(Updates provided at the end of the article, the latest being Sept. 2021)
I remember the day vividly, a hot autumn day in 1976, when my father and I entered the cafeteria of the lone public school in our Missouri town of 520 people, a K-12 school where I’d graduated in the spring, one of a class of 23 students.
We’d decided to get The Vaccine. Some of our neighbors refused.
We’d heard for weeks about this new possible sickness, the swine flu. Most people in our town were blue-collar workers or farmers. Few were well-educated. …
I have never responded to a post like this, but could not resist this time. You will find some startling information.
1. My phone went dead while reading comments, so I went to my desktop to try to find the piece again. On Medium I searched for "Show Me Yours and I'll Show You Mine," the best I could remember. I scrolled through dozens of articles and never came to this article. Then I remembered "Roz" and searched that. I found you, but this article did not appear after scrolling through many many titles. …
Sometimes I think the universe put me in a rural place and made a pandemic just so this could happen. Then I think how narcissistic and inherently dumb that thought truly is.
Then I think one man’s meat is another man’s poison.
Then I think there is no great loss without some small gain. Then I think: is writing 1000 pages just “a small gain”? That’s screwed up.
Now you can tell I’m confused, along with being exhausted and crabby.
In March 2020 I got laid off from a full-time job. …
Note: Top illustration contains a racially profane term, for providing historical context only
Years ago I asked my elderly mother about her childhood memories. She told me of being five years old,when her uncle took her to a carnival. She had never been to one and it was the most exciting place in the world.
“There was one carnival game I wouldn’t play,” she admitted. “I felt sorry for the boy. It was ‘Hit the N******baby.”
“WHAT?!” I squawked.
She explained the game to me but I had a hard time believing her mind was still all there. I looked…
Never have we seen such widespread fear in our society.
Yet we were warned. Scientists predicted a major pandemic “someday.” We all coasted along, visiting the world easily, indulging ourselves, our bright future continuing to crawl toward us from the horizon.
These days are so different than just a few weeks ago. We have been hit. We are isolated.
We are washing our hands and mentally wringing them, wondering, do I have it?
Every day I ride the same teeter-totter you’re on
So let’s write. I’m newly laid-off from my day job and stuck in my mountain home (not unhappily)…
by Chuck Mallory
To understand, you need to know I grew up in a very small town in the 1960s. My mother was able to put me in first grade at age five (we didn’t have a kindergarten) because she had to go to work. I was scared. My older brother had Rosie Hicks in his fifth-grade class. The Hicks family were the only black kids in our school. He warned me that if I saw her walking down the hall and made eye contact, she’d slap me hard.
My first grade teacher, Miss Ragland, was large enough that her…
“Half-Pint” is Gaining a Jesus-like Iconography
The first thing that stands out from all the strip malls when I enter Springfield, Missouri, is the biggest megachurch I’ve ever seen. It appears to be the size of a Chicago city block and reminds me — along with the many billboards I’ve seen for Evangel this and Living Word that — I’m in Protestantfundamentalist land.
For weeks I’ve joked with my friends that I’m too old for Lollapalooza, so I have to go to Laurapalooza. …
We ran outdoors at work, leaving the office politics behind and becoming our child-selves over a natural event. We were smart that day, like animals, paying attention to the pulse of the earth and leaving behind the hum of office machines and the drug in the coffeepot.
It was the partial eclipse of May 30, 1984. I was a 25-year-old editor at Unity Books in Unity Village, Missouri — a small, religious publisher but a dreamy editorial job I had managed to land in (of all places) suburban Kansas City. I was good-looking and smug. …
I didn’t post this around Christmas, or on New Year’s. I don’t like a line drawn in the sand. Christmas means joy to some, despair for others. New Year’s means new resolutions for some, sadness for others who have not moved forward.
Any day is a new day. Just start over.
NEW DAY PRAYER
I am not my fears
I am not my faults
I am not my past
I am a good person
I am bigger than my fears
For I have survived the fears I’ve had
And I’m still here
I can be at peace
I can try harder