Who were these Beatles, anyway? Everyone was screaming. Everyone, even Betsy, sitting next to me. Betsy was screaming her brains out. I stared at her in disbelief. But as I looked around Park Theater, the only movie theater in the Caldwells, the very green end-of-the-line little towns on the long boulevard that stretches from the […]
We had already witnessed the demolition derby over the snowy weekend between Christmas and New Year’s. We figured the upcoming motorcycle party couldn’t top that. The demolition derby started with the arrival of large trucks bearing strange cargo.
Gunnar was mowing his field. This was odd. He never mowed his field. He was making ever-tightening circles around the knobby acre, the sweet grass and raggedy weeds falling in neat windrows behind him.
When I was ten, I ran away. I packed everything that was important into my sturdy cardboard suitcase. I left a note on the kitchen table warning my parents not to look for me at the high-tension wires, those metal electrical towers that marked the back border of our property and which were in fact […]
The following memoir excerpt was written by Chris Madsen of Olympia, Washington. I never got used to that first splash of chilly water. It came from a natural spring concealed behind a stockade fence, so clean and pure that we all thought Mr. Trecartin should bottle it. Instead, he let the spring fill the swimming pool […]
It was the summer the city burned. The weather was dry and hot, but the real tinder was a mixture of frustration and anger, white and black, promises and demands. If I paused to consider these things, the pause was imperceptible. I stood at the edge of the pool contemplating…
In this grandmother story, I look back on the life of my mother’s mother.
“Look at this,” my grandmother said. “Not a tooth broken.”
We kids looked at the comb. We were not impressed. This grandmother story had to offer more!
“I made this when I was 8 years old.”
I looked again. Now I was impressed. I was 8 years old, and I had no idea how to make a comb. This one was big, maybe eight inches long, thick and creamy white. Indeed, not a tooth was broken. It looked nothing like the flimsy black plastic one my father carried in his pocket. My grandmother kept this one in the top drawer of her dresser with her small assortment of jewelry. This grandmother story impressed me for sure. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]
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The usual person gets four natural grandparents. Naturally, I got five. Or six. And for this Depression story, they were all in one body.
Both of my father’s parents passed away before I was born, victims of his absence during World War II as he fought the Germans on their own soil. My mother’s father died when I was six months old, a coincidence I believe, or so I have been told. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]