Grandma Gretchen’s in her rocker and she has something to say.
She tells a visitor, a young man from the city, if he plans to write a book about life on a farm in the Fifties, he likely has a lot to learn. She knows about that life because she was there. She says he needs to know about the little things as well as the big things if the book is going to be accurate.
Your life as explained in your letter recently received is very difficult to read. It’s been 40 years since we last saw each other or talked. Most of your problems I knew nothing about. Bits and pieces I somehow became aware of over the years. One of your brothers or sisters may have mentioned something they had heard at Christmas or on Father’s Day, but they were as much in the dark as I was. We didn’t know where you were.
“Or consider the famous Stargate sequence from Stanley Kubrick’s monumental 2001: A Space Odyssey. Narrative, abstraction, speed, movement, stillness, life, death—they’re all up there. Again we find ourselves back at that mystical urge—to explore, to create movement, to go faster and faster, and maybe find some kind of peace at the heart of it, a state of pure being.
It may have been the devil himself who prompted the kids in my schoolyard back in 1947 to chant “Patsy Foley’s roly-poly from eating too much ravioli.”
At first, no one could remember who started the chant. Patsy, a sweet and ample child, was in the third grade. As happenstance would have it, I was in that same third grade, infamous already as the only boy wearing spectacles in our class. After I got the glasses, I had three schoolyard fights in three days to prove to Larry Moore, Billy Gallagher and Fred Ham that I hadn’t changed a bit.… |To be Continued “Donal Mahoney: The Deli on Granville”
June brings us poetry by Neil Ellman and a short story by Donal Mahoney. Summer is around the corner. Will there be dancing in the streets?
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Reading a fascinating book about Occupied Paris. Alan Riding’s And the Show Went On. About 110 pages into it. He tells the story of heroism and collaboration in France, the Resistance, the complicit Vichy government, the attempt to flee the horrors of the Third Reich.
For me, World War II was always the last just war. Before it and since that time, wars have been overwhelmingly unnecessary, wars of choice, wars of conquest and the protection of markets.… |To be Continued “Summer’s Eve”
The priest had been there earlier and the rosary was said and relatives and friends in single file were offering condolences. “Sorry for your troubles,” one by one they said, bending over Maggie Murphy, the widow silent in her rocker, a foot or so from Paddy, resplendent in his casket, the two of them much closer now than they had ever been.
A silent guest of honor, Paddy now had nothing more to say, waked in aspic, if you will, in front of his gothic fireplace.
Spinozablue welcomes the poetry and fiction of A.J. Huffman and Charles Tarlton, plus new work by returning champions Donal Mahoney and Steve Klepetar.
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I’m currently reading a fantastic history by Eric Foner, The Fiery Trial. It’s a biography of Lincoln in a sense, but focuses on his relationship to slavery and its abolition. Two hundred pages in, I’m reminded of just how far we’ve come, and how incredibly, tragically long it took us to get here. I had forgotten, for instance, that Lincoln’s views — which evolved over time — were considered by many to be too radical, while actual radicals and abolitionists considered him far too accommodating on the issue.… |To be Continued “May Days and Freedom Walks”