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Grandma Anna by
10
(16 Stories)

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In the early 1950’s, my grandmother lived along the highway between Palm Springs and Los Angeles. She raised chickens and sold sold fryers on ice and eggs. Between her wood-slatted hen houses were two eucalyptus stumps. One stump was my haven from the headless chickens that ran flapping and spurting blood. I was Caesar, fascinated…
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Oh, those eggs? by
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(16 Stories)

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In the early 60’s, I had a morning newspaper route. In five years, only a couple people didn’t pay their subscription. Honor was still a virtue. But one man didn’t pay and then moved. On collection days when I knocked on his door, even with his car in the driveway, no one answered. I was…
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Mrs. Madison by
10
(16 Stories)

Prompted By My First Paycheck

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When I was five years old, my grandmother got me a Saturday job with her neighbor, Mrs. Madison. My job was to help collect eggs and feed the chickens. I scattered grain and filled the water cans. I didn’t collect eggs from any hens that pecked at my hands. I did carry the basket, but only…
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Grad Night by
10
(16 Stories)

Prompted By 1968

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Grad Night             1968. Disneyland hosted an all-night grad night for high school seniors in South California. About twenty classmates and I dropped LSD for the first time, on the bus to The Magic Kingdom. The little pills were called Blue Flats. Pharmaceutical. Word was they were made at UCLA.…
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teachers by
10
(16 Stories)

Prompted By Teachers & Mentors

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Susan B Coombs Jr. High School. Seventh Grade. Miss Davies. Homeroom. We were given a woodcut/Rorschach image to view, then write a poem. I don’t remember the poem. But Miss Davies told the class that we had a fine writer and poet in our class, then read my poem. My ears blazed. I felt like…
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Omni by
10
(16 Stories)

Prompted By What We Read

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For years, I subscribed to Omni magazine. They gave me concrete visions of the future, belief in possibility. While The Twilight Zone freed my imagination, Omni told me who was working on what and how it would affect us all. When new technology became available, I’d been expecting it. Like The Sun, it became a…
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Relax by
10
(16 Stories)

Prompted By Marijuana

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Whatever high-pitched motor was driving me faded to a kind of thrum--something like my heartbeat. 
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Honest Work by
10
(16 Stories)

Prompted By Working

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Honest Work            Working as a carpenter was the most honest work I have ever done. In the beginning, I saved for the family that hadn’t yet materialized. Later, I left the house treading softly with babies snuffling familiar scents. My wife always got up with me, made me breakfast, handed me a lunch. Those…
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Danny Kaye by
10
(16 Stories)

Prompted By Drive-Ins

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Windows fogged, bad shocks rocking, breathing like final breaths on a battlefield, bucket seats belong on kayaks, Danny Kaye got rich and nobody knew what he looked like.
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War and Remembrance by
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(16 Stories)

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Even though I received a formal invitation to participate in the Viet Nam war, I declined.
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Cadaver Lab by
10
(16 Stories)

Prompted By Science

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    Cadaver Lab           Formaldehyde Shiny floors And two black bags with zippers Awaiting parturition I sought secrets revealed by the dead   A sexy professor with smooth skin Pulled round the zippers And let in the light Illuminating a brain behind the skull A heart behind the breast A…
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Grad Night by
10
(16 Stories)

Prompted By Altered States

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On Mr. Toad’s Ride, I was killed by a freight train. But Small World put me back together.
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Hair by
10
(16 Stories)

Prompted By Hair

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Eighth graders took PE, but we didn’t shower. Freshmen in high school showered. Fifty years later, that seems no big deal. But. The summer before my freshman year, I still didn’t have hair on my balls. Determination was my long suit, my key to success. I willed hair to grow on my balls. It didn’t…
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lessons by
10
(16 Stories)

Prompted By Lessons

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In 1953 I would have been five. Gas was something like, 19.9 cents a gallon. It smelled good wafting in the window while the attendant washed the windows. The attendant I remember was giving a lecture into our Plymouth. My mom, a recent war bride from England sat beside my father. My little sister and I…
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first day by
10
(16 Stories)

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      First day       My mom looked down into the box camera. I smiled from the first step of the bus. I wore a green wool sweater. I tilted my head down a little. And I wonder what kind of boy I’d been if I’d have had my chin up and…
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food by
10
(16 Stories)

Prompted By What We Ate

/ Stories

Food   These days a food phenomenon might involve kale and chia seeds. In the mid 50’s our family loaded up the Plymouth and drove twenty-five miles to McDonalds. Hamburgers were 19 cents. We split an order of fries and I got my own bone-chilling chocolate shake. Eisenhower was President, America had the atomic bomb,…
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