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Street Fighting [Wo]man by
50
(84 Stories)

Prompted By Student Activism

/ Stories

“Hey! The time is right for violent revolution” sang Mick Jagger in August 1968. When I heard it, I had just come back from the Democratic Convention in Chicago, where I was tear gassed by the police. I was seventeen years old and I was ready to learn how to be a revolutionary. The Rolling…
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As Time Goes By by
50
(84 Stories)

/ Stories

Then: Kneeling down in front of the ironing board to iron my hair, so that it will be pin straight, as the fashion dictates. Sometimes burning my left hand (which is holding the hairbrush) with the tip of the iron in my right hand, because I can’t see what I’m doing. Now: What’s an ironing board? Electric…
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Go Tell Aunt Rhody by
50
(84 Stories)

Prompted By Aunts & Uncles

/ Stories

My mother and father each had only one sibling, a sister. My father’s sister, Adele, was a pharmacist who never married. We were her only family, so she spent holidays with us, and always gave us presents on our birthdays. But my sisters and I never felt close to her. She talked too loudly and…
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Scenes from an Italian Restaurant by
50
(84 Stories)

Prompted By Restaurants

/ Stories

Billy Joel probably never ate at the Italian restaurant my family favored when I was young, since he grew up in New York, not New Jersey, but he must have had a similar place in mind when he wrote the song “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.” Don’s 21 was located on McCarter Highway in Newark,…
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Celluloid Heroes by
50
(84 Stories)

Prompted By Best Picture

/ Stories

“Everybody’s a dreamer, everybody’s a star,” sang the Kinks in their 1972 song “Celluloid Heroes.” So true. I nominate this song to be the permanent theme song of the Academy Awards show. First movie: Sayonara. As far as I remember, this was my first movie in a theatre, although I probably saw others on television…
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What’s Goin’ On by
50
(84 Stories)

Prompted By Watergate

/ Stories

“What do you remember about Watergate?” asks this week’s prompt. I am finding it a very difficult question to answer. Right now I could tell you everything that happened from the night of the break-in at Democratic Headquarters on June 17, 1972 (two days after I graduated from college), to the resignation of Richard Nixon…
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Why must I be-e a teen-A-ger in love? by
50
(84 Stories)

Prompted By Teenager in Love

/ Stories

Every time I have seen the phrase “teenager in love” – starting with the first time this prompt appeared in Retrospect two years ago – I have read it as teen-A-ger, with the accent on the second syllable, rather than TEEN-ager, the usual pronunciation, with the accent on the first syllable. In contrast, if the…
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Too Much Time on My Hands (Styx) by
50
(84 Stories)

Prompted By Retirement

/ Stories

I loved being a lawyer. I can’t think of any other career I would have rather had. Well, except for being a rock ‘n’ roll singer – that would have been the best. But besides playing Linda Ronstadt at my office holiday party and singing a few local gigs with my first husband’s band, I…
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We Can Work It Out by
50
(84 Stories)

Prompted By Roommates

/ Stories

Sometimes you can work it out, sometimes you can’t. I’ve had a lot of roommates, starting as a 17-year-old college freshman, and ending when I bought my first house at age 27. CAVEAT: This story is way too long to sustain anyone’s interest, so I advise reading maybe about half of it. Once I started…
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What Did You Learn in School Today? by
50
(84 Stories)

Prompted By A Year in the Life

/ Stories

In September 1958 I had just turned seven, and I was in Mrs. Smith's second-grade class
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