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Publisher Richard Loller's  Journal
For Year 2023
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When I Was Jerry






Carl Winderl

 
© Copyright 2024 by Carl Winderl




Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/jeshoots-com-264599/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=3325010">Jan Vašek</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com//?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=3325010">Pixabay</a>
Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

 When I was Jerry, in Jerry’s Game, a film role in a short-short for AmoMedia, I was offered the most challenging and yet most rewarding character I’d ever played.

Oh, I’d acted in numerous short independent and student films over the years, but while living in Kyiv, Ukraine, I acted in several or so short English language films for AmoMedia and her sister production company DramatizeMe. . . .


The Long Arm of the Law







Ben Pollard



 
© Copyright 2024 by Ben Pollard

 

Image by Sergei Tokmakov, Esq. https://Terms.Law from Pixabay
Image by Sergei Tokmakov, Esq. https://Terms.Law from Pixabay.

I'd been in Alaska since March and was past due for a trip "Outside." Early December, darkest days of the year was the ideal time for getting away. I would fly to San Francisco to visit my sister, then to Scottsbluff Nebraska to see my brother, Tom, and finally on to Boston for Christmas with my parents. I made it as far as Scottsbluff before the long arm of the law caught up with me. . . .

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Nochonggak  





Giles Ryan

 
© Copyright 2023 by Giles Ryan




Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


In Korea, anyone who does not fall into a set category or fails to do the expected will certainly attract attention, and not necessarily in a good way. This includes by definition an “old bachelor” — a nochonggak.

In the winter of 1970, I first arrived in Chunchŏn as a young bachelor in my very early twenties, and there was nothing remarkable about my single state; indeed, it was entirely normal. The same could not be said of an unmarried man ten years older, and this pressure to marry grew stronger each day a man stayed single past his early thirties. . . .

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The Model T, the Boy, and the Big Deal




Karen Radford Treanor 

 

© Copyright 2023  by Karen Radford Treanor

Don O'Brien from Piketon, Ohio, United States.
Photo by Don O'Brien from Piketon, Ohio, at Wikimedia Commons.

Long ago, my husband and I used to visit his parents every Sunday. Sometimes after imbibing his post-prandial highball, my father-in-law would reminisce about his youth.

There were 11 Treanor brothers and no sisters.  Gene senior was half a set of twins. His sibling died in infancy.  Another brother died at age 3, and another one died of lung disease caused by mustard gas in WWI.  That still left a big cohort of men in the family who got up to all sorts of things. The brothers were born between 1889 and 1907, which meant the older ones were more like uncles to the later born like my father-in-law. They were looked up to and deferred to and they sometimes led the youngsters into slightly grey areas.

My husband recently reminded me of the story about his father and uncles and the Model T Ford. . . .


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On Holy Ground





Mitchell Kowitz




 
© Copyright 2024 by Mitchell Kowitz



Photo by Narciso Arellano on Unsplash
Photo by Narciso Arellano on Unsplash

A woman with a collectibles shop finds that her house and property are on sacred burial grounds with mysterious powers.

The Minnesota Art Fair is the place to be in the summertime and this year was no exception. It was raining on the opening day of the Art Fair. I fancy myself as an amateur collector of art and was excited to see what treasures I may come across at this year’s art fair. I look forward to this event every year and it has now become an annual tradition for me…a little rain certainly wasn’t going to dampen my spirits and keep me away. . . .

Friday the 13th - A Blessing



Abbie Creed



 
© Copyright 2023 by Abbie Creed
 
Photo of the author.
Photo of the author.


Friday the 13th of March,2020 was like a week packed into one day. Realizing I was out of postage stamps and needing to mail a birthday card to my granddaughter, prompted an early morning visit to the Post Office and since I was running low on hearing aid batteries, I decided to make a stop at the nearby drug store where they were on sale 2 for 1 that week. I never like to miss a sale! A trip to the fresh food market to pick up my fresh vegetables for the week was next on the agenda before heading to the Super Market to complete my weekly shopping for staples. . . .

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Possessed by Possessions?





Karen Radford Treanor 

 

© Copyright 2023  by Karen Radford Treanor

Photo by Isaac Martin on Unsplash
Photo by Isaac Martin on Unsplash

Last January I walked out of a big store, leaving my potential purchases behind. I just couldn’t face standing behind 75 other people in order to buy two pairs of undies and a DVD of “Arsenic and Old Lace”. I decided to wait until the post-Christmas feeding frenzy ceased and stores returned to normal. The Customer Service counter was besieged by dozens of folks wishing to return or swap gifts, and the regular checkout lanes were packed with bargain hunters laden with electrical gadgets, clothes, household goods and toys. The tailback reached all the way through “Soft furnishings” and almost to “Home Storage Options.”

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Buried Alive





Sara Etgen-Baker



 
© Copyright 2024 by Sara Etgen-Baker

Photo of Sara.
Photo of Sara.

You do the honors,” Bill said laying the shiny new key in the palm of my hand, metal and skin together. On that summer’s day there was a warmth to it, and the light played gently over the curves. I let my fingers curl around the key, feeling a spark of joy as I pushed it into the doorknob’s keyhole making a 90° counterclockwise twist. I knew it was just the pins turning the cylinder and not magic opening the door, but at that moment I felt like a magician unlocking our dreams and opening the door to our future. . . .

Angel On The Highway





Sara Etgen-Baker



 
© Copyright 2024 by Sara Etgen-Baker

Photo by Marek Studzinski on Unsplash
Photo by Marek Studzinski on Unsplash

I’m a native Texan and as such am not experienced in or comfortable with driving in snowy, icy road conditions. So I was reluctant, even afraid, that snowy February morning to embark on my 25-mile commute. I dressed for work anyway, listening to weather reports and watching the radar, hoping to receive a text message from my school district telling me that schools would be closed for the day due to inclement weather and deteriorating road conditions. But the text message never came. Being a dutiful teacher, I warmed up my car melting the fresh layer of ice on the windshield then left for campus slowly inching my car along city streets keeping my eyes peeled for patches of black ice. . . .

Ticket To Ride





Sara Etgen-Baker



 
© Copyright 2024 by Sara Etgen-Baker

Photo by the author.
 Photo property of  the author.

"Ticket to Ride" is a memoir and a true biographical account of a magical summer I spent with my Aunt Betty. . . .

A Reflection of Dad
A man puts his father’s ashes in the lake and then begins to see a reflection of his father in the water.




Mitchell Kowitz


 
© Copyright 2024 by Mitchell Kowitz



Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@fabulu75?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Fabrice Villard</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/two-beige-boat-on-water-nig-NqGjAAE?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Unsplash</a>
Photo by Fabrice Villard on Unsplash

My father and I were close for many years. When he got sick, he and I had a big fight that resulted in me storming out of his house. Three days later, he passed away from colon cancer. After his passing, I became wracked with guilt. I thought about the argument that we had. I thought about the fishing trip on Lake Walnut that we used to go on every year. Now, grief and guilt consumed me. . . .

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The Mission


Fredrick Hudgin




 
© Copyright 2023 by Fredrick Hudgin



Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@robsarm?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Rob Sarmiento</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/touring-motorcycle-covered-with-snow-QCwid3quvJc?utm_content=creditCopyText&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unsplash">Unsplash</a>
Photo by Rob Sarmiento on Unsplash

It’s snowing. Man, this is perfect. Well, I’m still going. After forty-three years of missing Daytona, hearing about how great it was, about all the pretty girls and great parties and dynamite bikes, I’m going. And I’m gonna ride my bike. She may not win any of the bike beauty contests while I’m down there, but she will get me there and get me back. And only break down a couple of times. . . .

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The Horrors of Boarding School

    

 

Valerie Byron    

© Copyright 2023 by Valerie Byron  

  

Image by Ekaterina from Pixabay

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


My mother and I lived in the cold North of England in an upscale neighborhood. We had a lovely home, but were the only family without a father in the picture. Having been abandoned by my father almost at birth, I had become very attached to my mother.  Due to her fragile and sensitive nature, she was ill-prepared to cater to the needs of my adolescent brother, and myself. Fortunately, her brothers assisted financially providing a live-in housekeeper to take care of our needs and paying for my brother to spend his formative years in boarding school. Meanwhile I clung to my mother, desperate for her love and attention. By the time I was six, the housekeeper had left, and my mother and I were on our own. . . .

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Saint Mama




James L. Cowles





  
© Copyright 2024 by James L. Cowles


 
Image by Victoria from Pixabay
                        Mama circi 1925

Just about everyone pictures their mother as a Saint, someone who deserves to be placed on a pedestal. When we think of the perfection of motherhood, we of course think of Jesus' mother, Mary, a virgin who gave birth to the son of God. How could any mother reach such perfection, yet we tend to place our mother on such a Holy pedestal, right alongside the mother of Jesus. . . .

No Meddling





Paula Grieve


 
© Copyright 2023 by Paula Grieve



Photo by Romina Farías on Unsplash
Photo by Romina Farías on Unsplash

Going to Grandma's house meant a trip to a special place, a veritable treasure trove filled with things irresistible to the curious nature of a child. Pulling into the gravel driveway, the first thing to be seen in summer was the manicured lawn stretching over a hundred yards, to a thick copse of trees. From the multiple bird feeders in the front yard, positioned above a family of three plastic deer, (in winter, snow drifted to cover the points of the buck's antlers), to the weeping willow overlooking a small combination flower and vegetable garden out back, Grandma's yard was full of opportunities for exploration. . . .

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Farewell



Mary Cornelia Brown Murphy


 
© Copyright 2024 by Mary Cornelia Brown Murphy



Photo by Lance Reis on Unsplash
Photo by Lance Reis on Unsplash

Our home near Nashville was a haven for birds. On a bend in the Cumberland River, it sat across the road from acres of fields and pastures that grew corn and grass for a large herd of black and white milk cows. Trees lined the river bank and all along the road there were shrubs,weeds and wild flowers. . . .

When Grandpa Returned from the Dead





Lahsen Benaziza


 
© Copyright 2023 by Lahsen Benaziza




Photo by Reiner Knudsen on Unsplash
Photo by Reiner Knudsen on Unsplash
When Moussa was getting married to a nice looking girl from a neighboring tribe that his mother had spotted in some inter-tribal ceremony, his brother Bouazzaoui, a Fqih* with some standing in the family, decided that his brother’s wedding was going to be celebrated with Abidat R’mah*, unlike other weddings in the family in which strict recitation of the Qurʾān was imposed by their father, a warrior in youth turned devout Sufi in old age. . . .

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The First Virtue









Ezra Azra

.


 
© Copyright 2024 by Ezra Azra
Artwork by Thomas Nordwest at Wikimedia Commons.
Artwork by Thomas Nordwest at Wikimedia Commons.

From the beginning, Communities of people everywhere throughout history, independently of one another, have formulated virtues by which everyone in that Community is required to live.

Nobody has attempted to make a list of all the virtues defined by all Communities. Probably, such a list would be endless, even without duplicated virtues. . . .

The Killing of a Baby Girl







Yuan Changming



 
© Copyright 2023 by Yuan Changming

 

Photo by Minnie Zhou on Unsplash
Photo by Minnie Zhou on Unsplash

On a hot evening, the Wangs drowned their newborn daughter in a wooden basin, saying that they already had two sons to bring up. In the wee hours of the night before a mid-moon festival, the infant girl in the Song family was suffocated to death while sleeping with her grandparents. Afterwards, the old couple didn’t even bother to give a reason for this tragic accident. In Lotus Flower Village, such killing was something taken for granted since time immemorial, though it was not really the order of the day. . . .

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Illusion




Valerie Forde-Galvin




 
© Copyright 2024 by Valerie Forde-Galvin


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

Certain Eastern philosophies view this life on earth as illusion or “Maya.” I have no problem with that concept. In my eight decades, I've discovered that nothing is quite what it seems. Alright, so this doesn't necessarily put me in the Vedic camp, but let's just say I can relate. . . .

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Invasions of the Wrens 

 

Richard Loller
  

 

© Copyright 2024 by Richard Loller
 
 

 

Photo by Kevin Cress on Unsplash
Photo by Kevin Cress on Unsplash.

Richard here, reporting on a strange event. Yesterday was January 21, 2024, and temps had been in the single digits for several days.


Sherry went up to the attic to take some Christmas boxes and when she turned on the light she discovered a wren in that very cold and dark place. She said it looked weak and confused. . . .

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Eerie






James L. Cowles






  
© Copyright 2023 by James L. Cowles
 
Image by Victoria from Pixabay
Image by Victoria from Pixabay
It happened so unexpectedly, and it caused me to wonder how many others have had the same, or a similar kind of experience. In fact, it has happened to me on two different occasions, both occuring in the same room in my house. . . .

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Chauncey Street




Valerie Forde-Galvin




 
© Copyright 2023 by Valerie Forde-Galvin


Valerie and Uncle Nat.  Photo courtesy of the author..
Valerie and Uncle Nat.  Photo courtesy of the author.

In the nineteen-forties, Chauncey Street was a hotbed of activity. We were working class, one car families. Fathers went to work; mothers stayed home. Kids walked to the local elementary school and, after school, played outside until called in to supper. Everything happened in the neighborhood. Just on our own street there was as much drama as you'd find in any television series. I suppose you could think of Chauncey Street as the Downton Abbey of Dorchester. . . .

The Road North




I


Karen Petersen



 
© Copyright 2023 by Karen Petersen



Photo of a book cover.
Photo of a book cover

 The main road to Espanola–a town north of glamorous Santa Fe, New Mexico--held a sense of promise that was consistently affirmed by the splendid landscape as Janet drove along. 

Unfortunately, it was not fulfilled by the destination. The town itself was a shell of a town, filled with fast food joints, rundown buildings and an air of hovering decrepitude which was like a bad stench that never quite went away. . . .

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Hierachy of Priorities







Karen Petersen


 
© Copyright 2023 by Karen Petersen



Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay
Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay

It was one of those swanky New York society weddings, with the reception held at Tavern on the Green. The Times had announced the engagement, and the wedding was going to be written up the next day in the society pages.

Laurie had been friends with Jonathan, the groom, for years, and when he met Sally, his wife to be, he made sure she and Laurie became friends too. He was from a wealthy family and had gone to Yale. Sally had gone to Smith, and they’d met at an all-Ivy mixer. Enough said. . . .

Henry Kissinger
US Statesman Against Third World Aspirations and Independence



Winston Donald

   
© Copyright 2023 by Winston Donald



Photo courrtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Photo courrtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

American Jew and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger died on November 29, 2023 coming on the heels of the death of Roslyn Carter an Internationalist opposite in passion and life. Kissinger was truly devoted to America and to USA political and economic ideals, yet he was equally antithesis and resistant to everything called freedom for Third World Countries especially, Africa and Latin America. . . .

A Primer for Atheists at Christmas






Carl Winderl

 
© Copyright 2022 by Carl Winderl




Image by Mike Singleton from Pixabay
Image by Mike Singleton from Pixabay

As yet another Christmas season advents, I am reminded of my annual embarrassment and guilt for atheists and their attempts to remove vestiges of Christ from Christmas. Surely, someone must help them, and since no one else has yet stepped forward, I modestly propose myself for this long overdue task. . . .

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She Was More Than Glam and Glitz





Sara Etgen-Baker



 
© Copyright 2023 by Sara Etgen-Baker

Photo by the author.
Photo by the author.

. . . .As a young girl growing up in the 50s, Hollywood’s glamorous and glitzy lifestyle fascinated me. And popular actresses such as Jane Russell, Ava Gardner, and Rita Hayworth captivated me with their mink stoles, high-heeled shoes, Dior gowns, and overstated jewelry. But of all the women I saw both on-screen and off, my Aunt Betty was the most glamorous, elegant woman I knew. . . .

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What Do I See?

In Fond Remembrance of Chandler Heights.



Sara Etgen-Baker



 
© Copyright 2023 by Sara Etgen-Baker

Neighborhood gal friends.  Photo from the author.
Neighborhood gal friends.  Photo from the author.

. . . .What do I see when I drive through my old neighborhood?

Not the familiar cookie cutter houses or the elementary school I attended with my friends. Instead…

I see my ten-year-old self clad in saddle oxford shoes running around, playing hide-and-go-seek with my brothers and friends. . . .

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