FICTION | FRANCIS DUFFY
Rubbish is a short story about Joe Nickerson’s cross-country hitchhiking adventure as he’s on his way to serve in the Vietnam war. As Joe waits for rides, holding a sign that reads “TO WAR – VIA L.A. – U.S. Marine Corps,” he recalls his draft-dodging father, his lioness of a mother, and how his youth in Catholic schools with hard-knuckle nuns made his transition to boot camp easier. Then, when the draft from a GTO passing at 70 mph spins his sign, he has an unexpected encounter with a raven-haired woman named Rita.
The Night Ken Kesey Gave His Magic Away
MEMOIR | ROBERTO LOIEDERMAN
In January 1966, novelist and countercultural leader Ken Kesey held a three-day event in San Francisco called The Trips Festival. This story is Roberto Loiederman’s recollection of the festival — a mind-bending event, as well as a dramatic turning point for Kesey, and those who attended.
My “Haunted” Lamp: Murder, Mystery, and Remodeling
MEMOIR | ASHLEY MEMORY
A lamp purchased second hand seemed to be the ideal addition to her home until an investigation into the mysterious engraving on its base revealed a macabre history. As she discovered grisly details about the lamp’s previous owner, her home life became agitated, and she wondered… Could the lamp be haunted?
I’m Sorry Monica: MeToo, Monica Lewinsky, and Me
ESSAY | CAROL D. MARSH
“I’m Sorry, Monica” is a letter to Monica Lewinsky. In it, the author, Carol Marsh, takes a soul-searching look at how she reacted to the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal in the late 1990s. She explores the roots of her feminism and the family dynamics that affected it, and shares how the MeToo movement jarred her into examining how she and other women unfairly excoriated Ms. Lewinsky.
Dancing to Go On
FICTION | PATTY SOMLO
A former dancer and about-to-retire choreographer is surprised to receive a letter from a foreign country. The short, handwritten note rekindles memories of a love affair, and a separate friendship, decades before in Nicaragua. Her recollections spark insights that hadn’t been apparent to her so long ago.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
FICTION | FRANCIS DUFFY
In this beautifully told story, Francis Duffy’s main character reflects on a boyhood steeped in dogma, patriarchy, and racism. His alcoholic father is often absent, and his admiration is for his “lioness” of a mother who never missed work, and put three kids through parochial schools. Before welfare, Ms. Magazine, and #MeToo.
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.”