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High Country Headwaters: An Anthology

High Country Headwaters: An Anthology

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High Country Headwaters: An Anthology

Lunghezza:
207 pagine
3 ore
Pubblicato:
Nov 26, 2012
ISBN:
9781301459377
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

In this collection the reader will find an intriguing variety of writings, some poignant and personal, others humorous or elegant--a collection of brief delights and moving moments. The anthology ranges from scary ghost stories to hilarious mishaps, from sentimental reminiscences and lyrical verse to romance and mysteries. It is evidence of the wide variety of writing styles and fields of interest among the members of High Country Writers.

Pubblicato:
Nov 26, 2012
ISBN:
9781301459377
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Since its founding in 1995 by six budding romance writers, High Country Writers has supported and motivated an expanding membership. Now a thriving group of over 70 writers in all genres, with many published works, we have embarked on an ambitious new project, an anthology of short stories, poems and essays by our members. Whatever the project or the event, our monthly journal or the annual Spring Fling, High Country Writers' objective is to promote and sharpen the skills of the creative people who constitute the group.


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Anteprima del libro

High Country Headwaters - High Country Writers

High Country

HEADWATERS

2012

an anthology by

High Country Writers

edited by

Nora Lourie Percival

High Country Writers

http://highcountrywriters.tripod.com

at Smashwords

© 2012

Copyrights for individual contributions are held in the name of the author.

Visit the HCW website for assistance in contacting the copyright holders.

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 978-1479341047

Net proceeds from the sale of this book benefit the Appalachian Regional Library system.

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of these authors.

Other works by

High Country Writers

Since 1995 the High Country Writers organization has provided support and education to members seeking publication. Members have published works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry with major national and regional publishers, small publishers, as independents and with newspapers, magazines and web publications.

Acknowledgments

Headwaters began as a series of writing exercises and critiques devised by former HCW President Bart Bare. To him we owe the genesis of the project.

We owe the finished work to the devoted efforts of the anthology committee who all worked diligently to ensure each author’s work was carefully and respectfully represented:

Bart Bare, editor emeritus

Jessie Dvinoff Cook, committee secretary

Wendy Dingwall, design consultant

Judith Geary, designer

Anita Laymon, assistant editor and technical guru

Nora Percival, editor-in-chief

Ree Strawser, cover photo

Linda Steele, design consultant

Foreword

Nora Percival

Since its founding in 1995 by six budding romance writers, High Country Writers has supported and motivated an expanding membership. Now a thriving group of over 70 writers in all genres, with many published works, we have embarked on an ambitious new project, an anthology of short stories, poems and essays by our members.

In this collection the reader will find an intriguing variety of writings, some poignant and personal, others humorous or eloquent—a collection of brief delights and moving moments. The anthology ranges from scary ghost stories to hilarious mishaps, from sentimental reminiscences and lyrical verse to romance and mysteries. It is evidence of the wide variety of writing styles and fields of interest among our members.

These words evince the writers’ progress from ambition to achievement, encouraged by the critiques, discussions and exposure to guest professionals in the craft, that our meetings offer. Whatever the project or the event, our monthly journal or the annual Spring Fling, High Country Writers’ objective is to promote and sharpen the skills of the creative people who constitute the group.

Contents

Evelyn Asher, 361 Irving Street

Still Small Voice From Within

June Windle Bare, Hoping for a Base Hit

Marina M. Batchelor, The Vacant House

Lee Bernier, Survivor?

Diane Warman Blanks, Blood and Bone

A Good Man Goes Home

Jeff Block, Origins

Lissa Brown, Blues in the Night

Most Celebrities Don’t Impress Me

Marcia M. Cham, Gertie’s Sisters

Leap-Froggin’ Turtles

Jessie Dvinoff Cook, Kerouac on a Greyhound Bus

Savannah Dalton, Wild Horses

Wendy Dingwall, It Was Only Right

Off Beat

Terri Fabel, Waiting to Eat

Ree Strawser, Photo

Paula Finck, The Way

Judith Geary, Mothballs and Lavender

Karen Gross, Madison Mural, A Farewell Seed

Merle Guy, Pig Tales

Tove Holmer, Life is a Trip

Dottie Isbell, Poetry Is

Ingrid Kraus, Fishing with Bob

Anita Ruth Laymon, Ready for Church

Mike Leach, Skeet

Nora Lourie Percival, A Letter from the Past

Working Mother

Cathy Pinson, John Dillinger

Our Father

Sandy Sisson, A Beach Memory

Sue Spirit, Blue Ridge Hiking Paths

Ree Strawser, photo

Linda Steele, Familiar

Edgar’s Waiting

Ree Strawser, The Grandmother Store

Green Apples

Barbara Sturgill, The Utilitarian: a Crazy Quilt

Frank J. Thomas, Virgin

Sally Wilson, Country Rain

Clara Wisdom, A Flower in the Forest

High Country Headwaters

361 Irving Street

Evelyn Asher

The photo above my desk shows Daddy proudly holding his high school diploma in front of Bubbe and Zayde’s bungalow in Toledo, where he grew up with two younger brothers and an older sister. Zayde transferred his huckster education to the aisles of my uncle’s grocery store—S and S Market, Schwartz and Swartz. Family fables tell that my Zayde, not appreciating bills for another Moishe Schwartz down the street, decided to drop the ch from his surname.

As our families grew we gathered at 361 Irving Street every Friday night to celebrate Shabbat—no card playing, no writing (or keeping score.) My mother’s part of the tradition was to stop at Goodman’s Bakery and pick up two challahs, a thinly-sliced rye bread, and Brown and Whites that my Aunt Marilyn dubbed Jewish cookies.

Together with my cousin Roz, two years older than me, I set the adult table with three leaves. I always squeezed by the radiators so I would not burn my tush. The children’s aluminum table stood next to the basement door. Once I peeked into the basement, where Bubbe’s canned red and green peppers and dill pickles lined floor-to-ceiling shelves.

The heavy five-light candelabrum sat in symbolic prominence on an ivory crocheted doily in the middle of the adult table. After Bubbie covered her head with a lace handkerchief and said the Sabbath prayers, the candelabrum was moved to the European oak buffet. We were warned never to blow out the candles, because they are a symbol of illuminating the world. Imagine the meaning of this tradition to those who fled the Russian pogroms as my grandparents had.

Was the candelabra brought from Hungary, or purchased from a peddler? Did Bubbe’s mother pass down the candelabrum, which now resides in my cousin’s home? We were never encouraged to ask such questions; get an education, yes, but not ask questions within the family. No talk of the old country in front of children.

Bubbe—as did all the women in our family—ruled her house. The daughters-in-law, sizing each other and each other’s children up each Friday, did not interact with each other. Their ears were tuned to their husbands’ conversations making sure they did not reveal anything private. Don’t wash your dirty laundry in public, my father needed to utter only once.

With the aid of my mother, three aunts, and three female grandchildren, Bubbe—a size 4 after her goiter was removed—kept bringing out chicken soup with and without onions and carrots, depending on each recipient’s request. They passed brisket fresh from the oven, dripping with natural gravy and fat—the fatty hump sliced off, the point separated from the flat—sliced against the grain. Next came roast chicken, kasha, and kishka—yards and yards of kishka—every Friday night.

Zayde, 300 pounds held in place by suspenders (contrary to the law of physics), ate quietly—everything times three. It was not until I was in my mid-60s that I learned that many winters Zayde went to Miami Beach by himself. When he came back fortified with sunshine rather than heavy meals he would say, I lost a Clara, referring to my mom’s slight weight of 100 pounds.

In between servings my male cousins and younger brother, all ten years younger than my hellion twin older brothers, listened to stories of the big boys’ escapades, scheming how they would repeat this raucousness in the 4th and 5th grades. The undercurrent of their laughter caused parental eyes to roll up with silent reprimand: We’ll talk about that in the car on the way home.

Decorum returned when my dad signaled with his hand across his chest, meaning Cut it! One of my younger cousins tried to be cute and called my dad by his first name, Sam. Uncle Sam’s response, with his look that spoke more volumes than a Kodak picture, has been a treasured yarn at family gatherings for over 50 years.

The kitchen table with rounded chrome edges, on which hours earlier potato bilkes were formed, eggplant was chopped, and Bubbe’s deep-skillet apple pies cooled, was piled high as the women cleared away the dishes and the washing-up began. One could hear coins drop in the Tzedakah (charity) boxes that would later be distributed to the poor. Aunt Gert counted the Reed Barton silverware after dishes were dried, to ensure none had been thrown in the garbage.

We children looked forward to sitting on Zayde’s lap after dinner. His chair was in the sun room next to the 1935 Zenith console. Zayde was not pleased when my hooligan cousins turned the knobs and messed up his radio stations. Zayde never spoke; he pointed and opened his arms to us. It remains hard to believe that this was same man who broke a lamp over my uncle’s head in his fury, back when my uncle was in high school and refused to buy ice cream bars when the bells signaled the truck’s arrival.

The Victorian clock ticked over the mantel as we stared at Bubbe’s mole while she and the adults spoke in Yiddish. Though it was foreign to our ears, we grandchildren learned to distinguish when the talk was about us. However, we never knew if their conversation was to shield us from learning that someone else’s daughter got pregnant or someone else’s business had failed.

After Shabbat dinner we moved to the front porch stoop. The upstairs of the converted duplex was verboten. In later years when I encouraged my father, 82, then bedridden, to tell me a story about his house growing up he said, My cousin came from Europe and lived with us upstairs for a while. The reason she was so thin was because each day she walked to all the relatives’ homes.

Sometimes on our way home Uncle Seymour would ask Roz and me to babysit our two younger cousins. Everybody laughed when he paid us $10.00, tearing it in half and saying, $5.00 for you and $5.00 for you!

Reaching back in my mind I can still hear the laughter that was always on the menu at 361 Irving Street. The Korean War brought anxieties. Would Uncle Seymour have to leave his family and Caddy behind and go to war? He did not. Aunt Belle and Charlie moved into their new home built by Zayde’s brother. I will never know the whole story but the house did not turn out to be the copy of their cousins’ homes, which had been their desire.

These Shabbat dinners were a stabilizing force of life, lost today to children living in different states. Family gatherings are different, annual reunions take place as schedules allow. Gratefully, laughter remains the tradition on the menu.

Still Small Voice From Within

Evelyn Asher

If I just let the day

Flow like a gentle stream

Around each bend appear

Blue sky, views of forever, simple pleasures.

If I just let the day

Be scripted by destiny

Toss away my edits and be content

Sharpened senses unveil simple pleasures.

If I just let the day

Unfold naturally, people come into my life

Garden varieties connecting through

Tales, memories, visions of simple pleasures.

If I just let the day

Fuel my spirit with sunshine or

Rain that nurtures the earth

My daily bread becomes one of simple pleasures.

If I just let the day, this day

Be guided with goodness

Let nature be my companion

A joyful song arises, the tune of simple pleasures.

Evelyn Asher credits her fifth grade teacher, Miss Elaine Hirth, who accepted an essay instead of a composition assignment for nurturing self-expression. The mountains of North Georgia and High Country have unleashed her creative spirit. She has two book projects simmering. Evelyn always finds inspiration in the company of High Country Writers.

Hoping for a Base Hit

June Windle Bare

Eleven-year-old Jack had one strike against him just for being a preacher’s kid. Moving to eastern Kentucky during World War II—another strike. And when it came to making friends with the local boys, would that be a strike out?

In 1944 Jack’s father, Preacher Smith, stuffed all he could into an old Chevrolet and moved his wife, two sons and a daughter from Pennsylvania to eastern Kentucky. His charge was a remote community strung out for several miles along Briar Creek, in the rugged Appalachian coal country. Since the little creek often became a roaring river during the spring rains, he waited until late summer to move. But he wanted to settle in before winter snow and mud made traveling bad, and before school started in Briar Creek.

Thrust into a new world where childhood dreams and carefree lack of concern were fast crumbling, Jack wondered out loud, How am I ever going to make it here? No money, no friends, no one who likes baseball … no hope.

Preacher Smith overheard the boy and commented, not unkindly, Son, nobody has much money these days.

With a frown, the boy grumbled, I suppose, but Daddy, when we lived back home in Pennsylvania it wasn’t this bad. We got along as well as anyone else. Why did you have to move to these hills anyway? These natives aren’t just poor; they’re sorry. I never knew boys who don’t play baseball.

Son, you have to understand: I heard the Call, and I had to answer it. If you’d look inside these ‘sorry natives,’ as you call them, you’d see the souls that need to be turned toward God. If God has called me, He will provide.

Maybe you ought to tell Him there’s churches everywhere around here. You can’t go two miles without there being a church. Why start another one?

I think you’ve said enough, Jack. God brought me here, and I’ll do what I believe is right. I have faith that He will provide. I suggest you pray for God to give you some friends…and hope. With that, the preacher picked up his Bible and began to work on his sermon for Sunday.

Jack went outdoors and idly bounced his baseball back and forth from his glove to his other hand. As he looked at the rough three-room shack his parents had rented, his thoughts reflected his disgust: Three rooms and a path. Before we could even move in, we had to put a new roof on the shack and build an outhouse. We three kids all have to sleep in one room. To get to the other side of the house, into the kitchen and where Mother and Daddy sleep, we have to go out on the porch. There’s rats inside at night and outside the neighbor’s pigs root under the floor.

Filled with disappointment, he boy couldn’t stop grumbling. It’s a piece of trash, he muttered. Daddy says to pray. Yeah, I’ll pray—pray to move back home—a home run. He thought bitterly of his cherished sport, trapped in a backwoods where boys never even thought about baseball, let alone played. The outhouse we built is better than the shack. Oh, yeah, and now it’s Christmas…What a Christmas it’s gonna be, with no money, no tree, no nuthin’!

Indeed it was Christmas time, and Preacher Smith only had a dime left to

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