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Something to Talk About by
50
(58 Stories)

Prompted By Concerts

/ Stories

A Saturday in April. Sophomore year of college. Three days later Nixon would invade Cambodia. Less than a week after that, four students would be killed at Kent State, and the Harvard campus would go out on strike for the second spring in a row. But all that was still ahead, and at this point…
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Scarlet Ribbons by
50
(58 Stories)

Prompted By Lessons

/ Stories

In the summer of 1965 I decided I wanted to learn how to play the guitar. I was turning 14 at the end of the summer, and it was my second year at a leftist work camp called Lincoln Farm. One of my favorite aspects of camp was the singing we did — at campfires,…
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Remember (Walking in the Sand) by
50
(58 Stories)

Prompted By The Beach

/ Stories

We didn’t go to many beaches when I was a kid, because my mother didn’t like sand, and dreaded the possibility of having it tracked into the car or the house. So we generally spent our vacations at places with lakes or pools. We did go to Atlantic City once a year for a medical…
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Father and Daughter by
50
(58 Stories)

Prompted By Father's Day

/ Stories

Paul Simon’s song “Father and Daughter” starts out “If you leap awake / In the mirror of a bad dream…” This reminds me of my favorite story about my father, which I have told to my children numerous times. When I was little, I had a recurring nightmare about a witch chasing me. I think…
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Graduation Mix Tape by
50
(58 Stories)

Prompted By Graduation Advice

/ Stories

Giving the graduates a mix tape of advice
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Draft Dodger Rag by
50
(58 Stories)

Prompted By War & Remembrance

/ Stories

Memorial Day weekend in Sacramento is most notable for the Dixieland Jazz Jubilee, which has occurred every year since 1974. It is an amazing four days of music and fun, with bands from all over the country and the world who make the pilgrimage to northern California to play traditional jazz. I didn’t discover it until…
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When I’m Sixty-Four by
50
(58 Stories)

/ Stories

Paul McCartney famously wrote the lines “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four” when he was 16 years old, although he didn’t put it on an album until Sgt. Pepper nine years later. It was released in the summer of 1967, when I was turning 16, the same age he was…
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Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress by
50
(58 Stories)

/ Stories

Mainly I remember my mother’s closet as a great place to play hide and seek. It was a big walk-in closet shaped like an L, so you could go around the corner to hide and a seeker might just look in the doorway and not see you. There was also a little door that led…
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You’ve Got A Friend by
50
(58 Stories)

Prompted By Friendship

/ Stories

When I was little — practically from birth — I had a best friend named Bette. Her parents were good friends with my parents, and she had two older sisters whose ages roughly corresponded to the ages of my older sisters. Our two families rented houses next door to each other at Lake Hopatcong every summer.…
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Stray Cat Strut by
50
(58 Stories)

Prompted By Pets

/ Stories

It was the end of the summer of 1992. Ed and I had bought a beautiful big old house and moved into it with my two children, seven-year-old Sabrina and four-year-old Ben. It seemed like the right time to get a kitten. We knew if we took the kids with us to the animal shelter,…
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