View Risa Nye's profile

A Date at Eight by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By First Dates

/ Stories

I’m sure we thought we were terribly grown up, going on a date and all. Did my mother make me wear gloves? She may have.
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A Long and Winding Road by
25
(38 Stories)

/ Stories

"Notably the Berkeley School of Criminology was targeted by key players in the US military-industrial complex such as Ronald Reagan himself, then Governor of California and Regent of UC-Berkeley."
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PE and other Sorrows by
25
(38 Stories)

/ Stories

Before I can start talking about PE, I need to explain a couple of things. When I was in elementary school (fifth grade, I think), I came down with pneumonia. I believe I missed an entire month of school. The teacher had all the kids in my class send me get well cards, which I…
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Of Shoes–and Ships–and Sealing Wax by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Poetry

/ Stories

I eat my peas with honey, I've done it all my life. It makes the peas taste funny, But it keeps them on my knife. --Gelett Burgess
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No FOMO for me! by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Spring Break

/ Stories

Back before FOMO was a thing, it never dawned on me to do anything on “spring break.” Now, what do we think about when we think about spring break anyway? Off to the beach or the slopes, depending–right? College or high school kids up to no good, shenanigans and high jinks that these days are…
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2725 Haste Street by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By My First Apartment

/ Stories

I couldn’t wait to move out of my parents’ house after high school. I had decided to take what is now referred to as a “gap year,” and got no end of flak from my parents about it. I went searching for a job so I could make the first and last months’ rent for…
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How We Like Our Eggs by
25
(38 Stories)

/ Stories

The skin on my grandmother’s hands was paper thin. It’s what I remember most about her. She also had piercing brown eyes and a way of clamping her lips together that signaled her disapproval. She wasn’t a warm and affectionate sort of grandmother. Not at all. She was more of a “my way or the…
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He Was the Egg Man by
25
(38 Stories)

/ Stories

He bought us ice cream and pretended to scold us when we stuck out our tongues to lick our cones. When we sat next to him with food on our plates, he'd look surprised and point at something behind us. We'd turn around to look, and he'd have taken a bite of our sandwich. His big blue eyes gave nothing away--he was innocent!
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An Unexpected Education by
25
(38 Stories)

/ Stories

I found myself sitting next to women my age, or not much older, who were military wives. They came from the Midwest, the South and back East.....Their husbands were off fighting in Vietnam while these young wives held down a job, kept house, took care of the car, called the refrigerator repairman, paid the bills, and tried to stay sane.
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Chains of Love by
25
(38 Stories)

/ Stories

I began wearing an anklet when I'd outgrown little girl ankle socks and graduated to cheap mesh stockings in shades of a summer tan, worn over smooth legs. I went to Woolworths and used my allowance to buy my first anklet. My sister and I both wore them, copying one of our beloved aunts who wore a fancy one that had a tiny flower with a pearl in its center, with her name engraved on it.
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Great Moments in Parenting by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Parenthood

/ Stories

Parents, we’ve all had these moments, right? Right?? One day my daughter invited a friend from school over to play.  I’ll call this friend Jane, because that is her name. Jane was eight or nine–a year older than my daughter–and since her mom and I were friends, the girls had spent time together before, sometimes…
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RIP VCRs by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Good Riddance

/ Stories

Oh, it was so great at the beginning. My husband brought home the machine from his office and we went off the the video rental store and wandered the aisles like kids in a candy store. On a weekend, after the kids went to bed, we’d watch movies back to back, remembering to “be kind…
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Masterpiece Dinner by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By What We Ate

/ Stories

We were looking at a ridiculously expensive cut of meat that we were instructed to stud with truffles, brush with brandy, brown in butter, slather with a mixture of more butter blended with pâté, and finally wrap like a precious gem in a buttery dough.
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With Gratitude: Mean Girls by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Middle School

/ Stories

While gaggles of kids talked and laughed at lunch, I found a quiet corner and savored my solitude as I ate my sandwich alone. Thanks to a thoughtful custodian who unlocked a room for me, I could avoid being seen; I spent my period of exile in silent, and sometimes salty, contemplation.
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Well, Hello! by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Fame

/ Stories

This isn’t about my fame or lack of it. This is about secondhand fame. To be precise, this is about my father’s famous friend: Carol Channing. My dad grew up in San Francisco, and as a precursor to his eventual career as a drama teacher, he got involved in theater during his high school years.…
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There Was a Fire Here by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Disasters

/ Stories

Excerpted from my memoir, There Was a Fire Here. October 20, 1991. Oakland, California — There was a fire here. It started high above our house, on a hill facing west. No one knows for certain how it started, but a human hand set something burning and started The Fire. The fire incinerated, it eliminated; it…
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Ball of Confusion* by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By 1968

/ Stories

1968. High school. Last half of junior year, first half of senior year. Waiting for my life to start for real. Yearning to move on. Falling in love, falling in lust, making some bad choices and a couple of good ones, trying new things, boys on my mind, unhappy at home, hard truths, assassinations, end…
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Sunnyside Up in Panzano* by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Nudity

/ Stories

This must be the way things are done here, I thought. No turning back now. So I focused on the ceiling fan as it spun in a lazy circle, thinking about how I would describe this feeling to my friends.
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Triumph Over My Arch Nemeses by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Hair

/ Stories

I was never really satisfied, but basically gave up on achieving the ideal arch I'd been searching for most of my life. I mean, while doing other things and actually HAVING a life.
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one’s not half two, it’s two are halves of one by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Weddings

/ Stories

I woke up that morning thinking: today I will glow. I always heard that brides get this special glow  you can’t fake or create with makeup, it just happens the day you get married, so I checked the mirror expecting to find it, except it wasn’t there yet, and I thought, well, maybe it creeps…
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Requiem for a Teacher by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Teachers & Mentors

/ Stories

Wesley was an important figure to me at a time when I felt excited, scared, adventurous, and doubtful. He read my words, praised me, and called me out. I felt appreciated and challenged by him.
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Numbers by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Those We Miss

/ Stories

My sister checks in with the woman behind the counter, signing her name and mentioning what she’s there for. It hardly seems necessary to mention this. Everyone who enters this room, unless they are a support person like me, is here for one reason: they have cancer.
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Meeting Madeleine by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Babies

/ Stories

My journey to meet Madeleine began with a phone call. I was in the midst of cleaning out my late mother’s kitchen, standing in front of her pantry looking at boxes and cans dating back to the 20th century, when my son-in-law reached me on my cell phone. “I guess you know why I’m calling,”…
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Easy Reader by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By What We Read

/ Stories

One of my favorite things to do when I was a kid: Grab a book and climb a tree and read until someone came looking for me.
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Waist deep in the big muddy. Again. by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Student Activism

/ Stories

As I’ve been following the young activists today who are taking a leadership role in a fight my generation seemed to have given up on, it brought me back to another time when young people felt both helpless and passionate about a cause. In our day, it was the anti-war movement. What is tragically similar…
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My Aunt Rocks! by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Aunts & Uncles

/ Stories

Her name is Rockie, but don’t take her for granite. One of her jokes. Her given name is Rokama. According to several sources I consulted, in Hebrew the name means “comforted.” Or beloved. Or one who has received mercy. Or possibly: compassion. They all fit. If I had to name some of the influential women…
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My Aunt Ruth by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Aunts & Uncles

/ Stories

 Aunt Ruth used to chide me when I complained about being exhausted after chasing my young children around. “In my day,” she said, “we’d put the kids to bed—and then figure out how to save the world!” Saving the world meant throwing herself into the fray: she’d hoist a sign, march and demonstrate in the…
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Meeting Madeleine by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By How We Met

/ Stories

My journey to meet Madeleine began with a phone call. I was in the midst of cleaning out my late mother’s kitchen, standing in front of her pantry looking at boxes and cans dating back to the 20th century, when my son-in-law reached me on my cell phone. “I guess you know why I’m calling,”…
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Alice’s Restaurant by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Restaurants

/ Stories

In 1971, I was living in Berkeley, California. I attended classes on campus and also worked there as I put myself through school at UC Berkeley. I lived in a house with three roommates, a large tank of tropical fish, my two cats, and an Old English sheepdog. My boyfriend spent his freshman year away,…
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Gone with the Wind by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Best Picture

/ Stories

I first read the book when I was a teenager. It’s the only book I missed two meals to finish. I staggered out of my bedroom late in the afternoon after turning the last page. I’d been lost for what seemed like days in the lives of Scarlett, Ashley, Melanie and Rhett. My parents must…
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Both Sides Now by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By How We Met

/ Stories

This is how it started.  I asked him to write down the lyrics to “Both Sides Now” for me.  We were both seniors in high school, hanging out in the same circle of hippie wannabe ne’er do-wells. The song was on the radio all the time and I wanted to learn the words. I knew…
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Sunshine of My Love by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Teenager in Love

/ Stories

The last time I saw Kelly, he’d been dead for over a year. In yet another dream, he was sitting next to me on a bus.  “You have to let me go,” he said. When I met him, in 1966, Kelly was a junior in high school. He was outrageous, audacious, charismatic, and sexy as…
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The Old Ballgame by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Sports

/ Stories

Family legend has it that my dad fully expected me, his second daughter, to be a son.  I imagine him pacing in the waiting room in the maternity ward, punching his fist in a glove, thinking about the times he’d play catch in the backyard and discuss the finer points of the game with a…
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Six in the City: A Year in the Life by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By A Year in the Life

/ Stories

The year: 1957-1958. I was six and my sister was eight when our parents told these two San Francisco-born California girls that we were packing up and moving to New York City. My father had entered the doctoral program at Teachers College, Columbia University, and we’d be living in Morningside Heights for a year—giving up…
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A Long, Strange Trip by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Marijuana

/ Stories

Thanks to a program that no longer exists, I was able to attend the local college while still a senior in high school. After filling out the necessary paperwork and expressing my urgent need to study Italian—a class not offered at my school—I was approved to begin classes on campus in the fall of 1968.…
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A Wish Fulfilled. . .The Hard Way by
25
(38 Stories)

/ Stories

When my husband and I bought our first house after years of being renters, we were excited but a little bit terrified. The night before we made our offer, neither one of us got any sleep. We had looked and looked, and then one day the mother of one of our daughter’s kindergarten classmates told…
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And in the End by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Beatles vs Stones

/ Stories

The Beatles break-up began in 1969, the year I graduated from high school. I wished it weren’t so, but it was inevitable that they would go their separate ways, just as it was inevitable that high school would end, and everything would change.
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Halloween Caper with My Daughter by
25
(38 Stories)

Prompted By Halloween

/ Stories

Caitlin, my daughter, spent several months in the Intensive Care Nursery as an infant. She needed open heart surgery and ended up spending several months recovering, having setbacks, and recovering, before she was finally able to come home at around four months of age. The ICN was full of babies who were too small or…
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