern city.


April 3031

An odd quintet crossed the market square in the old city.

Xaid Singh, a native Indian from Calcutta, led his classmates through the throng. A charismatic young man, his chubby frame could be found at the center of any social occasion. He was accompanied by close friend, Dawlish Zultan, a giant, brooding Turk from the Persian Empire. Unlike his classmates, Dawlish attended Delhi University to prepare for a military career. His uncle was the defense minister and Dawlish was expected to replace him one day....

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The Only Man in the World    

Kirby Wright

 
 

© Copyright 2016 by Kirby Wright  

 

Photo of Lisa Yamashita on Pounders Beach


Dadio split for Moloka’i every weekend to supervise his Puko’o project. He was certain his pick-and-shovel laborers and heavy equipment operators were slacking off. I took turns with Troy, my big brother, serving as his assistant. We carried luggage, accompanied him on his lagoon inspections, and served as whipping boys should he need to vent. I hated going. I always thought he saw his half-brother in me. Uncle Bobby managed the Barefoot Bar at Queen’s Surf and my father said Bobby “drank like a fish” and chased the cocktail waitresses. He considered his younger brother a loser ever since flunking out of Saint Louis High. It was tough living in Dadio’s world because, once his negative opinion of you was formed, you were tainted for life. I couldn’t think of a single person in our extended family that he liked or ever praised. But he did have a soft spot for DuBoy, a legally blind cousin and bastard child of his Aunty Sue.

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The Yellow Sea Incident

             

Richard Franklin Bishop

  

© Copyright 2016 by Richard Franklin  Bishop      



Photo of Gunther Plüschow.


The Yellow Sea lies between the north-central mainland of China and the Korean peninsula. Once upon a time, there was a ripple on the Yellow Sea near China that most modern Americans never heard of.

But, using the right search words in Google.com: “The Aviator of Tsingtao” (English spelling) will turn up 8,950 “hits” placing the location and the events at least as a footnote in History. If you shift to Google.de (Germany), the search words: “Der Flieger von Tsingtau” (German spelling) will get you 53,800 (six times as many) “hits” illuminating the person and the events easily recognizable by almost every person in Germany, as well as by many people in Chile and Argentina.

The mentioned Aviator (Flieger) was named Gunther Plüschow and he was an Oberleutnant with one stripe on his sleeve (equivalent to a Navy Full Lieutenant or Captain in our Military) in the Imperial German Navy’s Flying Corps. He became a Hero in Germany during WW I and, later-on, became famous in South America, as well....

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My Grandmother Millie 

Kathy Wolfe


 
© Copyright 2015 by Kathy Wolfe



Photo of Grandmother Millie at age 98.

Mildred Grace Chamness was born on May 30, 1916, the 3rd oldest of six children to a farm couple. There was only one brother to five girls! Grandma will still tell me stories of growing up as clear as if they happened yesterday, although she can’t remember eating five minutes ago. I can remember a Saturday sitting with her to give my Aunt and Uncle a day off. Grandma forgot who I was at least three times! She wrote me, perhaps all of her grandchildren many letters over the years. There are many nuggets of historical value and personal history in these letters. This essay shares with readers a few of these wonderful letters....

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Uncle Larry
Emmet Kelley

 
© Copyright 2016 by Emmet Kelley


Photo of Maria Callas.

It's a kind of morality to do the best you can.”

       This very telling statement was the credo-for-life of  one of my “most unforgettable characters” with whom I had the pleasure of  knowing, in all of my 60+ years of living, namely, my now dear departed uncle, Lawrence V. Kelly. Though only 46 when he died in 1974, Uncle Larry packed a lot of living in his life, a life of considerable achievement, triumph and travail, rubbing elbows and revitalizing cultural tastes with the great and near-great while coming from modest affluence, a risk-taker with the instincts of a riverboat gambler and a man of  much-touted taste and imagination. Most of all, he had a sparkling personality  and Irish brand of charm, which one author-critic wrote, “made everyone he worked with and knew literally fall in love with him.”

       By occupation---one he arrived after juggling other occupations---Uncle Larry was an opera producer, or opera impesario, though he modestly dismissed the latter designation: “I'm simply a manager in the operatic field; there hasn't been a bona fide impresario since Diagheliv.”. . .

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The Scent of Roses


Emily Hart 

© Copyright 2016 by Emily Hart   


 

Photo of a vase of white roses.


The genesis of this story is: I went to a Victorian Fashion Show at a local library.  This presentation so enchanted me that later I thought "I could adopt an eccentric Faulkneresque persona and dress in period clothing.  People would say -- There goes that writer Emily, and her rose."  This thought process took place at about 2:30 A. M.   My mind leapt from that bit of whimsy to the idea for the following story which I can only describe as a collision of my love for Faulkner and Edward Albee....

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Duct Taped Boots and Cigarette Butts
 
 

Joni Bour 

 

© Copyright 2016 by Joni Bour    

 

Photo of a worn pair of duct taped boots.

I once thought I knew a lot about the rights and wrongs of things, until I met a man wearing duct taped boots, who had spent nearly two years living in the woods, alone, hungry, and forgotten by the world. He changed my life.

He came sloshing in on day three or four, or seventeen in a long line of stormy, sideways rain days, with winds that ripped our Oregon flag from its pole and sent it flapping into the trees. I had never seen anyone look so desperate as that thin, pale man in threadbare fatigues and holey, muddy, duct taped boots....

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Lost Rum             

 

Yonatan Bar Rashi 

  

© Copyright 2016 by Yonatan Bar Rashi   

 
 

 

Photo of a conga drum being played.


The writer, a life-long percussionist, served 3 years in the U.S. Peace Corps in Saint Lucia, West Indies, from 1982 to 1986. Part of this experience is reflected in the following account.

The beads on the horn player’s face did not rise for fear. They fell from the heat and the drink.

Rum strong night hot enough alone to break his sweat. Only a sputtering wall tube gave the flat silver blanch to his coal blackness.

So thought the conguero as he slowly queried Shaps, the sax man, about a missing instrument.
They sat for a time in explosive silence in a tiny hovel rum shop on steep tropic mountainside.
The mountain rose straight from the sea. Night sounds rose from the mountain, with the smell of green woodsmoke and burning sugar....

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Peggy's Intervention




William Wayne Weems
 

© 2016 by William Wayne Weems


  
Painting of Margaret "Peggy" O'Neal Eaton.

In the first decade of this Century a group of enthusiasts restored the decaying grave monument of a woman who died more than 100 years ago. They believed that her account of an incident that occurred at a tomb in Nashville,Tennessee, revealed her as the effective savior of the Federal Union of the United States...30 years before the Civil War. Her tale may be plausible, but it is supported only by her recollection and the conjectured effects of her actions are certainly controversial. Nevertheless, I will offer a highly condensed version of that tale here since the Nashville tomb exists today nearly unchanged....

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An Afternoon With Tycho's Toys             

 

R. D. Flavin 

  

© Copyright 2016 by R. D. Flavin   

    

Photo of a rabbit.

    Combine interesting characters, shake well, and add a dash of 'clash'. Oh, and serve with fun!

      Faced with impending unconsciousness, Craig didn't pay much attention to the landlady's especially ugly live-in and his awkward stacking of garbage-bags near the curb. The weight inside was uneven and some of the bags couldn't stand straight by themselves.  Usually people in the neighborhood were considerate with the trash and recyclables, except for the occasional kitchen sink or worn arm-chair. Craig had been out drinking with friends from work, which helped him ignore signs of movement from inside the bags, and he barely managed a moist grunt of acknowledgment to the live-in....





Atop This Rock

Brendan O'Brien

 
© Copyright 2015 by Brendan O'Brien

 
Photo of Yellowstone Falls overlook.
           

Here I stand atop this rock, crouched at the cliff’s edge, listening. I hear the cars, far below, tread hesitantly around each switchback, a reminder that to ascend—to climb, to overcome—anything requires great faith and focus. No smooth path is worth following. A pebble falls and its collisions echo back to me until absorbed by a sudden gust of wind....

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The Queen of Savannah Bridge



Donna Heinsbroek



 
© Copyright 2016 by Donna Heinsbroek











Poster by Anthony Mmoh for Lura's memorial event.

My personal journey started at the Cancer Pavilion with a quiet and shy woman whom I recognized from our bridge club. She was the best female bridge player for many years in Savannah and her name was Lura McKinney. I learned that we were both fighting the same Stage IV colon cancer and we also shared the same doctor, George Negrea. Lura's colon cancer had metastasized into her lungs, liver, and lymph nodes; mine had metastasized to my liver, spleen, and spine....

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Bad Luck For Johnny       



Tom Bush



© Copyright 2016 by Tom Bush

 

Photo of Pony Express advertisment.

Kansas City, Kansas 1928

“I remember my brother Johnny vividly and I’m 77 years old,” said Joseph Fry, sitting down at the outside café talking to a reporter from the Kansas City Star.

“It has been a long time but he was my hero and still is. He was the best rider in the whole town of St. Joe! I thought he was 6’ tall and weighed 200 lbs., but I was only 9 years old. In reality he was only 20 years old and small. He couldn’t have weighed any more than 120 lbs. I was a young kid at the time but it is still clear as a bell ringing. I know this because I remember our conversation just like it was yesterday.  It was in the spring of 1860. We were in St. Joe with our Stepfather buying supplies and the Pony Express was just starting up.”...

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The Gift       



Tom Bush



© Copyright 2016 by Tom Bush

 

Photo of a peyote cactus.

One particularly sharp reddish stone gouged at Anthony’s back while laying in the crevice. The sun shone brightly in the early morning November west Texas sky, and the temperature began to creep up from the low thirties. Moaning, trying to move, the pain rippled up his back jerking him fully awake, exacerbating the numbing cold that surrounded him. The jagged rocks allowed the frosty air entrance into the torn camouflage coat, and ever so slowly, he began surveying his condition. Ripped sections of dark bloody spots were on his pant’s knees. The left foot lay at an unusual angle. Straining, trying to move the foot, the pain caused him to wince....





Some Bunny Loves Me


Emily Hart 

© Copyright 2016 by Emily Hart   

 

Photo of a little girl sticking out her tongue.


Satisfaction is especially sweet on Easter morning for a six year old with a larcenous heart.  I figured out pretty early on that the Easter Bunny was one of those scams used to manipulate me into behaving and doing extra chores.  The weeks leading up to Easter were filled with what I considered hard labor.  No one else in the family was willing to let me give up the myth, in spite of my logical protests about the possibility of a rabbit delivering candy to millions of children in one night.  So at age six I decided to use that very con to my advantage....

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The Rarest Flower
       Part One



Nicole Van Zyl





© Copyright 2016 by Nicole Van Zyl

 

Image of an Edelweiss on a mountainside.

Somewhere in Salzburg, Austria, high on the Untersburg mountain, a young girl was walking among the trees. It had been a lovely warm summer's day. The sky was bright blue with white fluffy clouds. The grass was green and the flowers were fragrant and in full bloom. She would always lose herself on this mountain, not realising that she had been gone for most of the day. By the time she returned to the Abbey, it was too late. Her absence had already been noticed....

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Let Me Call You Sweetheart 

Nicole Van Zyl

© Copyright 2015 by Nicole Van Zyl

 

Photo of an old couple's hands.

This story is dedicated to my grandmother, Kathleen Anne Labuschagne and my late grandfather, Willem Van Zyl, who sadly passed away in 1958. Rest in peace grandpa. 

It was a cold, miserable night, typical for mid-July, and Kathleen had been more than happy to
settle by the fire in the lounge. Now that she had put the baby to bed, she knew that she could relax completely with very little chance of being disturbed. In fact, she had already decided to change into her night attire before returning back downstairs. This was how Kathleen loved to spend her evenings – at least she loved to before….

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The Alphabetologist             

 

R. D. Flavin 

  

© Copyright 2016 by R. D. Flavin   

    

Phoenecian Alphabet


After you reach a certain age, second dates can be risky.  I'd hit it off with Nancy on our first date, and was excited when she telephoned me at work the next morning. To say I was flattered couldn't begin to describe the feeling of being asked out by a beautiful woman.  When she called back in the afternoon and complained of not being able to get a sitter, I realized I'd not asked her a lot of personal questions....

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The Uncanny Tension of Research

             

Richard Franklin Bishop

  

© Copyright 2016 by Richard Franklin  Bishop      



Photo of part of the Prygi Golden Tablet.


Mr. C. W. Ceram (Kurt W. Marek), on pp. x & xi, in Gods, Graves, and  Scholars - The Story of Archaeology, BANTAM BOOKS, New York, 2nd Ed., 1972, documented the idea that the Reader could become interested in the driest, most boring technical research information, if presented as a “dramatic process.” He wrote:

. . . . . it was Paul de Kruif (author of The Microbe Hunters ) who first undertook to trace the development of a highly specialized science so that one could read about it with genuine excitement, with the sort of  response too often produced, in our times, only by detective thrillers. De Kruif found that even the most highly involved scientific problems can be quite simply and understandably presented if their working out is described as a dramatic process. That means, in effect, leading the reader by the hand along the same road that the scientists themselves have traversed from the moment truth was first glimpsed until the goal was gained . De Kruif found that an account of  the detours, crossways, and blind alleys that confused the scientists . . . could achieve a dynamic and dramatic quality capable of evoking uncanny tension in the reader.”...

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A Good-bye For Soldier             

 

R. D. Flavin 

  

© Copyright 2016 by R. D. Flavin   

    

Photo of a dead black cat.


A short-story about a couples' love of cats and how they deal with the loss when one of four passes away.

 "Get up and feed the cats, before I kill one of them!" she threatened sleepily.  

 Kevin knew she was kidding, but he threw back the covers and got out of bed nonetheless....


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A Powder-Puff's Journey             

 

Nick Gerrard 

  

© Copyright 2016 by Nick Gerrard   

    

Photo of a powder-puff case.


-I can’t stand English tea! Because when the Nazis left we had nothing to eat or drink for two weeks or so. When the English arrived the first thing they gave us was tea, and we were all sick and since this time I cannot drink tea.

I raised my eyebrows and grinned at her. In my mind I pictured the Brits, faced with the horror, running round panicking.

-Jesus Christ! What the hell should we do?...


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Never Too Old

For a New Adventure

Karen Radford Treanor 

 

© Copyright 2016  by Karen Radford Treanor


Photo of Sunset from Karen's patio.


Ever since seeing a picture of autumn-coloured trees on a road in New Norfolk, I’d wanted to visit Tasmania. There was something about it that echoed the look of New England, where I spent my first 28 years. Over the years there was always something that prevented the trip, but the desire never abated. In 2013, having had a couple of major health problems that brought my own mortality to my notice, I began to filch time from more urgent work and trawled the real estate sites in Tasmania. The hotter the Western Australian summer got, the more keenly I looked at Tasmanian real estate. A horrific fire in the Perth Hills that only barely missed us in January 2014 and burnt out 70 of our friends and neighbours made my search even more urgent...


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Your Government at Work             

 

Judith Nakken 

 
© Copyright 2016 by Judith Nakken   

 
 

 

Photo of Elvis Presley's social security card.



We changed banks, after 17 years. The new-building bank right there in Marysville was anxious for our business, and made the transition as smooth as possible. Social Security, however, in its infinite wisdom in the past month, had mandated that banks could no longer fill out the transfer of direct deposit of Social Security monies as a convenience to elders. The payees now must go to the local Social Security office. No problem, thought I, and asked the new accounts girl to notarize Dale’s statement authorizing me to do the transfer of both our miniscule remittances for fifty years of mostly hard work....


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Have You Seen My False Teeth?


Paul Marion Fleetwood

© Copyright 2016 by  Paul Marion Fleetwood
 

 

Photo of a dog digging a hole..



In 1942 when I was 12 years old we lived in Gary, Texas.  Gary was half a square with the other side closed in by railroad tracks.  We moved there from Southern Missouri when my Dad became disabled and needed to catch up with the rest of the clan who were in the sawmill business....

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How I Became a Dilettante

             

Richard Franklin Bishop

  

© Copyright 2016 by Richard Franklin  Bishop      



Photo of part of the Prygi Golden Tablet.



. . . Just how does one become a dilettante? By initially pursuing a hobby until it becomes practically an obsession. I first started chasing down Phoenician inscriptions back in the early 1980's; first it was one or two inscriptions, then I began building a home-made Phoenician Dictionary which just "grew and grew." Phoenician interested me more than any other language, but don't ask me why....


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A Day Trip to Bryant             

 

Judith Nakken 

 
© Copyright 2016 by Judith Nakken   

 
 

 

Photo of Bryant store.


Come thou……One day amid the woods with me…..” 19th century poet William Cullen Bryant’s “A Summer Ramble” haunted me as I left I-5 at exit 212, Stanwood-Bryant Road, and drove east a few minutes. Bryant, Washington, elevation 171 feet, has an official census population of zero (its mailing address is Arlington,) some magnificent history, building #1 on Snohomish County’s register of historic places, and trees, trees, trees. When I reached Highway 9 I had arrived; the Bryant Store was on my left and the current end of the Centennial Trail across the road....

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Orchestra Pit Memories



William Wayne Weems
 

© 2016 by William Wayne Weems


  
Photo of a school safety patrol badge.

Jon Keller has asked me to share my memories as a Theater Nashville player in the early 1960's at the Belcourt Theater.  There aren't too many.  I was on stage during only one of their productions. Today often called the Belcourt Cinema, at that time the subject building retained many of those antique features also seen in the downtown Lowe's "Vendome" theater (since destroyed by fire). Full stage equipment for live plays could be hidden by a drop-down movie screen at need, a common feature of depression era theaters that had to be able to switch between live "vaudeville" acts and the latest Hollywood offerings....whatever bought in the crowds....


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The Incredible Story of Uncle Bob

Nicole Van Zyl

© Copyright 2015 by Nicole Van Zyl

 

Image from the dust cover of his biography "Bob Rogers - his personal story as told by Roger Williams"

This is a biography of My late grandmothers cousin.I never met him but I remember my grandmother telling me about him.

     One story I remember my grandmother telling me was during WW2, (I don't remember which battle) he was in a plane flying and they spotted the enemy on the ground beneath them.They wanted to drop a bomb to finish them off but Bob stopped them saying "these men are exhausted and wounded.They have had enough.Let's leave them alone." With that they flew away.Every single one of Uncle Bob's medals were earned....

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Drones for People 

             

Richard Franklin Bishop

  

© Copyright 2016 by Richard Franklin  Bishop      


Photo of a single person drone.

To find out more about this one person drone Click Here...


Everybody has heard of Otto Lilienthal and his attempts to fly like a bird. His fame grew as he completed 2,000 glider flights between 1891 and 1896; where he died of a broken neck on the last flight that crashed.

And no less renowned were Orville and Wilbur Wright whose heavier-than-air and powered flying machine flew in controlled flight on December 17, 1903.

But, at the rate technology is now advancing, this puts them in back the “Stone Age” as far as mechanical (and now electronic) innovation goes....

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Romance Tale



Emily Hart

© Copyright 2016 by Emily Hart   

 

It's good for a woman to be able to recognize true love and weed through the faithless, as I learned at a young age....

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The Quiet Baby



Emily Hart

© Copyright 2016 by Emily Hart   

This threshold experience profoundly affected my childhood, yet it was never spoken about.  It was as if the events were buried. 

I was five years old when my mother asked one day "Would you like to come with me to see Uncle Paul and Aunt Martha's baby?"
 

I loved babies and welcomed any chance to hold one.  I knew how to support the baby's head so it would not wobble and keep the feet covered so the baby wouldn't catch a chill. . . .

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Hosing Down Lootie Seton

 
 

James Sclater
  

 

© Copyright 2014 by  James Sclater

 

. . . .Lootie Seton was a very large, very strong man with a lot of large demons rattling around in his head. He would go into a rage more often than not, and when he did, he regularly whipped up on his daddy, his mama, his sister Ellen and even his grandmother. I’m not talking small potatoes beatings, I’m talking end up in the hospital beatings. Lootie was just plain crazy as hell and everyone was healthier by staying on his good side, if at all possible. . . .


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The Twenty-Five Dollar Miracle          

 

Judith Nakken 

 

© Copyright 2015 by Judith Nakken   
 

 

Photo of an envelope containing money.

December, 1969. Brown and cold in Spokane, Washington. Cold and frightened in the privacy of my own room, away from the teenagers. Six months sober, I’d been fired for the first time in my life at Thanksgiving. I had to draw on California’s unemployment, which was great because I’d get $53 per week and the Washington max was $42. Not so great, because the checks kept not coming. Not coming, and Christmas was....

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Succotash Summer



June Huwa Whiting

© Copyright 2015 by June Huwa Whiting
 

 

This is a (mostly) true story of growing up on the farm and being blessed (or is it cursed?) with a father who had a strong work ethic. It's the story of a bitter relationship between two sisters and a field of pinto beans.   In comparison to how hard our parents had to work on their families' farms when they were growing up, we got off easy, but being kids, we were certain no one had ever suffered to the extent we did when sent out every summer to hoe one, and only one, field of pinto beans....

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My Uncle Edd, Captain, USAAF 

             

Richard Franklin Bishop

  

© Copyright 2015 by Richard Franklin  Bishop      

Photo of Uncle Edd.

It was hot in late June of 1946. There in Kalamazoo County we were making Hay as fast as we could to beat the bad Weather conditions that we knew were coming. We had just brought a wagon-load of Hay in from the field and I, not quite 16 yet, was preparing to use our 1929 Buick “Six” to pull on the Hay rope raising forkfuls of Hay to empty the wagon. My Father, Elmer J. Bishop, was just climbing up onto the Hay load to “set” the Hay fork when my Mother called from the house saying that there was a long-distance telephone call for one “ELMER BISHOP.” He climbed down and went into the house to take the call. That’s when he learned that on Monday, 24 June 1946, his Brother, James E. Bishop, Captain, USAAF, my Uncle, had died in the line of duty in a tragic accident. He was 46 years old....

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Up, Up Over The Alps 

             

Richard Franklin Bishop

  

© Copyright 2015 by Richard Franklin  Bishop      


I was stationed at Neubiberg AFB, Munich, Germany, during 1953 while assigned to the U.S. Air Force’s 433
rd Troop Carrier Wing (shortly afterwards it was redesignated as the 317th Troop Carrier Wing). We were equipped with Fairchild C-119 twin-engined Aircraft (Flying Boxcars)....

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