Traces of an Early Summer

Robert Sachs

Robert Sachs’ fiction has appeared in The Louisville Review, the Chicago Quarterly Review, the Free State Review, the Great Ape Journal, and the Delmarva Review, among others. He holds an M.F.A. in Writing from Spalding University. His story, “Vondelpark,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2017. His story “Yo-Yo Man” was a Fiction Finalist in the 2019 Tiferet Writing Contest. Learn more at his website.

Fiction

Traces of an Early Summer

written by Robert Sachs

This touching story brings us into the life of William, a young boy who must deal with some unexpected circumstances after WWII. After being evicted from their home, his family finds a new place to live in a resort community on Lake Michigan. There, William makes a special new friend and faces some dramatic events.

© 2021 Robert Sachs  | Recording © 2021 Rivercliff Books & Media. All rights reserved.

Eviction was a new word to eight year old William and when he repeated it, it tasted of ugliness and fear.
South Haven was a resort town, with bright white resort hotels strung like charms on the sandy bracelet formed by the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan as it bottomed out and made the turn west toward Benton Harbor, Gary, Hammond, and up to Chicago.

 

He found himself thinking of home and then realizing he no longer knew where that was. If anything good was to come of this forced exile, he surely didn’t see it in the tall weeds of the approaching summer.

The boys saw The Story of G.I. Joe and split a box of popcorn. They became friends after that, and William went over to Richie’s almost every day. They played ball or walked the beach, although it would be weeks before the water warmed up enough to go swimming.
Traces of an Early Summer

Robert Sachs

Robert Sachs’ fiction has appeared in The Louisville Review, the Chicago Quarterly Review, the Free State Review, the Great Ape Journal, and the Delmarva Review, among others. He holds an M.F.A. in Writing from Spalding University. His story, “Vondelpark,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2017. His story “Yo-Yo Man” was a Fiction Finalist in the 2019 Tiferet Writing Contest. Learn more at his website.

Q&A with Robert

Tell us about your story...

It’s about a young boy and his ability to deal with unusual circumstances. It involves a new place to live, an unusual new friendship and some scary stuff.

What was the inspiration for this story?

The story was inspired by an event that happened to me when I was about seven years old. After WWII, housing was hard to get in Chicago. The lease on our apartment was up and the owner evicted us to make room for a relative returning from the war. We had trouble finding another apartment in our neighborhood, so in April I was taken out of school and my family rented a broken down cabin behind a grocery store in South Haven, Michigan, a resort community on the other side of Lake Michigan.

As in the story, I befriended a mentally impaired young man. What subsequently happened in the story is fiction.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I like being with my wife and our friends. I like taking long walks—in the ten to twelve mile range. Check out my website — roberthsachs.com — to see how I spend the rest of my time.

What are you looking forward to, post pandemic?
Seeing our two perfect grandchildren—William and Julia—in Brooklyn.
What have you recently read that loved?

When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson Brown. It’s a story about an African-American girl growing up in a small town in Georgia. Although it’s fiction, it speaks accurately and emotionally to the difficulties—and despite all, the joys—of growing up Black in America, back then as well as now.

Tomorrow, I absolutely refuse to...

…allow myself to spend more than five hours on the computer.

Anything else you'd like to share?

I’m a lawyer who retired from corporate life 23 years ago. I’ve devoted much of my time since then to community service and to what is now called life-long learning. I began taking classes at the University of Louisville. When a creative writing course opened up, I took it. And then another. And another. In 2004,

I entered the Metroversity writing competition and took first place in the graduate fiction category. I entered again and again I ended up in first place. I enrolled in the Spalding University MFA program in fiction, graduating at the ripe old age of 70 in 2009.

My mother flew in to attend the graduation ceremony. She said she’d attended all of my graduations since kindergarten and this was the last one she wanted to attend. I made no promises. I’ve published 45 short stories. I’ve been nominated for a Pushcart prize.

Did I mention my website? To learn more about me than you’ve ever wanted to know, click on About and then click on Bob’s Other Worlds.

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