Memoir

Long-Haired Disco Boys

Long-Haired Disco Boys

MEMOIR | TERRY BARR

The 1970s in Birmingham, Alabama, was a time fraught with racial tension and confusing questions of identity. Author Terry Barr found the music of that era confusing, as well. Southern rock competed with Glam and Disco, and for a long-haired guy like Terry, finding his place, his sub-culture, and the accompanying music wasn’t easy.

Lightning Flowers

Lightning Flowers

MEMOIR | SARAH K. LENZ

After Sarah Lenz’s father gives her a creepy antique photograph depicting her three great uncles who were struck and killed by the same bolt of lightning in 1914, she sets out to discover their story and figure out why postmortem photography haunts her. “Lightning Flowers” is a thoughtful and moving meditation on what it means to remember the dead and confront one’s own mortality.

Handling Shit and Finding Love

Handling Shit and Finding Love

MEMOIR | BETINA ENTZMINGER

“The Beak in the Heart: True Tales of Misfit Southern Women,” is a collection of dramatic portraits of the author’s “misfit” female ancestors and a candid, intimate memoir about family secrets and breaking free of the narrow confines of being a “proper” southern woman. In this excerpt, Betina Entzminger tells the story of two of her “misfit” aunts who had the strength to handle the blows dealt to them by adversity, disappointment, and heartache in the South of the 1950s. This is a touching story about finding love, freedom, and fortitude.

The Darker Side of a Night with Hunter Thompson

The Darker Side of a Night with Hunter Thompson

MEMOIR | ROBERTO LOIEDERMAN

In this brief memoir, Roberto Loiederman recalls a night in San Francisco, in the summer of 1965, that he spent with Hunter Thompson, the half-mad, cosmic prankster, and creator of gonzo journalism. For Roberto, the early days of the counterculture — the days of psychedelic rock, drugs, and free love — weren’t quite as romantic as they are remembered.

Misfire

Misfire

MEMOIR | EMLYN CAMERON

Misfire is a story about a day when a friend takes Emlyn Cameron shooting. They leave the suburbs of Northern California with a shotgun, two handguns, a 22. calibre rifle, two AR-style rifles, and a black powder muzzleloader, to go shooting in a remote location. It looks to be a simple holiday lark, until things start to go awry.

Lights in the Night

Lights in the Night

MEMOIR | RANDY SPENCER

In the 1990s, there was astronomical research that showed that Washington County, Maine was second only to area 51 in Nevada for UFO sightings in the U.S. This story about mysterious phenomena in the night skies of Grand Lake Stream, Maine is from master fishing guide and award-winning author Randy Spencer, excerpted from his new memoir, “Written on Water: Characters and Mysteries from Maine’s Back of Beyond.”

Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer

Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer

JERRY VIS

In the 1950s, Jerry Vis had an uneventful, blue-collar, stickball-in-the-street childhood in Paterson, N.J. That is, until his father, who had been no more than a vaporous, bring-home-the-bacon presence, nearly killed himself with alcohol and suddenly got religion.

A Crack Up

A Crack Up

VIRGINIA EVANS

Virginia Evans wrote the first draft of her novel in 61 days. Seven days a week, she was at her desk with coffee by 5:00 am. She wrote 98,000 words while working three part-time jobs, with two children at home under age four. Then she defied the odds and managed to secure a literary agent. All of that turned out to be the easy part.

Playing Air Guitar in Paris

Playing Air Guitar in Paris

ROBERTO LOIEDERMAN

As a young man, Roberto Loiederman read Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Cancer,” and George Orwell’s “Down and Out in Paris and London,” which inspired a dream: to be broke in Paris one day. In his 70s, as a tourist in Paris, a sudden event gives him the chance to live out his youthful dream. Temporarily, anyway. This is a story about how we are all pretenders, to one degree or another.

Ashes in California

Ashes in California

EMLYN CAMERON

After his father dies, Emlyn Cameron returns to his hometown in California, which is menaced by COVID-19 and massive wildfires, to unpack their relationship while sorting the contents of his father’s storage unit.

This is a beautifully written and touching essay about the life and death of the brilliant, kind, and infinitely creative Charles Cameron — a man we here at PenDust Radio knew and loved very much. We are honored to publish his son Emlyn’s eloquent words.

Red Ferry, Blue Ferry: An Irish Lesson in How You Can’t Get There from Here

Red Ferry, Blue Ferry: An Irish Lesson in How You Can’t Get There from Here

MICHAEL FALLON

Michael Fallon’s visit to Ireland’s Aran Islands is a very funny “you-can’t-get-there-from-here” story. He arrived by ferry from Galway. Though everyone spoke English, he could not learn how to return to the mainland to catch his flight home. “There’s no ferry that goes to Galway,” he was told. But how did the ferry he took from Galway get there in the first place? How would he get home?

Finding the Lost River

Finding the Lost River

MICHAEL FALLON

First, cancer endangered Michael Fallon’s life, and then it threatened to take his voice from him. He learns that to survive and recover from cancer, you must find that place in yourself which is the source of inspiration and strength, that deep river of being that — even now — flows through you. This is the uplifting story of how he found “the lost river” and got his voice back — with the help of memory, imagination, and a sip of Garnacha wine.

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