2019 Winter Issue

Blue Grass in Kiwi Country– Frank I. Sillay’s memoir of offering his talents as “a mediocre, but genuine Georgia banjo picker,” at the New Zealand National Banjo Pickers’ Convention in 1967.  Sillay who emigrated to New Zealand in the early ‘60s, was quixotically looking for some attachment to his southern U.S. musical roots, when he was drawn to a poster at a Wellington music shop, which eventually led him to the stage at the convention and a spot in the ensuing documentary of the event.

The Silver Club’s Early Retirement– Aglaia Davis’s poignant piece on her recovery from a painful and demoralizing riding injury and the rehab trail back to riding again via the most unlikely health club in Manhattan.   “. . . when I needed the comforts of realizing that I had reached a new me: Disabled.”

December 7, 1941, A Date That Lived in Uncertainty– David E. Hubler’s essay about baseball’s role as a morale booster during World War II, after the initial uncertainty of whether there would even be a 1942 season after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hubler, the co-author of “The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation’s Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever,” writes, “Baseball went on and did provide a needed morale boost just as FDR’s green light letter said it would.”

The Bench– Author and Photographer Buddy Mays’s eerie story about a strange encounter with an old woman as he sat on a bench along the Pacific Coast Trail overlooking the ocean on a damp and windy day. “A memorial to some fisherman caught in a storm,” said the desk clerk back at his hotel.  “Maybe the fisherman’s wife.  She’d sit for an hour or two just looking at the ocean but . . .” he left to wait on another guest.

When Trips Had No Advisers– Senior Editor and Veteran Travel Writer Bill Scheller recounts his 27,000-mile carom around the United States, in 1980, researching the first guide to Amtrak’s routes and cities during the sunset era of the Great American Fleabag. “Most of the places I slept in had no chance of making it into the guidebook. The Miramar looked like a place Ralph Kramden might have taken Alice on their honeymoon.”

A Perfect Fit:  Endangered Turtles and a Marine Biologist’s Love Affair with the Coast – John H. Ostdick’s in-depth look at the woman who has led the efforts to reestablish the nesting grounds for endangered sea turtles along the Texas Gulf Coast, especially the Kemp’s ridley turtles whose numbers had been decimated by poachers.

The Making of ‘American Road’ The CD That Almost Wasn’t  – Creating a CD is an evolutionary process.  For someone as talented and critically demanding as Pedro Pereira, committing to creating an album is an arduous decision, especially after you have gone through the process twice before.  Nonetheless sometimes he just can’t stop himself as first one song, then the next begin to pull him along the road to “American Road,” a musical masterwork.

Any Time – With this exclusive sampling from her first collection of poetry, we introduce you to Samantha Marie, a gifted young poet at the beginning of a literary journey, whose beautifully crafted words we look forward to reading for years to come.

The First Day of July – Kendric Taylor’s stunning short story from the perspective of a young protagonist in the midst of World War I’s devastating trench warfare. Reminiscent of Hemingway’s finest war stories, Taylor writes: “He saw this with dreadful clarity, but it made no sense. He continued to move stiffly down the slope, the German machine gun in front working at the far end of the line, still not at the limit of its traverse.”

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