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Andy Bageson

Kathryn Lynch

© Copyright 2019 by Kathryn Lynch

Stories About My Dad:

The Haircut
Negro Mens' Beach
Andy Bageson
Photo of a woman playing a violin.

This is a story about my Dad and Mom encountering a Jewish person for the first time. In the post Second World War era, Jews were any persons of Jewish ethnicity no matter where they were located, and any persons who espoused the Jewish Faith whether born into it or converted to it.  Andy Bageson may not have been the best example of a Jew, but he was the first Jew I ever knew with all his virtues and all his flaws. . . .



Laura Labno


© Copyright 2019 by Laura Labno

Photo of a snail.

Sarah was drawing at her desk when suddenly one thought became very prominent in her mind. An illuminated memory – Snails.

This one day, a large amount of earth circulations ago, in a small poor city, in even smaller and poorer neighbourhood she and her friend were playing. They’ve collected an impressive amount of snails and put them into a box. The idea was to open a Snail School. A Card Box Primary Snail School. . . .


Advice To My Daughters

Kelly Maida

© Copyright 2019 by Kelly Maida

Photo of a path into sunrise. {c} 2002 by Richard Loller.

As a survivor of domestic violence and I have been through both physical and emotional abuse, I would never want anyone to go through what I experienced. If I can help in anyway I would like to try. Today I was sending my daughters a message and It inspired me to write this. . . .

The Saga of Pretty Boy Floyd


Isabel Bearman Bucher   

© Copyright 2019 by Isabel Bearman Bucher 


Photo of Isabel's turtle.

My retired husband, Robert, is want to go to garage sales.  Over the years he’s come home with a few treasures, but more often than not, the objects are real pitch-out dogs.  When he’s forgotten about them, I usually toss them into the garbage or the give-away pile.  One year, he came home with Pretty Boy Floyd, an American,  three-toed box turtle, for which he paid the handsome sum of five bucks.  The turtle really was a beauty; ergo his name.   Brilliant orange spots that resembled Halloween candy corn,  flamed up his legs and was matched by clear blazing orange eyes.  Holding him, he let you scratch his head, while his legs went like windmills. A week later, he got sick. . . .


The Kaiser's Brooch

Helene Munson

© Copyright 2019 by Helene Munson


Photo of the brooch.

The Kaiser’s Brooch is what I have been told about my great-grandmother Marie Sophie Schmiede by my grandmother, supplemented by my knowledge of German history and carefully researched historical facts (Everything from the name of the Rabbi to the Tzar’s children having measles is true.) My short story is aimed at not just preserving a piece of family history but also giving the reader an understanding of what lead up to Germany’s disastrous 20th century history, weaving it into the story about my great grandmother…and yes… I own the Kaiser’s  Brooch. . . .


My First Theatre Experience

Albert Vetere Lannon

© Copyright 2019 by Albert Vetere Lannon

Photo of a 50's candy store.

I love the theatre. I’ve been able over my eight decades to see lots of plays, from street performers to first-class houses in New York, London, San Francisco, and now, Tucson. I didn’t grow up with theatre in my life. As a street kid on New York’s Lower East Side the thee-A-ter was something uptowners with money did and they did it uptown. We made do with the fourth-run Stuyvesant movie house on Second Avenue, around the corner from twelth Street where I lived and across the street from the corner candy store where we hung out, sipping sodas and playing the jukebox. . . .

Colorado Memoir

Robert Flournoy

© Copyright 2019 by Robert Flournoy   
Photo of Denver smog.

When I left the army in 1973 I headed to Colorado to see if some dreams could come true.  I had been in love with the mere thought of the Rocky Mountains since boyhood and could not wait to get there.  Colorado Springs was small then, Denver half the size it is today, its yellow dome not yet a significant trade mark.  I bought a home in the shadow of Pike's Peak and could access a dozen pristine trout streams in the foothills close to my house that were full of fish. . . .


Dale Fehringer

© Copyright 2019 by Dale Fehringer


Photo of Dale in his cowboy outfit.

 My cousin Bob was a year older than me, so he might have been eight (which would make me seven) when we first became cowboys.  It was summer, and I can still remember the warmth of the sun on us as we rode horseback through the wheat fields.  That must have been around 1958 or 1959. . . .


A Trip To Heaven

Solange Moreira

© Copyright 2019 by Solange Moreira


Photo of a street in Bahia.

Bahia is located in the northeast of Brazil. Its sun shines bright in the afternoons when women are hanging clothes outside, but always retreats in the nights when it's time to enjoy warm stories told in the dark. It was a hot day of July when I arrived in the state to celebrate its day of independence. . . .


Letting My Hair Down

Musfira Shaffi

© Copyright 2019 by Musfira

Painting of Frida Kahlo.

The phrase “stiff upper lip” did not apply to me as much as “hairy upper lip” did. All my life, I have been top-notch in the hair department, starting from the ebony ringlets that framed my brown cherub-like baby face, to the patches of soft tuft that started appearing underneath my armpits before any of my peers to signal oncoming womanhood. . . .

What A Wonderful Save

Ketina Muringaniza

© Copyright 2019 by Ketina Muringaniza

Photo of a person with arms raised.

This is a story of how throughout my life I was inhibited by numerous health problems which emerged each time a new developmental stage was reach blocking any academic, financial and economic progress. They took various form until I was drastically immobilized, living precariously on a very tight rope being given a very short life span and having lost all hope in life. From the blue on June 3, 2015, a junior doctor revealed the major cause of my health problems. Totally collapsed hips needing total hip replacements! How could I survive such major operations when I was suffering from acute heart failure? Where the intelligence and powers of man fail to operate, God will indeed take over! . . .

Walking the New Jersey Wilderness

Albert Vetere Lannon

© Copyright 2019 by Albert Vetere Lannon

Photo of Jersey wilderness.

Recently a friend returned to Tucson from visiting a daughter in southwest New Jersey. That reminded me of the many days I had spent in the South Jersey Pine Barrens, an improbable wild place smack in the middle of the New York-Baltimore/Washington-Philadelphia megalopolis. And of when, in 1970, I had hiked by myself some 77 miles, exploring ghost towns, touching civilization only by choice. . . .


A World Unto Its Own

Diane Robinson

© Copyright 2019 by Diane Robinson


Photo of the harbor at Malta.

A trip scouting film locations became a love affair with an island that will beckon me to return, time and time again.
I'll happily be returning to Malta many times as we prepare to film our independent movie there. This is my account of my first visit last year; which took my breath away with each new place we explored.  As much as I love being on any island (as a sailor, I’ve sailed around many!), I never expected this island to capture my heart and my imagination the way it did. 

The Universe never stops surprising me. . . .



Diane Robinson

© Copyright 2019 by Diane Robinson


Photo of the sunrise.

This is a true story. The initial experience I open with became the physical verification and springboard on how I looked at, and dealt with, everything life had in store for me. Belief is accepting the unseen, until it becomes that which you can see before you. Early on, I was given an opportunity to actually see the unseen. For me at that point, “having faith” had already been proved —  and yet as a mortal, the lifetime work continues! . . .

One Hot Summer Day: A Blazing Fire Takes The Stage

Lane Dooling

© Copyright 2019 by Lane Dooling


Lane thought the first day of summer vacation back in 1976 was going to fun and relaxing…little did she know by the end of the day she would be both witness and participant to a community emergency…and the surprising outcome! . . .


Mishi, My Flying Cat

Monica Wenzel

© Copyright 2019 by Monica Wenzel


Photo of Mishi in a sink in Equador.

My first professional job out of college was teaching English to high schoolers in rural Ecuador. I met many friends of all ages. One friend I didn't expect was a white and gray kitten who I took into my home and my heart. Naturally, when I returned to Minnesota, I didn't want to leave Mishi. Getting her home turned out to be an adventure or her and for me. . . .


How To Reboot

Amy DeMatt

© Copyright 2019 by Amy DeMatt


Photo of  Allie and Owen.

Every year we take a summer vacation. It reminds me that my daily job, while useful and generally fulfilling, is just a small piece of the mosaic that is life. The rest of it: my love of running and fresh air, of that good tired feeling when I’ve exerted myself, bonding with my family, also makes up the mosaic. When we vacation, I try to “reboot,” that is, see things with fresh eyes, with renewed curiosity, and to experience things with all my senses. . . .

A Tourist's Guide To Yesan

Caitlyn Ng Man Chuen

© Copyright 2019 by 
Caitlyn Ng Man Chuen


Photo of little girl in Yesan apple orchard.

. . .“Yesan is cute,” says the foreign teacher coordinator. Cue her shrug and a pair of downturned lips, arching toward her chin not in a frown but in a way that says it’s not so bad or is has its charms. Offered to you on a platter like a plate of soggy pancakes. But pancakes are pancakes and covered with enough syrup, it’s hard to tell good from bad. Positive thinking.

Later that day, you do some research on Yesan County.

The official bird is a stork and the flower is the golden-bell tree. It is a certified ‘slow city,’ meaning it’s a place meant to act as a connection to nature and a respite from the fast-paced lifestyle of the Korean metropolis. It’s known as the apple capital of Korea and every autumn, there’s a festival to celebrate the harvest. . . .


The Woman of Apollo

Liz Star

© Copyright 2019 by Liz Star


Photo of the Temple of Apollo at Noxos.

What legacy will we leave behind? What metrics mark the depth and length of our lifetime footprint?

The year was 2005, and I was supposed to graduate from college.

Hotels were booked for family celebrations. Dinner reservations were made. Caps were decorated. Gowns rented.

Instead of planning for graduation, I took my newly acquired Eurail pass and planned for a summer abroad. Instead of joining the fray of celebratory dinners, frenetic job applications, and a furniture purge, I packed a borrowed bag and printed my itineraries. . . .


Adventure in Nepal

Dee Canfield

© Copyright 2019 by Dee Canfield


Photo of Dee on an elephant ride.

The cable car came to a complete stop and we were dangling over a deep green mountain valley in Nepal, almost 4,000 feet below. We are stuckBhim, my Nepali guide told me. Dont worryhe said. They will fix it soon.I had arrived in the country in the season of Dashain, the 15-day Hindu religious holiday, and we had just come from visiting the Manakamana Temple on the mountaintop, where prayers and incense had been offered during the sacrifices of goats that had taken place. Besides Bhim and myself, there were two other men in the car. One of them was holding a plastic bag, from which a few drops of blood slowly dripped onto the floor, a remnant of an earlier sacrifice. . . .


Serenity and Scandal in Scandinavia

Joseph Pravda
© Copyright 2019 by Joseph Pravda


Photo of book cover.

Summer, 1971, and we were in that part of Europe known to most Americans via Saab, or Volvo; even fewer by way of some very masterly painters.

We came to know it through the seemingly unconnected phenomena as Wilt Chamberlin, The Nordisk Museet, the world’s oldest amusement park, ‘Baaken’, Hamlet (okay, his statue) and a holocaust survivor.

My bride of one year and I had decided to go, for an indefinite period, perhaps to escape the impending responsibilities of my (legal) career, her motherhood and, well, parents. . . .

The Looking Glass

John Sayles

© Copyright 2019 by John Sayles

Photo of a store window.

. . .Reflections can be used to mark the passage of time. . . . Next time you’re in a busy shopping street take a minute to watch the reaction of people passing many a shop window, a touch of the hair, a smile, adjustment of a hat or tie. Most people seem to enjoy what they see reflected, be it a looking glass, mirror or some other form of reflection. . . .

A 1962 Journey of the Cold War

John Sayles

© Copyright 2019 by John Sayles

Photo of a newspaper clipping.

A young geography teacher’s first field trip as party leader of 13 senior boys and fourteen friends and colleagues. Two years in planning a geographical holiday with  much bureaucratic form filling for travel permits to Russia at a time of  political unrest known as the ‘Cold War’. . . .

Turkish Delight

Brittany Rohm

© Copyright 2019 by Brittany Rohm


Photo of a turkish bath scene.

After trekking around Petra for ten hours under the scorching Jordanian sun, my cousin Elena and I were eager to relax at a Turkish bath. Although widespread in the Islamic world, the only examples we had seen were at archeological ruins like Jerash and Beit She’an. With tired bodies but inquisitive minds, we were excited to experience a modern take on the days of yore.

For half the cost of a massage in the States, our hostel owner booked us each a ninety-minute package at Al Yakhor. Made from stone, the outside of the building appeared not unlike some of the temples we had seen earlier that day. How authentic, I thought, gazing at the entrance. This is going to be great. . . .


Getting Ones Goat

Elana Renata

© Copyright 2019 by Elana Renata

Photo of a goat.

I was biking up a long, razor-thin, hair-pinned turn in central Ireland on my way to Kilkenny and the youth hostel nestled in the “Kilkenny Mountains”, named such by the locals.  They were merely large hills to my American eyes accustomed to ranges the likes of the Rocky Mountains.  Nevertheless, they were steep enough to cause me to come to a wobbly stop at the aforementioned hill. . . .


Should We Be Grateful?

Wilson Iyorah


© Copyright 2019 by Wilaon Iyorah  

Photo of dawn over a lake.  (c) 2007 by Richard Loller.

This essay emphasizes the need to be grateful at all time. It discusses the great benefits practicing gratefulness at all times....


Yesterday in Swaziland

Charleine Sell

© Copyright 2019 by Charleine Sell

Photo of table with pig's head..

I stared at the decapitated head of a pig lying on the table in front of me. Its stubby chin, dead eyes and apple clenched in its sharp, yellow teeth made me all but certain I would vomit on my wedding dress.

Jack’s bachelor party the night before was reported to be a success, but our friend Gene, my prearranged chauffeur and also our best man, was hung over and overslept on My Big Day. . . .


The Foot of Time


Isabel Bearman Bucher   

© Copyright 2019 by Isabel Bearman Bucher 


Photo of ruins in Crete.

 “We’re getting a dividend from some investments,” my husband, Bob,  stated one afternoon, opening a letter.

So what are we talking about,” I responded, leaning over a pot of spaghetti sauce.  

Two thousand,” he answered casually.

What!” I hooted.  “How did that happen?  Did we rob the bank!”

Na,” he answered.  “I just took a chance on a new thing and it paid off. So ...?  Where to me’love?” . . . .


Mary Amidst the Mountains

Edward S. Argauer

© Copyright 2019 by  Edward S. Argauer

Photo of the  Madonna at Betania.

Hidden in the rugged Venezuelan mountains lies a spiritual treasure trove of apparitions, miracles and solace for thousands, most of them poor, in a small outlying village called Betania.  This is the story of my quixotic quest in search of the Madonna on Christmas Eve. My expectations were high, and I was not let down, yet pitfalls plagued my difficult pilgrimage. I traversed the dangerous terrain with only my faith, rosary and rudimentary Spanish to safeguard me. . . .


Time To Man Up

Tom C. Erb

© Copyright 2018 by Tom C. Erb

Photo of a 1964 Gibson guitar.
On Friday, April 3, 1964 I woke up feeling alive. It was two days away from my tenth birthday and I couldn't have been more excited. After looking through all the catalogs that I could find I decided my first guitar was going to be an acoustic guitar. It only made sense because they costs less, and didn't require an amplifier. There was one thing I was certain about. My first guitar would be a Gibson. If the Gibson guitar was good enough for John Lennon and George Harrison, then it was good enough for me. . . .

Classical Deja Vu

Tom C. Erb

© Copyright 2018 by Tom C. Erb

Photo of the Smothers Brothers.

 I've got all kinds of music that resonates with me when I hear it. Sometimes I sing out loud to the radio as I’m driving down the road, or it brings a smile or a tear because it reminds me of special moments. However, there is one song that has visited me and created several musical meanings and memories each time it revisited me. As a matter fact, this is one of those songs that always brings me a smile.
The first time I ever hear this song was on one of my favorite variety show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. It was a fun show and when they introduced Mason Williams playing “Classical Gas” I was amazed how cool it was and how good Williams played it. . . .

Bozo and Me

Tom C. Erb

© Copyright 2018 by Tom C. Erb

Photo of the Beatles.

First grade was not as good as kindergarten because I didn't really have as many friends. One day my father came to me and says, “I'm going out to sea in a couple of weeks and I need you to be the man of the house.” I'm thinking to myself that's not a good thing because the last time he did that, I got another sister nine months later. . . .


Culture Shocked (West Coast Bias)

John Smistad

© Copyright 2019 by John Smistad


Photo of angry taxi driver.

I am a western U.S. guy. Born and have lived most of my life in western Washington state. Grew up in Texas. Spent a stint in Salt Lake City.

As such, I'm a pretty laid back lad. Easy goes it. Take it as it may come. On the whole, even downright friendly. That's my lease on life.

So when I took a trip eastward to the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, it was a totally different world, baby. . . .



Martha Yarborough DiPalma

© Copyright 2019 by Martha Yarborough DiPalma


Photo of flag over Martha's husband.

Happy Father’s Day!” I was met by silence. I took his hand and shook it gently. I checked to see that he was still breathing but just not responding.

A few minutes later, my three children, their spouses and all of their children filled the room, bringing their cards, presents, hand-made pictures, and “Happy Father’s Day” wishes. Still no response.  The room filled with silence and sorrow. . . .


The Father I Discovered Late In Life

Karen H. Curran


© Copyright 2018 by Karen H. Curran

Photo of Karen's parents.

Unexpected discoveries about our families make life more interesting.

The round glass ball, clear on the outside with an explosion of red, purple and blue inside, hand-blown by an artisan, was a fixture in our living room when I was growing up. It stood on a narrow glass pedestal, top-heavy and extremely breakable, so I rarely touched it. . . .


United States Investment in Turkmenistani Developments

Emily Rodgers


© Copyright 2019 by Emily Rodgers


Photo of Turkmenistani city.

What came first: the Soviet Union, or the treasure trove of natural gas? That question might be a little more complicated to answer than it seems. In the Russian Revolution of 1917, Turkmenistan began its transformation to a totalitarian Leninist society. As its status as an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic dissolved, Turkmenistan became a republic of the Soviet Union, and its modern borders were formed. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Turkmenistan gained independence and Saparmurat Niyazov claimed the title of Absolute Ruler of the Turkmen for Life, until his death in 2006. . . .

Lessons From My Father

Celeste León 


© Copyright 2019 by Celeste León 



Photo of Celeste's family in Florida.

Ths is a tribute to my father, and to all the mothers and fathers who make the world a better place.

Birth and death come to us at unpredicted moments. In April 2002, I was in the final stage of pregnancy, filled with both excitement and terror. Certainly with more of the former, but after two miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy, I was terrified. This baby was full term, which lessened the terror on that score, but in my then 36 years I had never given a baby a bath, or even changed a diaper. . . .


Things My Mother Failed To Tell Me - About Heaven

Desiree Kendrick

© Copyright 2019 by Desiree Kendrick

Photo of a priest saying mass.

My mother is a religious individual. We went to church wearing our Sunday-best clothes and dress shoes. She dressed for her audience with God Almighty. Little kid me cleaned up for the chance to twirl in my crinoline skirt and smile at the altar boys. Every night, after bath time and before bedtime, she’d yell over the TV hum.

“Don’t forget to say your prayers,” she said. “Praying will help people get to heaven.”. . .


Disability Is Not An Inability

Yuliia Vereta

© Copyright 2019 by Yuliia Vereta

Photo of Mt. Everest

When Sudarshan Gautam told the people at the Everest base camp that he was planning to climb to the top of the highest mountain in the world, people laughed at him. Who in their right mind would go to this inhospitable mountain, the highest peak of the planet, without both arms? . . .


Unexpected Guest

Yuliia Vereta

© Copyright 2019 by Yuliia Vereta


Photo of a chemistry lab.

The builders of empires always justified their actions by their beliefs that they and their cultures were superior to the cultures of those they conquered… believed in their superiority and strength, and that their actions were instruments of the divine order.” . . .
Adam Jamrozik


The Best Writing Tip I've Ever Received

Yuliia Vereta

© Copyright 2019 by Yuliia Vereta

Dedicated to David G.
Photo of a hand writing.

Every time staring at the blank page on the screen or playing with a pencil with my fingers, I think of it. I think of the best writing tip I’ve received in my life. It came one usual summer day, from my best friend. . . .


Jesus Please, Give Him A Hug From Me

Yvette Myers

© Copyright 2019 by Yvette Myers


Photo of the red couch made up as a bed.

Jesus please, give him a hug from me.  He disappeared over 35 years ago, and I didn’t know why until after he had died.

The last time that I had any true contact with my brother Greg, was when I found out that he was in a hospital in Indianapolis last Christmas. It was odd how I found out where he was and that he was ill. . . .


Spark of Memory

James B. Nicola

© Copyright 2019 by James B. Nicola


Photo of two children in sandbox. (c) by Pixabay.

A singular story about school days dedicated to those playmates and classmates of early childhood whom we may never see again, but never quite forget.

          The day Susan Clark
               got back her spark
               I remember like yesterday . . . .

What happened was that Susan Clark got new eyeglasses. . . .


Safranesia's Pants

Helene Munson

© Copyright 2019 by Helene Munson


Photo taken in West China in 2001  while comparing my Turkmenistan dress and Kirghiz pants outfit to a local woman’s traditional Uighur dress. My dusty  attire shows that this was truly an overland trip, taking local transport all the way. This area is now off limits to tourists  due to the Chinese crackdown on the local Uighurs' protests against destroying their cultural heritage sites and replacing them with Han Chinese architecture. 

My journey had already been hundreds of miles overland. I was excitingly close to completing this once-in-a-lifetime trip. But here in front of the train station in Urumqi it all seemed to unravel. I felt that I was treated like a rabid dog. . . .

Baby Boom, Beatles, and Beyond

Patricia M. Snell

© Copyright 2019 by Patricia M. Snell

Photo of one of Patricia's children.

This is a story of my experience in the overpopulated baby boom generation. It is also a story of love; imagined love, and a mother’s real love.

My husband and I are members of the baby boom generation. I am a boomer simply because of the incidental timing of my birth in 1951. My husband is an authentic boomer according to the strict definition of why there was a boom in babies. His father, and many other war veterans, came home from World War ll and started growing a family. In the years following World War ll, children were multiplying like rabbits. . . .


I Have A List And A Map. . .
What Can Go Wrong?

Wendy Lee Klenetsky

© Copyright 2019 by
Wendy Lee Klenetsky


Photo of a wrong way sign.

        It’s a tale of what my children and I have gone through with my husband as we traveled the roads.

        "I have a list and a map. What can possibly go wrong?"

           Gee...if I had a dollar for every time that phrase (or one just like it) was uttered, I'd be having pina coladas at our villa in the south of France! Well, maybe not France, but at least Palm Springs!



Albert Vetere Lannon

© Copyright 2019 by Albert Vetere Lannon

Photo of people at the park protest.

Being home a lot these days coping with old age and multiple myeloma, I have time to think, and remember, and sometimes the energy to actually sit at the computer and write. Thoughts are often random and not associated with anything current, like the times I’ve been arrested. Except that I might be again. . . .


I Want to Go with You

Ana Vidosavljevic

© Copyright 2019 by Ana Vidosavljevic

Photo of a woman painting.

I rarely saw her. She was like an apparition. She would appear suddenly, float in the thin air barely showing her presence and then disappear again. I had always thought that we had nothing in common except that we had the same name, Isabel.

My mother was a strange person. She was a painter and often held art workshops all around the country and abroad. When I was five she decided to leave my father and leave me with him. There was no choice for me and it seemed she had no desire to bring me with her and take upon the role of a mother. My father was flabbergasted. He knew nothing about children raising. He was just a mechanic. But somehow, the two of us managed to successfully perform the roles of a father and a daughter. . . .


Londoner At Heart

Ozge Gurbuz


© Copyright 2019 by Ozge Gurbuz


London street at night.  Photo by the author.

They say that cities have their own souls. As I was walking down the passageways of Covent Garden, I thought to myself 
‘’This city has more than one soul.‘’. If people are ever asked to describe London, they'd likely use these three words; rain, fashion, and music. For me though, there is only one word. Love! . . .



Kelly Maida

© Copyright 2019 by Kelly Maida

Photo of a path into sunrise.  {c} 2002 by Richard Loller.

As I sit in the hospital waiting to be seen, I try to figure out the events that led me here. The blood rushes down my face and my nose and head throb. I am lucky to be alive, and I pray that I will be okay. I am grateful that I left my house when I did. The nurse walks in and asks if I can hear her. When I look up, I can see the outline of her body, but the details are blurry. She tells me to follow her back to triage. She pauses, turns back, and looks at me, "Don’t worry you are safe." The hospital is on lock down so that no one can come in or go out. I sigh with relief. I walk into my hospital room, crawl onto the bed, and close my eyes. My mind automatically begins to recall the events that brought me here. . . .


The Long Way Home


Kay Harper 


© Copyright 2019 by Kay Harper 



Photo of a Wrong Way sign.

I was sailing right along on the familiar I-75 between North Georgia and my home in Florida. With limited stops, my ETA was better than it had ever been. Then came the critical point when I thought I was taking a shortcut, only to realize as soon as I exited that I was heading down the wrong road. . . .


The Purloined Paintings

Emily Hart 

© Copyright 2019 by Emily Hart  


Photo of a Casey Orr cartoon.

     I have often operated from the premise that it is easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission. When our 4th grade Social Studies lesson mentioned Pulitzer Prize winner political cartoonist Carey Orr I decided it was one of those days.  In our dining room at home hung two original paintings by Uncle Carey.  I was sure  the class would like to see them and certainly Sister (a generic term for all nuns) would be impressed.  I had the feeling my mother might not be so keen on letting me take the paintings to school, so I skipped that pesky getting permission stage and quietly slipped out with the artwork after lunch. . . .


The Spaced Program

Doug Sherr

© Copyright 2019 by Doug Sherr

Photo of a working with a spray gun.

In the early 1960s, a friend of mine and I formed a little company to apply lubricant coatings to race car engines and space ships. We borrowed $1500 seed money from his mother and went to work. Despite having little knowledge and no experience to guide us, after four months of 14-hour days we had built a facility that passed the eye of a NASA qualified inspector. Soon after that, my partner started working harder to get rid of me than to build our business. We were trading shouts in a hostile board meeting at our company, Orion Industries, when a call came in for me from Dow Chemical Company. They were giving us the chance to bid on a sub-contract for NASA. This would be our first big project. . . .


My Choice Not to Choose Then

D'Lisa DarLuz

© Copyright 2019 by D'Lisa DarLuz

Photo of the author.

You and Tyra are more than friends, aren’t you?” My mother sat at the end of the table, opposite me.

I tried to make myself look comfortable, scooting around in a white framed chair, cushioned by a teal seat. “Yes,” I said, as I looked up from the table top, only to find eyes occupied with disappointment and concern looking back at me.

I knew this talk was coming. The night before was filled with companionship, discovery, revelations, and teenage secrets. It was all too good to be true. . . .


Just a Little Change

Edward Hamilton

© Copyright 2019 by Edward Hamilton

Photo of homeless person with sign. (c) 2019
                                                                                          (c) 2019
. . .That’s when it happened. I was coming out of the slow traffic and entering the faster traffic heading out of the city, when a bum holds out a sign for me to see. The sign was not flashy. It was merely a brown piece of cardboard, barely bigger than a sheet of paper. The words ‘Just a Little Change’ was wrote on it. The words were broken into three lines. ‘Just’ on the first line. ‘a little’ on the second line and ‘Change’ on the third. The words were a half inch thick, wrote in black marker. The first thing I noticed about the sign was the letters were perfect. I could have never written a more perfect letter unless I used a stencil. Then the words hit me. ‘Just a little change’. Why did he word it like that? Why not, ‘I need your change’ or ‘I’m hungry please help’. . . .



James L. Cowles

© Copyright 2019 by James L. Cowles

Photo of man in snow storm.

Winter Storm Goliath had lived up to its name, bringing a huge swath of snow and ice from the West through a large portion of the Plains from Dec. 24 and continuing through Dec. 29th.  Within that area, a historic blizzard buried the southern Plains in heavy snow, whipped by wind gusts as high as 80 mph. This was rare weather for Roswell, New Mexico and a record 18 inches of snow and drifts 10 to 20 feet high made it impossible for most to get out of their houses, but on Christmas Eve, Bryan Richards was not one of them. . . .


The Brigadier

David Lewis Pogson

© Copyright 2019 by David Lewis Pogson

Photo of David's army document.

This story describes characters known to me and events as experienced by me.  The part relating to 1963 is taken from my direct personal involvement. The part relating to 2001 is taken from extensive coverage of events which, whilst not involving me directly, were happening on a daily basis within the locality of my home and work and were well reported in the media.  I became aware of a direct correlation between those early and later events. Other than my own name, I have not given the full names of any character as those individuals would likely be embarrassed by this accolade but anyone wishing to know more can undertake the same research as me via the Internet. This is a tribute to those who saved my life. . . .


The Train

Jeff Howe

© Copyright 2007 by Jeff Howe

Photo of subway train.

Jason stood on the train platform in the lazy light of early evening. Here in the suburbs, the train was above ground, four stretched silverish boxes playing follow-the-leader for all to see and hear. When it approached the city, it would plunge underground to race through tubes of tile and concrete rumbling the sidewalks above.

The platform was darkened from the footsteps of thousands of commuters passing through this station daily. Dingy white concrete pillars which supported the rigid overhead cover were chipped and marked with names and odd symbols in dark brown spray paint. . . .


The Fifty Cent Bible

Judith Nakken

© Copyright 2019 by Judith Nakken

Photo of an old bible.

I bought them, two old, small, brown leather bound bibles tied together with twine, at an antique auction in L.A. County in the autumn of 1958. Only because the antique-buying populace didn’t want them, and they went for the original dollar asked by the struggling auctioneer. As an avowed atheist, I didn’t want them for any reason except that, as an equally avowed book lover, I couldn’t bear to see ancient tomes ignored. They went on a stacked bookshelf in the granny room, the tiny spare bedroom where everything unused reposed at one time or another. . . .


Negro Mens' Beach

Kathryn Lynch

© Copyright 2018 by Kathryn Lynch

Stories About My Dad:

The Haircut
Negro Mens' Beach
Mr. Bagison
Photo of a white man getting a shave from a black barber.

This the second story about my Dad, who taught me the meaning of racial acceptance by his example during the Second World War years. At that time, Americans with dark skin were called “negroes”, not intended to disrespect anyone. . . .

A Letter To The French Docteur Who Monitored My Pulse

Desiree Kendrick

© Copyright 2019 by Desiree Kendrick

Photo of harbor at Nice.

After embarking on a river cruise in Provence, France, I extended my trip to explore on my own. I did my research before I left home and planned my itinerary for Nice. This incident was NOT on my top ten things-to-do list. . . .


Arrival in Lagos, Nigeria

Guy M. Tombs

© Copyright 2019 by Guy M. Tombs


Classroom in Nigeria.

These are first impressions of what was to be a two and a half year stay in Nigeria. There are many more stories to tell.

I am writing now because I wish to set out my first impressions. I am well and have regained some lost sleep. Apparently I shall be posted to Northwestern State, the capital of which is Sokoto. I have heard of its extreme heat. The city is ancient. I believe I can choose to go to the south of the state, to Minna or thereabouts. I shall be teaching at a Teachers’ Training College. There is a dire need for teachers like me in the North. I’ll be teaching English, pretty much as I had thought and so carefully prepared for: English as a Second Language. . . .


My Aunty


Margie Hofman 


© Copyright 2019 by Margie Hofman 


Photo of a german parachuting down.

Aunty, my mother’s sister, lived in a small house with her daughter-in-law and granddaughter. One evening in 1943 they all went up the road to join her other sister and her family as they were all nervous of the bombing.

Suddenly they heard the Germans flying towards London and thought “That’s all right, they are going to London direct and will not bother us. BUT, on their way back, they decided to unload the unused bombs on the countryside near the sea. Aunty’s little house got a direct hit. She came home and the house was flattened in a circle. They heard a noise and there was the pet canary still in its cage. . . .


Small Lives

Bill Cox

© Copyright 2018 by Bill Cox

Photo of a nuthatch.
Small lives, fully lived.
Loving kin, battling rivals.
Brilliant lives, shining brightly,
Fighting the dark embrace,
Of the encroaching night. . . .


Bill Price

Don Shook

© Copyright 2019 by Don Shook

Photo of a hand with a pistol.

A .22 caliber revolver pointed two feet from my forehead was no way to greet that beautiful autumn morning. Were it on stage or another "let's pretend" scenario I could have understood. But this, I assumed, was of dead earnest intent by one of my high-school students whose demeanor defied any semblance of normalcy. With his fat finger on the trigger and a surly grin on his face, he stood above my desk threatening to be my last sight on earth. In my previous teaching jobs I thought I had experienced surprising events; but none even started to compare. . . .


Reborn to Die Again

Amanda Pedersen

© Copyright 2019 by Amanda Pedersen

Photo of a wrecked white car.

The engine of my white Mini Cooper sputtered. The winter’s weather was harsh, and the roads weren’t any better. They were slippery, ice strewn. The temperature gage shows fourteen degrees below zero. Wrapped up in my wool coat, the cold didn’t faze me. . . .

A Dream About The Other World

Laura Labno


© Copyright 2019 by Laura Labno

Photo of people in a que.

I dreamed a strange dream this night. Of course, all dreams hold strangeness of a kind but this one made me feel in that particularly unpleasant way – It left an aftertaste which made me feel drained. There were lots of plots in it, which I'm not quite able to describe but I remember that there was my dad in it. And he wasn't happy. Maybe it's because I talked with him yesterday, thats why I dreamed him. . . .


Should the Government be Involved in Equal Pay for Women?

(Prepared for debate in 6th grade class)

Zinnia Nichols Loller


© Copyright 2019 by Zinnia Nichols Loller


Chart about pay gap.

The way the pay gap works is through interrupted careers, less working hours due to motherhood, and decreased future earnings. These decreased future earnings come to an average of $419,000 during a lifetime (Cable News Network). That’s a lot. None of these things will change with time, making the gender pay gap something that will never be completely resolved unless we do something. . . .


Slight Panic on the Midwest-Bound Express Train

Xiaochen Su

© Copyright 2019 by Xiaochen Su

Photo of a stalled train.

The interregional express train from Boston bound for Chicago suddenly ground to a halt, jolting me awake as I was napping away on the slow weekday afternoon.

Rubbing my eyes, I stared outside the window for clues to what could have brought the regular long-haul Amtrak service to a halt. The setting sun was painting the sky a glowing red, as the wheat field below, ready for their fall harvest, swayed gently in the wind. No station, no town, not even a dirt path that a truck can drive up to. It was, quite obviously, not a routine stop a train would take to unload passengers. . . .


Just Another Night Shift

Laura Labno


© Copyright 2019 by Laura Labno

Photo of concrete wall.

It was a peaceful night shift at the fast food place where I work. Saturday nights tend to get busy at around midnight when all the drunk people come out of the pubs and bars to charge themselves up a little with some oil-soaked chicken and fries. Some occasionally will throw up on the restaurant floor to keep me entertained and others will throw food at the restaurant walls or, in more radical cases, at me. . . .


Grey Lady

Mary Alice Betley

© Copyright 2019 by Mary Alice Betley

Photo of a coyote/dog mix.

Several years ago I taught at a B.I.A. school at Teec Nos Pos, AZ. When I first arrived, I was assigned Apartment #15. As I was moving in, a large collie—type  dog came up to me, acting very friendly but also skittish and frightened. . . .

Spirits In The Night

Albert Vetere Lannon

© Copyright 2019 by Albert Vetere Lannon

I’m not a believer in ghosts, or spirits wandering among us, or in an afterlife with winged angels flitting around the heavens, but I’ve learned in my 81 years that there is so much we don’t know about everything. We know that we don’t know what most of the human brain is used for. We know that at the moment of death several grams of weight are lost, explained by religion as the soul leaving the body. And I’ve had a few experiences I cannot explain that leave me open to ideas I would have once rejected out of hand. . . .

Snake Hunting in South Carolina

Albert Vetere Lannon

© Copyright 2019 by Albert Vetere Lannon

Photo of rattlesnake.  (c) 2006 by Richard Loller.
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus)

Growing up was terrifying during the Cold War Red Scare years, with Dad a Full-Time Functionary of the U.S. Communist Party. Consumed with their politics and the growing repression, there was little time for me, so I learned that if I couldn’t get positive attention, I would find ways to get negative attention. One of those was collecting and keeping snakes. . . .


Raft of Summer

Don Shook

© Copyright 2019 by Don Shook

Photo of a boy with a fish.

It was a strange Texas spring, with dark May mornings and heavy rains. By summer Ten Mile Creek was filled to overflowing…and we knew that somewhere in the murky depths of Bluehole, the Monster awaited…
My feet were stuck. Instinct screamed for me to tear through the undergrowth, up the steep bank and into the adjoining pasture where nothing on two legs- and precious little on four-had a prayer of catching me. Instead, I stood paralyzed, eyes glued on the brushy far side bank of the creek, desperately trying to identify the thrashing that had sent our pulses racing. A quick glance revealed that Pete too was riveted on the opposite shore. . . .

Like Caves Within Caves

Emily Hart 

© Copyright 2019 by Emily Hart  



Photo of a nuclear power plant.

    The Atomic Clock ticks on inexorably.  Unless we turn back the hands.  

     The bed is cold as I slide into it.  Chan is rolling the rug tightly against the door.  By the lamplight I can see the shimmering of ice on the window sill.  Earlier I swept up a dusting of gray snow from the floor below the window.  There are drifts of cold throughout the house, like caves within caves. . . .


Gomez the Jungle Dog

Brittany Rohm

© Copyright 2019 by Brittany Rohm


My bright green t-shirt clung to my chest, drenched with sweat and morning rain. Mosquitos buzzed in my ear, distracting me from the others that were biting my exposed skin, long rinsed of its bug spray. The sun, high in the sky, tried to fight its way through the dense jungle. Only rays as thin as knife blades sliced down to the forest floor.

At my feet, trotting in and out of the slivers of sun, was Gomez. Not much bigger than a house cat, and black like the night that hung heavy over this part of Colombia, Gomez fit in well with his surrounds. . . .


The Bears of California


Leslie Soule


© Copyright 2019 by Leslie Soule


Photo of California State Flag.

So there I was, pondering what to write about. I had a weird dream last night, after a long weekend of work, gardening at my friend Tom’s mother’s house in Placerville. In my dream, I wandered my house, and it was full of snakes. I like snakes. But in my dream, there were far too many of them to deal with. I had the problem of trying to find tanks for all of these snakes, and the problem was that there were far too many snakes to deal with, and not enough tanks to house them all. . . .

Celebrating Daddy


Kay Harper 


© Copyright 2019 by Kay Harper 



Photo of Kay's Daddy.

Father’s Day – June 17, 2018.

Today, I’m honoring my father not only due to the fact that it’s Father’s Day, but because it’s also the 102nd anniversary of his birth! We lost him in his 76th year, but time has not diminished the profound influence he had on the lives of my two older brothers and me. He was an original through and through, and he taught us to be originals, too! . . .


Black Canyon Mountain Lion

Koji A. Dae

  © Copyright 2019 by Koji A. Dae


Photo of a mountain lion.

From 2001-2010 I worked with a conservation corps in southern Arizona. I spent most of that time camping in various parts of the state and completing projects from rain-water harvesting to migrant trash pickup. Some of my fondest memories come from the more backbreaking, wilderness assignments, where we were more likely to encounter wild animals, such as this time near Black Canyon city in central Arizona. . . .


The Easter Bunnies 

Carol Rotta

© Copyright 2019 by Carol Rotta


Photo of a baby rabbit.

The memory of a little girl and the rabbits she and her younger brother received for Easter—and the humorous events that followed.

Two Easter bunnies came to live at our house. Literally. I was seven and my brother, Bunky, was five when our parents gave us each a baby bunny for Easter. How Mother persuaded Daddy to let us have them remains a mystery—he did not like pets of any kind. We didn’t even have a dog! She probably assured him the man at the pet store had guaranteed both rabbits were the same gender. . . .


Notre Dame Cathedral Is Afire Today

N. Barry Carver

© Copyright 2019 by N. Barry Carver

Photo by Barry Carver. (c) 2019.

15 Avril 2019

Notre Dame Cathedral is afire today.

I am, with the world, wallowing in a grief bigger than buildings, or nationalism, or fire, but I am also assailed with personal memories. I've been trying not to think about it, not to watch the images that are coming in from everywhere, but this fire in Paris is breaking my heart. . . .


Stranger In The Club

Luqman Morrison

© Copyright 2019 by Luqman Morrison

Photo of nightclub scene by Lugman.

This is a story about a time in my life when I sold cigarettes in a nightclub.

I will tell you about him. I always remember him, sometimes with wet eyes and some smiles.

There used to be times when the city of Warri would sleep during the day to wake up at night. It is true that Warri used to be a nocturnal city.

There were nightclubs where boys and girls would go to set their bodies on fire and burn nights away. Beats from loud speakers and cigarettes and hemps and gins and many other liquids in fine bottles were the fuel. . . .


Born In Defiance

Ru Otto

© Copyright 2019 by Ru Otto

Photo of a sunset.

This is the first vignette in my ongoing, but as yet unpublished, autobiographical book, Signs of Life. Coming of age in the 40’s and 50’s was hard enough for a girl without the added challenges of poverty, disability, and alcoholism.  But I became like tempered steel in this intense environment, fired to a shining resiliency in the heat of human passions. . . .


My Maisie


Isabel Bearman Bucher

© Copyright 2019 by Isabel Bearman Bucher 


Photo of a group of teachers near Sante Fe.

              “You’re where?” I said into the phone.  “What do you mean you put ten dollars down on a dog!  I don’t want a dog!  What do you mean Bob and I are getting too old and need a companion?  I don’t need a dog.  No.  I don’t care!  Wha ... ?”

              My daughter went on to explain that she’d been looking for a year for us at the Animal Humane place, and finally she’d found one that she knew would work for us both. . . .



Anna G. Joujan 

© Copyright 2019 by Anna G. Joujan 


Photo of a butterfly.

Grief has no sense of decorum. So it did not occur to me to question my actions when I interrupted the chaplain, with his head bowed and hands folded, to place myself in front of my grandfather’s face. As he tugged on the tubes, wildly waving his hands, and craning his neck up while his head turned side to side, I planted my face in front of his. “Hi PaCharley,” I said. Over. And over. I saw his clear blue eyes. I saw him. He saw me. . . .



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