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What we wouldn’t know if we didn’t read – Part 5

What do you read? A newspaper, news summaries on your computer screen or your e-reader, certain magazines, mysteries written by me? The dictionary? Ellen Williamson and her husband, George, were wealthy people who moved in the top social circles for much of their lives. They entertained, and others entertained them at cocktail parties. A guest [...]

What we wouldn’t know if we didn’t read – Part 4

Summertime BAC . . . Before Air Conditioning . . . was hot unless you lived in the north woods, on a lake, near the seashore, or in the mountains. You opened the windows, all of them. And you used fans, electric or hand-powered, to keep cool. Night, though, was a problem. If you were [...]

What we wouldn’t know if we didn’t read – Part 3

If you watch “Antique Roadshow,” you know there are people who collect paperweights . . . and there are lots of beautiful paperweights around, made by glassmakers. You can get new ones for five or ten dollars, but the rare collectibles, you may have to take out a second mortgage on your house to buy [...]

What we wouldn’t know if we didn’t read – Part 2

Ellen Williamson and her friends drank their way through Prohibition (1919-1933). Booze was readily available at the corner speakeasy or from your neighborhood bootlegger. Or, said Williamson in her 1977 memoir, When We Went First Class, there were three other ways to get liquor: “first and second, from your friendly family physician and your equally [...]

What we wouldn’t know if we didn’t read – Part 1

Ellen Williamson, before she married, was a Douglas. Her father was a partner in the original Quaker Oats Company. He made a fortune there, and, as a consequence, Williamson was wealthy all of her life. In 1976, she wrote a memoir . . . for her grandchildren, so they would know what life was like [...]

A week of monsters, ghouls, and demons – Part 5

The challenge for my writers group last week – Halloween week – was to write a short-short story about the supernatural. Well, I got to wondering, what if Ann Landers were among the undead? Advice to the Werelorn Dear Ann Landers, I know you’re dead, but because you now work for the Zombiest Journal-Advocate, of [...]

A week of monsters, ghouls, and demons – Part 4

Where do werewolves come from? How do perfectly ordinary people turn into witches? Are zombies real? Oh my, deep questions. Fellow writers Amber Boudreau provides the answer to the last one in a flash fiction piece she wrote for our writers group last week. The source I was deaf when I woke up this morning. [...]

A week of monsters, ghouls, and demons – Part 3

My writers group had a writing challenge, last week, loosely tied to Halloween . . . write a story of the supernatural, 250 words max. Enjoy the story that follows. The writer is Terry Hoffman. Freddy the geek freak Freddy the Geek Freak returned from summer vacation and demanded to be called Fred-errr-rick, said with a [...]

A week of monsters, ghouls, and demons – Part 2

This is the day we’ve been waiting a half a year for, the day when political commercials would evaporate from our TV screens, the radio stations we listen to, the mail we take from our mailboxes . . . the day those darn robo calls end. This is election day. So vote. The demons and [...]

A week of monsters, ghouls, and demons – Part 1

I know, I know, Halloween was last week, and this week we have an election this week. This, too, can be a scary business. Jim Graves, a Democratic candidate for Congress in Minnesota, travels around the district he wants to represent wearing an “I Dig Graves (for Congress)” button. I dig graves, all right! So [...]