It’s a common word, something you see every day… E-M-B-A-R-R-A-S-S-E-D, embarrassed. That’s what I felt when I was eliminated from my school’s inaugural spelling bee in the first round. I was also I-N-F-U-R-I-A-T-E-D, infuriated, because I never wanted to be a part of the competition in the first place. As I saw it, spelling bees..
Category: Stories (Non-fiction) - page 2
I’m no numismatist, but I do like coins. Of all the humble, ordinary objects that are a part of our everyday existence, they are among my favorites. I enjoy the jangle of change in my pocket, the durable thinness of a dime, the palpable heft of a quarter, the smooth circumference of a nickel, the..
Priceless proof in the absence of memory. My paternal grandfather died at the age of 86 when I was twelve years old. Given the fact that he lived just around the next block during the entire time I knew him, it seems only natural that I would have many memories of our brief time together…
The forlorn, former home of Cans ‘n’ Stuff The street on which I was raised runs nearly three quarters of a mile, a straight line along its entire length. We lived almost dead center, whence I could pedal my bike a satisfying distance in either direction. On the west end of the avenue lived Big..
For years, Brian and I had little to say to each other due to the icy chasm of our eight years difference in age. We had few common interests, after all. Not until I reached adolescence did our cold war start to thaw, a more or less civil diplomacy emerging in the unlikeliest of venues:..
Kneeling at the altar where one day their children would be served tater tots. A big cafeteria. That’s what you need if you’re planning on running an institution that teaches children from first through eighth grade. St. Gerard, my elementary and middle school alma mater, met that requirement with room to spare. As a little..
Why learn to balance on two wheels when you don’t have to? I don’t remember exactly when I learned to ride a bicycle, but I’m pretty sure I was the last of my peers to acquire the skill. I have a vague notion that it wasn’t even necessarily my idea. Somehow we ended up borrowing..
I imagine that Dick Ireland, were he alive today, would be surprised to learn that a former student fondly and frequently recalls his old geometry and physics teacher nearly thirty years later. Once our mortarboards arced through an overcast spring sky and clattered onto the asphalt parking lot, I never returned. Nor did I bother..
Thank you, Marshall Brodien… Illusionist Penn Jillette recently revealed to Tuscon Weekly that his estimation of magic was changed by James “The Amazing” Randi, who taught him that it is an honorable profession provided that audiences are fully aware they are being deceived. I suppose the vast majority of those who bothered to tune in..
Look, Ma – no graph paper! My father-in-law was an engineer for General Tire, not long retired when we first met. His natural flair for design and problem solving demanded expression whether or not it was earning him a living, and thus he filled his leisure hours with an assortment of engaging projects, from fashioning..