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Publisher Richard Loller's  Journal
For Year 2022
Index to All Journal Years

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Scroll down for the most recent stories
Inviting Trouble





Lesley Mukwacha




y


© Copyright 2023 by Lesley Mukwacha
Image by Brigitte JAUFFRINEAU from Pixabay
Image by Brigitte JAUFFRINEAU from Pixabay 

Dinner was served, a delicious cottage pie, green salad and roasted tin foiled banana with melted dark chocolate for desert; just the silence told you everyone was enjoying their meal. The big fire in the middle kept us all warm on this cold winter night. My clients were all happy, why shouldn't they be, I was doing a great job of guiding them through four Southern African countries they had only dreamt of. . . .

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Regina, The Strange Lion





Lesley Mukwacha




y


© Copyright 2023 by Lesley Mukwacha
Photo by Chris Rhoads on Unsplash
Photo by Chris Rhoads on Unsplash.

The smell of fried cabbage coming out of the small kitchen where my mom was preparing lunch will always be the one I blame for what happened four hours later that bright summer afternoon. Sadza,(stiff porridge) and fried cabbage, would be the meal of that day, no meat to accompany them, and it had been the same meal for the past three days. I had had just about enough of that. I wanted meat, I craved meat, I needed meat - even fish would do. . . .

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I Love Clock From My Childhood 



Chaitanyamoi Chetia




 
© Copyright 2023 by 
Chaitanyamoi Chetia



Image courtesy of Mun Bora on Facebook
Image courtesy of Mun Bora on Facebook

In the year 2014, a clock tower was installed at Dibrugarh: with the installation, the city gave a vintage look to the onlookers, and it became the first city in the state of Assam to get a clock tower. It was a 45 feet tower erected at Chowkidingee traffic point facing four sides of the road at the intersection. The clock was elegantly curved having graceful dials of 6 feet diameter each, facing the four sides of the road. . . .

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Believe Me






Lauren Barrett


 
© Copyright 2023 by Lauren Barrett



Photo of Lauren.
Photo of Lauren. 

I adjust the camera on my phone for what seems like the 100th time trying to find the perfect angle and lighting to capture my face. It isn’t working.

Sighing in defeat, I get ready to press the join button. No one will care what I look like in a chronic illness support group anyway. . . .

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White Envelope






Giles Ryan

 
© Copyright 2023 by Giles Ryan




Photo by Richard Loller.
Photo by Richard Loller.

It’s a delicate business, paying a bribe. Unlike other transactions, the amount you’re expected to pay may be unstated, no more than an estimate, but whatever you pay must be enough, and yet you certainly don’t want to pay too much, for that might spoil the market for others. And the thing must be done properly, so as to leave no ill feeling on either side. It takes a deft hand, and it’s not a situation that allows for gaucherie. . . .

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The Thornback and the Red-Headed Man







Sara Etgen-Baker



 
© Copyright 2023 by Sara Etgen-Baker
Photo property of Sara.
                           Photo property of  Sara.

Granny called me a “thornback,” a derogatory term given to women of her time who weren’t married by the age of 30. Yes, I was a thornback—a single woman, approaching her 31st birthday. My biological clock was ticking; and I feared becoming a spinster whose only companion was a Siamese cat. But I would’ve preferred remaining a spinster rather than spend a lifetime with a boring man whom I didn’t love. . . .

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Portrait of a Young Woman - July 17, 1793






Giles Ryan

 
© Copyright 2023 by Giles Ryan




Painting of Charlotte Corday by Johan Jakob Hauer.. Public domain.
Painting of Charlotte Corday by Johan Jakob Hauer..

It is unique in the history of painted portraits. No other work of this genre has ever been created in similar circumstances, or ever will be again. The artist, Johan Jakob Hauer, is not well known but he was a competent portraitist, and we may assume this is a good likeness. But his most significant qualification was that he was available and could work quickly, for he had not a minute to spare. . . .

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Promise Me







Sara Etgen-Baker



 
© Copyright 2023 by Sara Etgen-Baker
Photo property of Sara.
                           Photo property of  Sara.

Promise Me” is a memoir and a true, biographical account of my first summer job and the time I spent with my supervisor, Nancy—a ‘crusty’ woman who changed the trajectory of my life for the better. . . .

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La Profesora de Inglès







Sara Etgen-Baker



 
© Copyright 2023 by Sara Etgen-Baker
Photo property of Sara.
                                                    Photo property of  Sara.

This is a memoir of my experience in moving across the state of Texas and teaching in a border community just outside of El Paso. It highlights my reasons for making such a drastic move and the unknown outcomes of taking such a risk. . . .

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The Witness Tree






Giles Ryan

 
© Copyright 2023 by Giles Ryan




Photo by Joy Deb at Pexels.
Photo by Joy Deb at Pexels.

I visited all the major towns of Bangladesh in those years, and in my memory they were much alike in this land of river deltas, although here and there a particularly elegant mosque would stand out from the general sameness. Depending on the time of year, going to these places might take several hours on a river boat, or some hours drive, perhaps longer during the monsoon when the rivers were high, with a longer wait at the ferry ghat. 

Sometime in 1979, when I had been in country about a year, my work required a visit to Mymensingh for an appearance in court. The details are now slightly dim in memory, something to do with an accounts clerk at our local office forging a check or absconding with the petty cash. . . .

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Life With The Butterfly Whisperer







Sara Etgen-Baker



 
© Copyright 2023 by Sara Etgen-Baker
Photo property of Sara.
                                                    Photo property of  Sara.

I entered Whispering Oaks and found the large French doors of the day room flung wide open. I walked through them towards the verandah and saw Pop sitting outdoors amongst some zinnias surrounded by a rabble of butterflies. . . .

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A Call in the Middle of the Night


Fredrick Hudgin




 
© Copyright 2023 by Fredrick Hudgin



Photo by Kirill Dratsevich at Pexels.
Photo by Kirill Dratsevich at Pexels.

I was sound asleep when the phone rang. The clock next to the bed said 3:32 AM. Cell phones hadn’t been invented yet. The phone hung on the kitchen wall of our mobile home. . . .

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Street Crime: Memories Of Life On 28th Street



Elliot Wilner




 
© Copyright 2022 by Elliot Wilner


Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.
Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.

In the 1940’s, when I was a young boy, 28th Street Northwest was a nondescript street in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of the District of Columbia, located about a half-mile west of the National Zoo. Only two blocks in length, with just a single lane for traffic, it was certainly a nondescript street in a nondescript neighborhood, but for us children that street was our playground and the center of our world. . . .

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The Wolf Ate Grandma




Valerie Forde-Galvin




 
© Copyright 2023 by Valerie Forde-Galvin


Photo by Philipp Pilz on Unsplash
Photo by Philipp Pilz on Unsplash

In my childhood, parents read bedtime stories to their children. In theory, a child will fall asleep easily when listening to a familiar soothing voice. In reality, the story choice makes all the difference. So I have to ask why did parents chose fairy tales? What were they thinking? Nothing was held back in these stories; nobody seemed to realize that their content wasn't edited for children. Today, because of its violent themes, my little book of fairy tales would have been rated PG-13. At the time, I was six. I did not fall asleep easily after bedtime stories. . . .

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Pumpkin
 

    

 

Valerie Byron    

© Copyright 2023 by Valerie Byron  

  



Photo courtesy of the author.

Photo courtesy of the author.


Today started out pretty well for me. It's Sunday, December 23rd and for once I don't have to worry about preparing for Christmas. My daughter has offered to cook the meal in her new house, and my son, Nick, and his partner, Lee, will be joining us, as well as my husband, Bill. I didn't even bother putting up a tree this year. Didn't really seem worth the bother, especially since I had thrown away my artificial tree from last year in the trash by mistake. Of course, that's par for the course. . . .

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The Things I Did To Survive






Terry Mulcahy



 
© Copyright 2023 by Terry Mulcahy


Photo by Eduardo Soares at Pexels.
Photo by Eduardo Soares at Pexels.

In 1973 I got arrested for losing control of a vehicle on Interstate-10 in Louisiana. The vehicle belonged to a carny who managed a big ride, but he owned a kiddie ride - a small metal setup that allowed some ponies to be hitched up and walk around in a circle. It was very popular with tiny fair goers. Before I get into that, I should explain how I ended up there, as I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. . . .

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Nice Day for a Ride


Fredrick Hudgin



 
© Copyright 2023 by Fredrick Hudgin



Photo by Javier Aguilera at Pexels.
Photo by Javier Aguilera at Pexels.

All right, get out of here! You’ve been moping and whining around the backyard all goddamned day. I know you wanna go for a ride. So GO!” My wife turned on her heel and stalked back into the house, slamming the screen door loudly for effect. Josh, Beethoven, and I looked at the door where she had disappeared, then down at the garden where we had hoed, tilled, and planted since breakfast. I looked up at the sky to see where the sun was—still a couple, three hours till dark. A slow smile spread across my face—a ride! . . .

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Rescue From Machu Picchu



Elliot Wilner





 
© Copyright 2022 by Elliot Wilner


Image by Elias from Pixabay
Image by Elias from Pixabay 

In late January of 2010, while on an escorted tour in Peru, my wife and I and twenty-six other members of our tour group became marooned near Machu Picchu due to flooding from the Urubamba River. More than three thousand other tourists became marooned with us. . . .

More...





South Valley Sweat






Terry Mulcahy



 
© Copyright 2023 by Terry Mulcahy


Photo courtesy of the author.
Terry working on Mark's house in 1983.  Photo courtesy of the author.

It started out as a hole in the ground - a mud pit. Mark used it to mix mud for his adobes. It was about two feet deep and five feet across. Next to it was a pile of lumber scraps. For nearly two years, Mark had been building his house, mostly on weekends, and now was the final push to finish it. . . .

More...





Pages From A Political Activist's Diary





Karen Radford Treanor 

 

© Copyright 2023  by Karen Radford Treanor

Karen and Bob Hawke, former Prime Minister of Australia.  Photo by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce.
Karen and Bob Hawke, former Prime Minister of Australia.
 Photo by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce.

In the early days of this century (heavens to Murgatroyd, doesn’t that sound strange?) I worked for a state Member of Parliament in Western Australia. She was a progressive young woman who had knocked off the conservative incumbent against all odds, to the bookies’ delight. . . .

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Plutarch's Prejudice









Ezra Azra


.
 
© Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra
 
Theda Bara as Cleopatra and Fritz Leiber as Caesar in the lost film Cleopatra (1917). Source, public domain at Wikimedia.
Theda Bara as Cleopatra and Fritz Leiber as Caesar
 in the lost film 
Cleopatra (1917)..Public  domain.
Plutarch (46 anno domini - 119 anno domini) was a Greek man who lived seventy-three years in the Roman Empire. He was, by every standard in his time and in ours here in the twenty-first century, a highly educated person. A highest formally educated person nowadays is not especially noteworthy because of the millions of others equally educated. . . .

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Best Time in our Ghetto








Ezra Azra


.
 
© Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra
 
Photo by Oxfam East Africa via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Oxfam East Africa via Wikimedia Commons

Loud vocal sounds, day and night, were not unusual in our ghetto of Clairwood. At night, most of the time, we slept through them. When we paid attention to them, day and night, it was for the first few seconds in order to determine if the situation involved us. From an early age we became experts in those few seconds' determinations. If we assessed we were not involved, we could not care less; by the natural laws of self-preservation; water off a duck's back; Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

In the dim light of dawn on a day in the 1940s, for the first time ever, the loud shouts and screams were alerting everybody to an imminent danger. In our home, the first shared instinct was that it was a trap to lure us out of the home. . . .

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The Farm on the Red Hill








Ezra Azra


.
 
© Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra
 
Photo by Petr Ganaj at Pexels
Photo by Petr Ganaj at Pexels

The farm on the red hill was a most dangerous thirty-acre place, and, paradoxically, because of the danger, it was farmed reasonably safely and profitably.

The farm was in a part of sub-tropical Africa where one of the natural and everlasting dangers forever is and will forever be, poisonous snakes. . . .

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When Fear Turned Into Fun








Ezra Azra


.
 
© Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra
 
Photo by Radu Vladislav on Unsplash
Photo by Radu Vladislav on Unsplash

I was running for my life. My pursuer was almost twice my size, and so I was not about to stand and fight. Mind you, if he caught me, he would not have had it all his way. Both of us were Clairwood ghetto gang members. . . .

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Somewhere in Ukraine








Ezra Azra


.
 
© Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra
 
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

On a farm in Ukraine, somewhere between the Carpathian Mountains and the borders with Slovenia and Hungary, along the Dnister River. The time was about three o'clock in the morning. It was raining. . . .

More...





A Quaker Summer

Reminiscences of  Gini Waters



Gini Waters 

 

© Copyright 2023  by Karen Radford Treanor

Photo furnished by Karen Treanor.
Photo of Barbara, Virginia (Gini),and Florence Bullock--furnished by Karen Treanor

I was clearing out old computer files and ran across the attached short, short story which I thought might interest you.  I found the picture, which dates from the same era and location in a box of Mother’s things.  The writer—my mother-- died in 2008, aged 92.  (She’s the fishergirl in the middle of the photo.) . . .

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George Orwell, 1903 - 1950








Ezra Azra


.
 
© Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra
 
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The famous English novelist, George Orwell, was the pseudonym used by Eric Arthur Blair.

Eric Arthur Blair was born in India in 1903. India was a country in the British Empire. His Father's name was Richard;
his Mother's, Ida. . . .

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How Does One Properly Inter A Coon?

Or, Tail of a Coon





Pat Mann


 
© Copyright 2023 by Pat Mann

 

Photo by Tim Umphreys on Unsplash
Photo by Tim Umphreys on Unsplash

I received this email yesterday from a coffee buddy that moved from sunny Florida back to Indiana with a peculiar request.

Pat,

Had a funeral today for a coon. I forgot, "do you bury them with their tail up or down?" . . .

More...





Sugar Babies






Terry Mulcahy



 
© Copyright 2022 by Terry Mulcahy


Photo courtesy of Atahan Demir at Pixels.
Photo courtesy of Atahan Demir at Pixels.


Frequently, hurricanes and tropical storms passed near Baltimore City where I grew up. There would be high winds, sometimes hitting 100 miles an hour along the Maryland coast. One such hurricane passed by in 1960 causing severe flooding. It was just before my parents moved from our house in downtown Baltimore to a location a bit higher in elevation. There was heavy rain in Baltimore, but we had our yellow raincoats and black galoshes - those rubber boots that buckled up from the toes halfway up our calves. . . .

More...





The Dutiful Nevada Wife

She Drove Him to the ER





Henry Lansing Woodward


 
© Copyright 2023 by Henry Lansing Woodward

Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash
Photo by Mikhail Nilov at Pexels.

We had just discharged our last patient, the man with the shotgun wound, and were still parked in the ambulance parking area in front of the double doors leading into the emergency room.  After each transport (not all dispatches result in a patient or a transport of a patient), there is always some cleaning and restocking.  The four things always needing to be done, besides re-stocking, were to wipe down the gurney, change the linens, wipe all surfaces and mop the floor.  Always. . . .

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The Elevator Game

The Story of Two Brothers at University





Henry Lansing Woodward


 
© Copyright 2023 by Henry Lansing Woodward

Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash
Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash 

It was a little past midnight when the alarm went off.  The call was at Juniper Hall on the campus of the University of Nevada in Reno.  We responded CODE THREE lights and sirens, and because we were close to the University, we arrived at the scene about four minutes after receiving the dispatch. . . .

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Ocean City Took My Breath Away






Terry Mulcahy



 
© Copyright 2022 by Terry Mulcahy


That's a photo of myself and my brother at a much younger age than the event in the story.
Photo courtesy of the author.


Stopped breathing. Just like that. The ocean had been cold. Much colder than I'd expected from a warm Spring day. It was early in the beach season. The winter had been harsh. Cold currents still flowed past the shore where my parents had dragged all of us kids. . . .

More...




Dead Dogs




Sam DeLeo



 
© Copyright 2021 by Sam DeLeo




Image by Jana from Pixabay
Image by Jana from Pixabay

When I was young, my first stepfather returned from a trip to the countryside with bad news. He was driving down a dirt road when our Siberian Husky jumped out of our GMC Jimmy and died under its wheels. He never learned what made the dog jump. . . .

More...





The Stolen Bride





Milton Cust


 
© Copyright 2022 by Milton Cust



Photo by Jaye Haych on Unsplash
Photo by Jaye Haych on Unsplash

     “I’m going to raise me a whole passel of cattle, horses and kids, but not necessarily in that order.” Len James started bragging from the moment he arrived in Riviere Que Barre.

     He was a young bachelor who arrived in the small community to claim a homestead in 1933. It was the heart of the great depression and most people in the area had nothing but the clothes on their back and the will to carry on until things got better. . . .

More...






Brando's Lost Movie








Ezra Azra


.
 
© Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra
 
Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay
Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay .

In the 1970s, the Students' Representative Council at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, had a policy of inviting famous Movie Stars to speak informally with students for an hour-or-so. Attendance at these engagements was free to the general public, as well. . . .

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished








Ezra Azra


.
 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra
 
Photo by Laura James at Pexels.
Photo by Laura James at Pexels.

Two financially wealthy doctors opened a clinic in the poverty-stricken ghetto where I lived when I was a child. They had to be wealthy because their medical services, including the medicines they dispensed, were free. The services had to be free because not enough people in that ghetto could afford to pay. . . .

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Me Too, To My Everlasting Shame








Ezra Azra


.
 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra
 
Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons
Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons

In the 1960s there was a petition circulated on the campus of the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, against Mrs Fatima Meer, a professor in the Department of Sociology.

Mrs Meer was tenured, with a Master of Arts degree. The petitioners demanded her dismissal from the University. It had come to light that Mrs Meer was in an incestuous marriage with her first cousin and had adult children in the marriage. . . .

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The Things We Do








Ezra Azra


.
 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra
 
Photo by Dev Asangbam on Unsplash
Photo by Dev Asangbam on Unsplash

This account was related, more or less, to me by the husband himself. . . .


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Comeuppance








Ezra Azra


.
 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra
 
Image by Sergei Tokmakov, Esq. https://Terms.Law from Pixabay
Image by Sergei Tokmakov, Esq. https://Terms.Law from Pixabay 

One dictionary definition of comeuppance is 'just deserts.' In other words, justice by non-sentient natural processes; not by the enforcement of human-devised legality. . . .

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Our Father Will Not







Ezra Azra


.
 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra


 
Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman on Unsplash
Photo by Ruthson Zimmerman on Unsplash 

King James Bible. "Amnon took hold of his half-sister, Tamar, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister. And she said unto him, I pray thee, Amnon, speak unto king David our father, for he will not withhold me from thee." . . .


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Radio and Human Touch 



Chaitanyamoi Chetia




 
© Copyright 2021 by 
Chaitanyamoi Chetia



Image by Miran Lesnik from Pixabay
Image by Miran Lesnik from Pixabay

Sanju was cleaning the table, dusting the chair, and listening to the radio news; after sometime, he stood on the top of a cupboard and scrubbed the ceiling and the blades of the ceiling fan. He amplified the volume of the radio when he heard that a massive blowout occurred from an oil well in his home state. . . .

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A Season To Remember 





Freda Wooten



 
© Copyright 2022 by Freda Wooten


Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay..

Winter 2020,Harman Hollow

Something sinister surrounded us  that snowy December night. Tom and I were sipping hot cocoa by a dancing camp fire when the eeriness first began. We had been giggling, recalling how opening day of rifle season had gone. We had hunted Tom's property that day for the first time together. . . .

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Crossing Into Ghana--1967



Thomas Turman


 
© Copyright 2022 by Thomas Turman




Photo by John Onaeko on Unsplash
Photo by John Onaeko on Unsplash

John, his wife Joan and I sped along the dirt road to the border between Togo and Ghana to get there before the Togo soldiers would bring down the gate at sundown. The gate, a stripped tree wrapped in red tape, pinned at one end and resting on a box on the other, was already across the rutted road. Next to the pinned end was a barefoot kid in shorts holding an AK-47. . . .

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Hornets to the Rescue







Ezra Azra


.
 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra


 
Photo by Gilmer Diaz Estela at Pexels.
Photo by Gilmer Diaz Estela at Pexels.

I was fifteen years old. I worked part-time for mister Hackner, grocery store owner. Others like me worked at the same job. On Saturdays and Sundays only; the other days were school days. Mister Hackner did not hire school-age persons on school days. He declared he did not wish to interfere with one's school education. . . .

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My Gum Tree







Ezra Azra


.
 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra


 
Photo by Trac Vu at Pexels.
Photo by Trac Vu at Pexels.

I claimed it as mine because of the three gigantic trees in our yard at my Grandparents' home in our Village, the gum tree was the one that only I climbed. All of us Grandchildren climbed the mango tree and the avocado tree. . . .

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Adventures on the River







Ezra Azra


.
 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra


 
Image by dae jeung kim from Pixabay
Image by dae jeung kim from Pixabay


The word Umtwalume, or, Mtwalume, is the name of a tall tree that grows on the banks of a river in Zululand. The Zulus named the river after the tree. The Umtwalume river is one of many rivers flowing eastwards across the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, into the Indian ocean. . . .

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Bluebottles To The Rescue







Ezra Azra


Photo by Marat Gilyadzinoy on Unsplash.
 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra


 
Photo by Marat Gilyadzinov on Unsplash


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Code Three
One Day In The Life of a Paramedic






Henry Lancing Woodward


 
© Copyright 2022 by Henry Lancing Woodward

Image by Oskars Zvejs from Pixabay
Image by Oskars Zvejs from Pixabay 

As a Paramedic, I chose to work for private ambulance companies. My company was subcontracted to provide 911 emergency responses to the general population, so we performed the same duties as the Firefighter Paramedics. We, however, had a whole different pay scale. There were no overtime, medical, or 401K retirement benefits, and we were paid about eight dollars an hour. We were very underpaid for the responsibilities of our job. . . .

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When I Was Young Yesterday




Lew Goddard


Photos courtesy of the author.


 
© Copyright 202 by Lew Goddard

Age 17, high school photo.
Lew's high school photo, age 17
                   Lew's most recent photo, age 86
     
        
My wife and I are the elderly that people refer to on TV, in books and on the telephone. Numerous memories quite often come to mind and this story is meant to tell you readers some of these in our much younger days.
     I will tell you about my experiences since my spouse has her own.  But this is my story for your enjoyment. At least, I hope that you enjoy it. . . .

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Will The Real Santa Please Stand Up?




Deon Matzen




 
© Copyright 2022 by Deon Matzen
 
Photo by Mike Arney on Unsplash
Photo by Mike Arney on Unsplash
     
Charlotte is my sister-in-law. Not her real name. She is a single lady who has worked a number of various jobs during her lifetime. During the times of Covid, she was furloughed and without employment. When she was not taken back to the firm where she had worked, she decided to apply for her social security and move on to a life of retirement. Now she had more time on her hands.
     Quite a few years ago while she was still working, Charlotte took on a part time job as “auntie” to two boys when they were quite small. She would make sure they got off to school on time with their lunches, looking in decent form for the day. When they returned home she would provide a snack and help them do their homework, staying until one of the parents returned home. . . .

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A Whale of a Story







Ezra Azra



 
© Copyright 2022 by Ezra Azra


 
Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay
Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay.

His nickname was Golly; his official name was Cyril. His family lived on the same road as my family, in our village of Clairwood. He attended the same school as me. He was in standard six when I was in standard one.

After he graduated from school in the 1960's, Golly got a job as a sailor on a whaler boat out of the City of Durban. The whaler boat had a crew of five men, including the captain. . . .

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The Kilala





Terry Mulcahy



 
© Copyright 2020 by Terry Mulcahy


Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.


When my father died in 1987, I inherited his two cats, Charlie and Chrissy. He named them after characters in the TV show Charlie’s Angels. I had them for a long time. About 1996, Chrissy died of stomach or liver problems one day while I was working. I buried her in the yard where I lived at the time. I marked it with some bricks. The veterinarian had wanted to take her up to a hospital in Santa Fe for very expensive treatments and follow-up drugs, but I didn’t have that kind of money. The other cat, Charlie, lived much longer. After I married my second wife, I took Charlie with me and established him in my wife’s house. I hated to move and leave Chrissy there. She was dead and buried, but still I grieved for her. Charlie lived with us for many years. . . .

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Breaking Down Carnivals





Terry Mulcahy



 
© Copyright 2020 by Terry Mulcahy

Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

Sometimes you immerse yourself in something and you may not understand what it is until you back up and look at it from a distant perspective. And, yes, that’s my lead-in to a story, a story about joining a carnival.

Now, first off, a carnival is not a circus. No live animals, no rings, no ringmaster or clowns. But both a circus and a carnival have a vibrance in the air, a cacophony of sound, bright lights and garish colors. Both have children. Each child has a candy-apple blush on their cheeks and a dripping swirly cone. . . .

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When Is A Kiss Not A Kiss


Fredrick Hudgin

 
© Copyright 2022 by Fredrick Hudgin






Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

I taught my first data processing officer course at the Army Institute of Administration at Fort Harrison, Indiana, after being a second lieutenant for all six months. My class of 29 officers varied in rank from second lieutenant up to lieutenant colonel. We were a few days into their introduction to the COBOL computer programming language. Many of the young officers already had computer programming while in college. Those young men and women charged ahead with energy and easy success. The older officers struggled. . . .

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Get Them OFF!


Fredrick Hudgin

 
© Copyright 2022 by Fredrick Hudgin



Winner 2022 Biographical Story



Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo by Manjari Singh on Pexels.

The car drove by slowly, an elderly female driver staring at me as she negotiated the turn in front of my parents’ house. I realized I was stark naked, standing outside in a Princeton suburb, taking a shower from the end of a garden hose. . . .

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A Moving Experience








James L. Cowles




  
© Copyright 2022 by James L. Cowles
 
Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

I'm sure many of you have had a moving experience in your lifetime. Many of these seem to come when a person has aged, when ones life finds us celebrating birthdays in our sixth decade, and beyond. This certainly fits with me, and this recent experience. . . .

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The Runaway Dog
 

    

 

Valerie Byron
   


© Copyright 2022 by Valerie Byron    

Photo courtesy of the author.

Photo courtesy of the author.


Today started out pretty well for me. It's Sunday, December 23rd and for once I don't have to worry about preparing for Christmas. My daughter has offered to cook the meal in her new house, and my son, Nick, and his partner, Lee, will be joining us, as well as my husband, Bill. I didn't even bother putting up a tree this year. Didn't really seem worth the bother, especially since I had thrown away my artificial tree from last year in the trash by mistake. Of course, that's par for the course. . . .

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Brotherly Love







Noah Xia



 
© Copyright 2022 by Noah Xia

 

Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

He’s short, cute and as sweet as chocolate cake. My brother is my best friend, and he’s been with me for almost six years. Since the day he was born, I have adored him and taken care of him. However, that doesn’t mean we didn’t have any bumps on the trip. . . .

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First Love




Robert Flournoy



 
© Copyright 2022 by Robert Flournoy   
 

Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash
                                       Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash

Lying in bed with a broken leg, I would look out my second story window at the kids getting off the school buses on the street behind my apartment building. I first saw Carole as a brief flash of scarf covered beauty as she hastened into her own building. . . .

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Remembrance Day, November 11, 2022




Karen Radford Treanor 

 

© Copyright 2022  by Karen Radford Treanor

Photo by Brett Sayles at Pexels.
Photo by Brett Sayles at Pexels.                   

It's Remembrance Day in Australia; Veteran's Day for some folks elsewhere. Few now alive have any memory of the First World War and its terrible cost, and a rapidly decreasing number have memories of the Second World War. It's not just the soldiers who fought who should be remembered. I think of my mother who, greatly pregnant, battled through a gaggle of geese to climb a fire tower to watch the skies for enemy planes which never came, but that doesn't diminish her offering. . . .

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You Are Not Lost!  
You Are Right Where You Are Supposed To Be!



Kelly Maida


 
© Copyright 2022 by Kelly Maida

Photo of the author.
Photo of the author.

I wrote this from feelings recently of being lost in life and not knowing my direction or who I was. But with some counseling and self discovery, I am learning that everything is unfolding as it is supposed to. . . .

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Wherever We Go





Rianna Chhabra

 
© Copyright 2022 by Rianna Chhabra




Photo by beast brothers: https://www.pexels.com/photo/mountains-12313648/
Photo by beast brothers: at Pexels.

In the month of early October, I suddenly found myself growing up. I had been attending classes all week, working on the side, and cooking three meals a day without once having fully realized how big of a shift my journey from childhood to adolescence to this “new adult” phase had been. . . .

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Twelve Days




Judith Nakken


 
© Copyright 2022 by Judith Nakken



Photo by Brandon on Unsplash
Photo by Brandon on Unsplash

Tell him I’ve already hoisted the damned flag!” Mike groused over the top of yesterday’s Post-Intelligencer, only halfway through the headline article about the Cuban missile crisis. Geraldine stretched the black phone’s kinky cord. He didn’t want to fight this early in the morning on the eleventh sober day, so he reached a trembling hand for the receiver, spoke to his brother-in-law. . . .

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The Magnificent Tiger At Pench




Nayona Nag


 
© Copyright 2022 by Nayona Nag




Photo by Waldemar Brandt: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-tiger-and-cub-lying-down-on-grass-2541239/
Photo by Waldemar Brandt at Pexels.

In 2019, I, Nayona Nag, a quiet 11-year-old girl, wrote the story of Collarwali in my “Tiger Diaries.” Collarwali was the queen of Pench Tiger Reserve - situated in the interiors of Madhya Pradesh, India. She had achieved the milestone of giving birth to 29 tiger cubs. . . .

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Coming Together With Pandemic





Gomathi Sridevi

 
© Copyright 2022 by Gomathi Sridevi




Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

The year 2020 was filled with an unexpected guest named Covid19. Many people's dreams, plans, and wishes crashed down with the arrival of the Corona Virus. It's strange that how a tiny thing could do severe damage to lives.
 
As they say, a small ant can kill an elephant. . . .

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The Journey




Okparaoyibo Chukwuma Paul


 
© Copyright 2022 by 
Okparaoyibo Chukwuma Paul



Auchi Polytechnic School..  Photo by the author.
Auchi Polytechnic School..  Photo by the author.

“No, that is a girl’s chores!” father said with authority and I just laughed.

Mum sometimes refers to Dad as an archaic man, who don’t know that things has changed, but whether that is true or not, it is none of my business as long as it keeps me from helping mother in the kitchen or sweeping around the house. . . .

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Understanding




Martina Preston

 
© Copyright 2022 by Martina Preston





Image by Franck Barske from Pixabay
Image by Franck Barske from Pixabay 

Row upon row of white headstones pierce the grass in front of me. The white crosses gleam in the early July sunlight, and it’s almost hard to look at them without my eyes watering. I know it’d be perfectly fine if it looks like I’m crying, but I don’t feel like it. . . .

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Into The Less Known Malape





Martin Nyondo

 
© Copyright 2022 by Martin Nyondo




Photo of Milape Pillars  courtesy of the author.
Photo of Malape Pillars courtesy of the author.

Even though the sun was way past its overhead mark and was diving into its expansive, western horizon, the sweltering blanket of the heat swathed Liwonde township, melting both my mental and physical strength. I had trekked all the way from Zomba city, some fifty kilometers away, to visit a place that I had heard and read and seen many a time in the media. A place wrapped in secrecy and mystery. . . .

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A Day to Remember: Of Coins and a Clear Conscience




Sharanya Sivasathiyanathan


 
© Copyright 2022 by 
Sharanya Sivasathiyanathan



Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash
Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

From the moment my words were developed to become fully-fledged, autonomous thoughts, I realized that my older sister and I could never share the same ideas. Playing the “devil’s advocate” grew to become a common occurrence in our household, and it was ingrained in my very thinking that anything I could use to identify with my personality, within my control, would be different from those of my sister. . . .

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Travel Solo, Not Alone: Part 2 
Peru and Beyond


Hilary Bryn Thomas

 
© Copyright 2021 by 
Hilary Bryn Thomas


Phoyo by the author.
      Hilary's journals, guidebook,
      and maps. Photo by Hilary

In this essay, Hilary Bryn Thomas captures memories of the second part of a journey she took fifty years ago, traveling from Canada to Argentina by land and a little by sea The first part can be found at http://www.storyhouse.org/hilaryt.html. She traveled solo, but not alone. . . .

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My Experience at Alabama






Reagan Perry

 
© Copyright 2022 by Reagam Perry




Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash
Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash

Have you ever been to a place that you’ve never been before? I went to Alabama for a football game on October 7, 2022 with my parents. It was a long 8 hours of a Friday, but it was so worth it. . . .

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It's Time To Put Teruel In The Spotlight
\\





Mari Zipes Wallace


 
© Copyright 2022 by Mari Zipes Wallace




Image by meipakk from Pixabay
          Image by meipakk from Pixabay

How would you feel if you were told that your town didn’t exist? Confused? Lost? Angry?

Well, that’s been the plight of Teruel, a city in Aragon in eastern Spain. It’s the capital city of the Province of Teruel - with the smallest population of any provincial capital in the country - and without a direct railway or road link to the Spanish capital, Madrid. . . .

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Frantic Drive to Ohio for a Doomed Marriage Proposal



Joseph O'Brien



 
© Copyright 2022 by Joseph O'Brien



Photo by Luke Yanko on Pexels.
Photo by Luke Yanko on Pexels.

I graduated from Bakersfield Junior College in California in 1963 with an Associate of Arts degree as an Electronic Technician. I had been in the Navy, stationed at Charleston South Carolina, when I was accepted at Bakersfield and received an early (two weeks) out in order to attend school. Even with the early out I had to get to Bakersfield for an entrance exam pronto. . . .

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Nine Years to Freedom





Teal M. Gaylord


 
© Copyright 2022 by Teal M. Gaylord



Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash
                                                        Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

The American birthright based on “liberty and justice for all,” is unique in this world. As an American my appreciation of this birthright began with an experience I had as a teenager when I experienced what life looked like under Soviet occupied Eastern Europe. . . .

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Chasing Fire





Douglas Pereira

 
© Copyright 2022 by Douglas Pereira





Photo property of the author.

Photo property of the author.

Draped in a swirl of saffron yellow, a young woman climbed delicately down the cobbled steps from Fira town in Santorini, in search of the perfect lookout over the Aegean. The long train of her gown followed behind her, along with a sharply dressed young man and their photographer. . . .

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Best Vacation Ever



Bobbi Ali




 
© Copyright 2022 by Bobbi Ali


Photo property of the author.
Photo property of the author.

When I moved to China over seven years ago, I anticipated staying only maybe two years. After I arrived, I fell in love with China, but still resolved to visit home every year. Now, my experiences this past summer have tested this love greatly and I see so many things through a jaded, bitter perspective. . . .

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Beyond That Door




Kiel Lerio

 
© Copyright 2022 by Kiel Lerio




Image by Andreas from Pixabay
Image by Andreas from Pixabay 


It was a year ago that we had planned an outing to relax and enjoy ourselves after so many years just cooped up in our house. A summer vacation to the hometown of our beloved nanny who still lives with us until today. It was just our used-to-be-nanny for about 20+ years, her 4-year-old child, my sister, and I who travelled. . . .

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Spring, Paris, and Cemetaries

Kathryn Murdock
 
 

© Copyright 2022 by Kathryn Murdock 

  

   
 

Photo by Fabrice Nerfin on Unsplash.
Photo by Fabrice Nerfin on Unsplash.

What Is it about Paris?  Each time I go there it again irritates, infuriates and enchants me. I take it in small doses as one does at the Louvre. For the most part I am content with the museums, croissants and duck. Paris in part has become a cliché. A parody of itself. A tune played over and over. . . .

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Magnanimous




Ishaokanyie Otogbo 

 


© Copyright 2022 by 
Ishaokanyie Otogbo 



Image by thomasberghuis0 from Pixabay
Image by thomasberghuis0 from Pixabay 

I woke up with a start and realized I was sweating profusely. Both my bedsheet and pillowcase were drenched in sweat and my trembling trunk was evidence that I was gripped with fear. I sighed. I hissed and heaved. I was relieved when I came to consciousness and realized that it was a mere dream. I wasn’t surprised because my mind had been troubled for almost eight years since the current president ascended the headship of the political stable. He came with so much hopes and promises. But it all turned out a pipe dream. Things had cascaded from bad to worse and had continued to nosedive unabated. . . .

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Appalachian Glow Worms
Chasing the Southeast’s Hidden Lightshow




Christian F. Shushok
 
© Copyright 2022 by Christian F. Shushok




Photo courtesy of Pexels.
Photo courtesy of Pexels.

The night was of a substance that left me longing for the indoorsThe rain had been falling for hours, and the soil below my feet was beginning to slip and wash into the small streams that charted canyons into the leaves of the hillside. As I stepped out of my vehicle, the heels of my boots squelched into the orange clay, sinking me inches below my friends waiting on the solid rocks nearby. For a moment, as the skies opened up in a further torrent of showers, we all considered heading back, and returning to our homes for a warmer night of nature documentaries and fall apple cider. . . .

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A Mother's Travels Across Australia






Beata Stasak

 
© Copyright 2022 by Beata Stasak




Photo by Wallula from Pixabay
Photo by Wallula from Pixabay

It was a few years since my grown children had left our little farmhouse in Western Australia, following their careers and dreams. Our annual Christmas gatherings had been disrupted by Covid, so when the winter school holidays approached and the harvest was nearing completion, I packed my bag to venture out to their new homes. . . .

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A 4-Day and 3-Night Adventure With Friends






Ymgy Gardose Aton

 
© Copyright 2022 by Ymgy Gardose Aton




Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

Where’s our next plan?” my friend asked.

Well, you might not be that excited if I tell you” I grinned while I responded. . . .

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We All Deserve A Break






Ymgy Gardose Aton

 
© Copyright 2022 by Ymgy Gardose Aton




Photo courtesy of the author.
Photo courtesy of the author.

As a working female, I have been on the verge of having a “me-time”. I wanted to have my time alone. So I thought of doing my first domestic solo travel without thinking of all the hectic schedules in my workplace and taking care of my family at the same time. . . .

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A Middle Eastern Road Trip




Elizabeth Wahba

 
© Copyright 2022 by Elizabeth Wahba




Photo courtesy of Pexels.
Photo courtesy of Pexels.

For three months I had been reeling at the cultural differences of the Middle East. Moving from rural Pennsylvania to the bustling, ever-changing cityscape of Bahrain was whiplash-inducing. One change that I was excited about was the concept of Eid, the two separate fall breaks from work and school that fall after Ramadan. These would each be a blessed two-week break away from the overwhelming life of learning new cultures at a British school as the only American. . . .

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My Travels



Christine Law



 
© Copyright 2022 by Christine Law





Photo by Omar Prestwich on Unsplash
                                Photo by Omar Prestwich on Unsplash

Its funny how life plans out? I can remember traveling to Switzerland, flowers growing in the streets of Lucerne along the

pavements, with snow on the mountains. At twenty- two to be in such a climate didn’t seem real. On the trip there were 

many interesting people to talk to.  Trying to hide my shyness I tried to be friendly to everyone on the coach. . . .

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Dramamine and My Siren Song of the Road






Tom Sodergren

 
© Copyright 2022 by Tom Sodergren




Photo courtesy of Jenny Uhling at Pexels.
Photo courtesy of Jenny Uhling at Pexels.

My parents grew up during the Great Depression and the lessons they learned became instincts which dictated how my family lived in the mid century. . . . After the Depression and War years, my parents had powerful instincts to never waste money. Ever. On anything.  On me. . . .

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French Pressed Coffee in Morocco




Cherylle Winacott

 
© Copyright 2022 by Cherylle Winacott





Photo courtesy of  Los Muertos Crew on Pexels.
Photo courtesy of  Los Muertos Crew on Pexels.

A French press coffee in the morning delivered to me tableside, and my server even presses it down for me. Lord kill me now, I will die in blissful coffee heaven. Just thinking about this brings joy to my heart, I am shallow that way. This was in Marrakech Morocco at our five-star hotel, a delight I will not soon forget. . . .

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