Oct/Nov 2014

e c l e c t i c a   n o n f i c t i o n


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Onions and Firecrackers (Spotlight Runner-Up!)
Imagination was essential to growing up in Wyoming. Despite the generally accepted "only-what's-real-is-what-I-can-touch" Will Rogerish rural philosophy, imagination pervaded everyday life. In eastern Wyoming religion was essentially imagination based on a barefoot and bearded prophet with a gold ring around his head. Except for the Holy Rollers, churchgoing was a social event (and was called "churchgoing" not "worship"), and Bible stories were absorbed with the same acceptance as stories in The Saturday Evening Post and Mickey Mouse Magazine.
Robert Joe Stout


When I Make My Road Trip Movie
I should give you a physical description, but really, to the eight-year-old me she just looks like J; the salient fact is that she is bigger and stronger than I am, and that when she gets annoyed by my baseball stats or bored with our game of listing all the states we can find represented by the other cars on the freeway, she can torment me by singing "Baby Driver," the most irritating Simon & Garfunkel song ever except maybe for the one about the toaster and the boysenberry jam.
Roy White


Conversations with Berthe Cleyrergue, Housekeeper to the Legendary Amazon, Nathalie Clifford Barney
At the outset, Berthe told me, working at 20 rue Jacob as cook and maid, she was unaware of the nature of goings-on in the house. When it first became clear to her that her employer was a notorious lesbian, she thought she would quit (as so many before her had done). However, since she was well-paid and well-treated, and since the character of her work was often interesting, she decided to remain, and she soon grew to like and admire Miss Barney.
Gregory Stephenson


"I would be fine never to visit my parents again," I thought, not for the first time. We were on our second pass by the giant pretzel display, its warm bulbs illuminating the clouded Plexiglas. Then I backpedalled because that was too sad a thing to think, even to myself. It would break their hearts to know I've had this thought, and I've never wanted that.
Coleen Kearon


Ropes: a Documentary Essay
Within the unfortunate limits that our circumstances allow, I want to help as much as I can. The best way I know how is to listen. So, I've enclosed a tape for you to record. If you told the story of your life, perhaps we could write it together and create something more enduring than your life—or mine. You and I touch each other in small ways in a small context, yet I think it stands for a great deal.
Lee Brozgol


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