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Acknowledgments

T

hank you to all the many students who have attended workshops and writing groups through the years. You may think I lead

workshops and writing groups because I have the answers. The truth is, I do it because your questions, your comments, and the special interest you bring to class or group are a constant spur for me to find more answers. It is a never-ending quest. I'm selfish enough to admit that I teach because I love to write, to talk about writing, to write about writing, and most of all, to help others develop a passion for writing. Special thanks to Doris Kennedy, Linda Batory, and Evelyn Bold for generously agreeing to allow their stories to appear in this collection. I also send thanks to the multitude of friends and acquaintances I've made over many years through the various phases of the Yahoo Life Story Writing Group. Without your constant encouragement, especially in the early years, I might have stalled out. You kept me going. Special thanks to Thelly Rheam, Herchel Newman, and Linda DePeel for agreeing to allow me to pull stories from your collections for use here. Of course I know that anyone who contributes to an online group is always game for wider readership. That's a big part of the fun! So, thanls again, and ... write on! -- Sharon Lippincott, April 2008

Table of Contents

About This Book ............................................................................................. 4 Cabbage Patch Kids, Thelly Reahm......................................................... 6 Near Misses, Doris Kennedy................................................................... 10 "Mark My Words", Linda Batory........................................................... 14 Back in the Days of Black and White, Herchel Newman ............ 18 Big People II, Evelyn Bold........................................................................ 22 Serena--A Cat's Tale, Linda DePeel .................................................... 28 Susan and the Bear, Sharon Lippincott.............................................. 32 This Truth I Believe, Sharon Lippincott ............................................ 36 Summary of Formatting Tips ................................................................. 38

About This Book

This book is based on examples I used in a session on Picture Perfect Pages for the 2008 Stories from the Heart Story Circle Network International Conference, incorporating information found in my book, The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing. The first page of the original layout lies next to the "new, improved" version. The revised layout includes the full stories for your enjoyment and to show formatting and layout options beyond the first page. The default view for this book is set to open in two-page layout in Adobe Reader. This view is the best way to compare the "Before and After" effect on adjoining pages. If you see only one page, go up to View on the top menu bar. Click on Two-up, Show Gaps Between Pages, and Show Cover Page During Two-Up. When they are selected, you'll see arrows by each. You'll have to click on View again for each option. Another tip for easy reading: Select the Reading Mode view. You can use Ctrl-H to toggle this view on and off. Hold the Control key down and roll your mouse wheel to increase or decrease page size. As you read through the pages, you'll notice faint pink stars in various places. Each star explains one or more pointer about the way the page is formatted. Move your cursor over the star to read the pointers. Word processing pros will immediately know what to do with those pointers. For those with less experience, I give a full explanation of where to find and change each attribute, along with step-by-step instructions for doing so, in an appendix in The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing. The pointers here are specific for Microsoft Word. In the book I also give instructions for using the increasingly popular, free OpenOffice Suite and

WordPerfect. You can also find instructions for each attribute in the Help pages for each program. As you work, keep these two key points in mind:

No amount of fancy formatting is going to add power to a lame story. Layout is the last step before

printing. Don't worry about layout until your story is edited and spell-checked to your satisfaction. It's far better to write a huge pile of stories than two or three works of art.

Formatting and Layout are an art, not a science.

As you can see from the numerous examples, there is a lot of leeway.

My hope is that this book will help you discover that page layout is not as difficult as it may seem. Once you master the basics, you can look at books or magazines, find a layout you love, and duplicate it in your own work. Measure margins, paragraph indents, and space between the lines (called leading). Since fonts vary widely in the amount of space they leave between lines, you won't find a measurement that is useful in setting line spacing in your documents. You'll have to experiment with each font and print out a few paragraphs to find a setting that works well and is easy for you to read. Don't let such technicalities deter you. Examine differences between the various layouts. None of them are sacred, and there is no formula-- they can be mixed and matched with abandon. Experiment and play with formatting, and when you find a look that you like, stick with it. Then turn to page 261 in The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing and follow the instructions to make a template, so each new story you begin will start out with that style. © 2008, Sharon M. Lippincott

Cabbage Patch Kids

1987 At the height of the Cabbage Patch Doll Craze, the Grands were reluctant to leave their dolls at home when we went to Knott's Berry Farm. The dolls were very expensive, as no two were exactly alike, so I wasn't about to take them on the trip. If they didn't get lost at the Theme Park, for sure they would be stolen from the car. So, it was Grampa to the rescue! the dolls for the day. He offered to baby-sit

"You'll take good care of them, won't you Grampa?" Chrissy asked. "And feed them?" Krishell added. "Of course, of course, do you think for one minute I would neglect them?" Grampa reassured them. The dolls were soon forgotten as adrenaline pumped through the children's veins as we approached Knott's Berry Farm. They spent an entire day riding rides, buying souvenirs and generally `getting their money's worth' at the park. We stayed late, having dinner in one of the many eateries on the grounds. No mention was made of the Cabbage Patch Kids all day. How soon they forget, I thought. By the time we reached the parking lot it was midnight, and we had an hour and half drive home. The children slept contentedly in the back seat of the car while Penny and I reminisced about the day. It was a full one. "I can't get over your stamina, Gramma," she said. "I didn't think you'd be up for staying all evening too!" my daughter-in-law said.

Cabbage Patch Kids

1987 At the height of the Cabbage Patch Doll Craze, the Grands were reluctant to leave their dolls at home when we went to Knott's Berry Farm. The dolls were very expensive, as no two were exactly alike, so I wasn't about to take them on the trip. If they didn't get lost at the Theme Park, for sure they would be stolen from the car. So, it was Grampa to the rescue! He offered to baby-sit the dolls for the day. "You'll take good care of them, won't you Grampa?" Chrissy asked. "And feed them?" Krishell added. "Of course, of course, do you think for one minute I would neglect them?" Grampa reassured them. The dolls were soon forgotten as adrenaline pumped through the children's veins as we approached Knott's Berry Farm. They spent an entire day riding rides, buying souvenirs and generally `getting their money's worth' at the park. We stayed late, having dinner in one of the many eateries on the grounds. No mention was made of the Cabbage Patch Kids all day. How soon they forget, I thought. By the time we reached the parking lot it was midnight, and we had an hour and half drive home. The children slept contentedly in the back seat of the car while Penny and I reminisced about the day. It was a full one.

"I can't get over your stamina, Gramma," she said. "I didn't think you'd be up for staying all evening too!" my daughter-in-law said. "I'm not that old!" I said, trying to sound alert and perky. We pulled into our driveway about 1:30 and by then I was thinking that bed was going to feel really good. When we got in the kitchen there were the Cabbage Patch Kids, all safe and sound, but with some thoughtful additions to their possessions. Grampa had gone out to his workshop and made miniature collapsible TV Trays for each one. Then he placed tiny little plates of food in front on the trays. Then, as so often happens, he got on a roll and made television sets for each one. Then he went to the TV guide and cut out color pictures to paste on the television screens, so they looked authentically `just like Grampa and Gramma's TV". But being the perfectionist that he is, he decided that because our television had a wood carved Jesus fish on top of it, that the Cabbage Patch Kids should have no less. Back to the drawing board in Bop's Shop, where he managed to make tiny Jesus fish on the jig-saw, stain them, and set them on top of the Cabbage Patch Doll's TV Tray. Talk about privileged dolls...they were the only ones in the world with a set of furniture like this! Fortunately, I still had a few shots left on the last roll in the camera, so the entire scene was captured on film! Grampa would be famous! He would go down in history as the very best Cabbage Patch Kid baby-sitter in the world! And the best loved Grampa. The Grands were thrilled!

© 2006, Thelly Rheam From storyladyincardiffbythesea_blogspot_com http://snurl.com/23klc

2

Near Misses Alan, my son, was four years old when he and his five-year-old friend, Esther, decided to walk to his grandma's house. That journey was many blocks and many street crossings away from our home on Burchfield Avenue. Even now, when I am viewing the worst of the intersections, I get a horrified chill. That particular place is the multi-corner, multi-street, highly trafficked junction at the meeting of Murray Avenue, Forward Avenue, and Pocusset streets. I've never seen a police officer there, and the traffic lights and crossing lanes are confusing. Somehow, they did cross there, and they were going in the desired direction. On Wightman Street, a mature and truly wonderful woman spoke to them and realized the situation. Mercifully, Alan was able to tell her his phone number, which she called after taking the two children into her apartment. We returned them home. Several years previous to the above mentioned event, and when Alan was too young to walk, he was cheerfully playing in his playpen on the front patio of our home. I was in the house for what I believed was only a few minutes, when I answered a phone call from my neighbor directly across the street. She said, "I looked out of my front window and saw your son crawling across the street. I'm sure you'd rather have him at home." As I carried him back, heart pounding and guilt and fear rising, I inspected the playpen. He had pushed out one of the rods, which must have been loose. Why hadn't I seen that? I was driving my 1938 Chevy coupe with five elementary school girls in the car for the day. We were heading toward t heir homes from Minadeo School. It was a steep hill. I looked down as we were moving in the direction of Monitor Street at the bottom. There, through the windshield, I saw the crossing guard in action with children moving in front of her as she faced us from the middle of the street. Suddenly I discovered I had no brakes! No brakes! As I quickly determined what to do, I simultaneously realized that I must not frighten the children. I pulled on the hand brake, pressed hard on the horn, and watched in front of us. What I saw remains with me in slow motion. The crossing guard stepped up on the curb, as did the boys and girls. The car stopped half way through the intersection at Monitor. W were just in front of a truck which had been able to stop before ramming us. I announced to my passengers, Girls, I'm going to drive up the hill for the one block to Burchfield, and then proceed up that street for the half block in front of our house, and you can walk home from there. I'm certain they never knew. I never set foot in that car again.

Near Misses

Doris Kennedy Alan, my son, was four years old when he and his five-year-old friend, Esther, decided to walk to his grandma's house. That journey was many blocks and many street crossings away from our home on Burchfield Avenue. Even now, when I am viewing the worst of the intersections, I get a horrified chill. That particular place is the multi-corner, multistreet, highly trafficked junction at the meeting of Murray Avenue, Forward Avenue, and Pocusset streets. I've never seen a police officer there, and the traffic lights and crossing lanes are confusing. Somehow, they did cross there, and they were going in the desired direction. On Wightman Street, a mature and truly wonderful woman spoke to them and realized the situation. Mercifully, Alan was able to tell her his phone number, which she called after taking the two children into her apartment. We returned them home.

Several years previous to the above mentioned event, and when Alan was too young to walk, he was cheerfully playing in his playpen on the front patio of our home. I was in the house for what I believed was only a few minutes, when I answered a phone call from my neighbor directly across the street. She said, "I looked out of my front window and saw your son crawling across the street. I'm sure you'd rather have him at home." As I carried him back, heart pounding and guilt and fear rising, I inspected the playpen. He had pushed out one of the rods, which must have been loose. Why hadn't I seen that?

I was driving my 1938 Chevy coupe with five elementary school girls in the car for the day. We were heading toward t heir homes from Minadeo School. It was a steep hill. I looked down as we were moving in the direction of Monitor Street at the bottom. There, through the windshield, I saw the crossing guard in action with children moving in front of her as she faced us from the middle of the street. Suddenly I discovered I had no brakes! No brakes! As I quickly determined what to do, I simultaneously realized that I

must not frighten the children. I pulled on the hand brake, pressed hard on the horn, and watched in front of us. What I saw remains with me in slow motion. The crossing guard stepped up on the curb, as did the boys and girls. The car stopped half way through the intersection at Monitor. W were just in front of a truck which had been able to stop before ramming us. I announced to my passengers, Girls, I'm going to drive up the hill for the one block to Burchfield, and then proceed up that street for the half block in front of our house, and you can walk home from there. I'm certain they never knew. I never set foot in that car again.

My mother used to tell the story about a time when she was with her baby sister, Leona, who was in her carriage. Mother was pushing the carriage and she let go of it at the top of a hill. The carriage with the baby went all the way down. Fortunately, the little child was uninjured. By the way, my aunt Leona died at age eighty-nine.

One summer we used a friend's home in Margate, New Jersey. "We" included me at age seven, my parents, and my aunt Maude and her husband, Harry. The house backed to the bay, with the living room completely extended over the water of the bay. I attended a lovely day program which was held at the ocean beach, and on rainy days, the group of us played in the teacher's house with crafts. It was a fun time every day. Sometimes my Daddy took just me out in the rowboat which was parked in the water under our living room. He taught me to row, and I was so proud of that skill. I knew that it was all remarkable that he did that for me, since I had always been afraid to learn to swim. One day when I was alone at home with a cleaning woman, I invited twin girls, my friends from the neighborhood, who were also in my day camp, to come over and I would take them for a ride in the boat. One twin stepped into the boat. It was my turn to do so, but the steps had slippery moss on them and, whee! Off I went into the water. Unable to swim and not wanting to drown, with some embarrassment, I doggie paddled for the first time. I was able to maneuver myself to a lattice wood fencing on the side and hold on while I shrieked for the woman upstairs. She came down and rescued me. Immediately I decided to learn to swim.

One day when I was sixteen, my boyfriend and I decided that we would drive to Covington, Kentucky. We had discovered that they had no minimum marriage age. I got into the car. He was driving. About five blocks from home, we looked at each other and quickly agreed that it might be a good idea to finish high school. Home we went!

As a senior in college at Ohio State University, my program in Occupational Therapy required three semesters of field work (internship). My last one was in Indianapolis, Indiana. I arrived one day early, believing that I could join the girls from my program who were just completing their stay. When I phoned the residence from the train station, the operator would not put the call through to their room, saying it was too late. I sat down for coffee and some thinking at a lunch counter in the station. A man sitting next to me struck up a conversation. He suggested that he would walk me to a hotel nearby and I could get a room until morning. The hotel was close, and with caution, I said okay. We walked there, and on the way he said that he worked in the "fight game" in Chicago, and that he was out of money, and unable to contact his friends, so could I lend him seven dollars. He also said he'd send it back soon with flowers. I gave him the money, went to my room, and I locked the door, relieved. I never heard from him again, but I did hear about him in the news years later. Jack Ruby was the man who shot Lee Harvey Oswald, President Kennedy's accused assassin.

When my third child, Nancy, was a baby, who sometimes till required a night time bottle, we asked the eighteen-year-old neighbor to baby sit with the three children while we went to a movie. When we returned home, the sitter told us that a bottle was not required by the baby, and she also commented that she herself had a bit of a stiff neck. Two days later, she had a positive diagnosis of polio. As parents, we were very frightened. Gamma globulin was the only available possible prevention at the time. None of us became ill, and the young lady had a mild case, leaving her with only a slight weakness in the left shoulder. -- Doris Kennedy © November, 2006

"Mark My Words" Just what was that supposed to mean? I don't think I ever thought about what it meant when Grandma said it to me; I knew it was like a warning or something. Much like when she said, "Go ahead, steamboat." I was a kid with her own mind and wanted to do things that may have met with disapproval. How was I supposed to know that Daddy was just around the corner when I tried skating down the hill? And then there's "Who died and left you boss?" So, who did die and make me boss? I know I was strong willed, but I thought that phrase was overused on me. It goes along with "Who do you think you are, Missy?" I'm the boss, remember? Fifty years later these auditory memories speak inside my head. Grandma and Aunt Millie had the largest phrase repertoire; they are the two who interacted with me the most as I grew up. Daddy was a little more straight forward. I guess you could say he didn't mince his words. I think his favorite was "Do you think money grows on trees?" A dollar bill tree would immediately come into my mind's eye so I never did hear the rest of the lecture. How cool an idea! Did he realize he was on to something? I dare not say because you know "I have an answer for everything." How about "As long as you live under my roof you'll do as I say." Oh-oh. It meant your heart should start beating faster now, cause yo have pushed THE BUTTON. Say nothing, put on that blank face. Sometimes I was answerless like, "Was I born in a barn?" They all knew I was born at a hospital, so why did they ask that when I left a door open? And when you close that door, "don't slam it". The last time I did that, I had to open and close it 100 times. How about this one: "Are you lying to me?" Are you kidding? I'm not dumb enough to answer that one! And "How many times do I have to tell you?" Forty, fifty, pick a number. And what is the answer to "What did I say the FIRST time?" I just remember what you said the last time because that was this time, and I don't know what you said the first time, because that was a long time ago, and I want you to say yes, not no, don't you get it? That's why I'm asking again, because I didn't like your answer. Do I make myself clear? I, too, wasn't born yesterday! Cleanliness was next to Godliness, so, of course I had to take an occasional bath lest "the potatoes would grow in my ears." Anyway, "a little soap and water never killed anyone." I suppose that's why they threated "If you say that again, I'll wash your mouth out with soap." Therefore, you had permission, so to speak, to say it once before you had your tongue shampooed. This reminds me of "Don't ever let me catch you doing that again." Lesson learned- just don't get caught. Do they really hear what they are saying? Do you think the poor kids in China ever realized how many times they were deprived of my vegetables and liver? My silent answer to the kids in China mantra was "what's their address?" I used to gag on mashed potatoes. I camouflaged green beans between bread to make them go down. I cried over spilled milk because I was getting yelled at,

"Mark My Words"

Just what was that supposed to mean? I don't think I ever thought about what it meant when Grandma said it to me; I knew it was like a warning or something. Much like when she said, "Go ahead, steamboat." I was a kid with her own mind and wanted to do things that may have met with disapproval. How was I supposed to know that Daddy was just around the corner when I tried skating down the hill? And then there's "Who died and left you boss?" So, who did die and make me boss? I know I was strong willed, but I thought that phrase was overused on me. It goes along with "Who do you think you are, Missy?" I'm the boss, remember? Fifty years later these auditory memories speak inside my head. Grandma and Aunt Millie had the largest phrase repertoire; they are the two who interacted with me the most as I grew up. Daddy was a little more straight forward. I guess you could say he didn't mince his words. I think his favorite was "Do you think money grows on trees?" A dollar bill tree would immediately come into my mind's eye so I never did hear the rest of the lecture. How cool an idea! Did he realize he was on to something? I dare not say, because, you know, "I have an answer for everything." How about "As long as you live under my roof you'll do as I say." Oh-oh. It meant your heart should start beating faster now, cause you have pushed the button. Say nothing, put on that blank face. Sometimes I was answerless like, "Was I born in a barn?" They all knew I was born at a hospital, so why did they ask that when I left a door open? And when you close that door, "don't slam it." The last time I did that, I had to open and close it one hundred times. How about this one: "Are you lying to me?" Are you kidding? I'm not dumb enough to answer that one! And "How many times do I have to tell you?" Forty, fifty, pick a number. And what is the answer to "What did I say the FIRST time?" I just remember what you said the last time because that was this time, and I don't know what you said the first time, because that was a long time ago, and I want you to say yes, not no, don't you get it? That's

"Mark My Words"

2

why I'm asking again, because I didn't like your answer. Do I make myself clear? I, too, wasn't born yesterday! Cleanliness was next to Godliness, so, of course I had to take an occasional bath lest "potatoes would grow in my ears." Anyway, "A little soap and water never killed anyone." I suppose that's why they threated "If you say that again, I'll wash your mouth out with soap." Therefore, you had permission, so to speak, to say it once before you had your tongue shampooed. This reminds me of "Don't ever let me catch you doing that again." Lesson learned--just don't get caught. Do they really hear what they are saying? Do yo think the poor kids in China ever realized how many times they were deprived of my vegetables and liver? My silent answer to the kids in China mantra was "what's their address?" I used to gag on mashed potatoes. I camouflaged green beans between bread to make them go down. I cried over spilled milk because I was getting yelled at, and I rarely earned dessert because I didn't clean my plate."I ate bread crusts and didn't get curly hair; ate carrots and got glasses. For all I know, the gum I swallowed is still growing in my stomach. At least I didn't eat those raw potatoes, so I know I didn't have worms. People in hell are still asking for ice water. Now what about that little birdie who told everything? Mr. Bird was in just too many places as far as I was concerned. I used to think my sister was the snitch, but now I'm wondering if Grandma knew me better than I gave her credit for. I was a bit of a snoop myself or as they would say if I was in the room, "Little pitchers have big ears." Anyway, I would "understand when I got older" or when I "got kids of my own" if I asked too many questions. Lucky for me I didn't run with scissors and I still remember to carry them point down. I've never broken my arm, so at least I didn't pat myself on the back. My eyes never crossed and my face never froze into that silly grin. I've been out in the rain and didn't melt. My tongue never fell off from sticking it out. I've gone to bed with a wet head and woke up with nothing worse than squirrelly hair. I've even been brazen enough to go outside with wet hair. My eyes were ruined before we got TV. I didn't jump off any bridges even if my friends would have. I lost count of the scabs I've picked. I remembered to wear clean underwear. And thank God, I never put anyone's eye out. Thank you for marking your words, Grandma! -- Linda Batory, copyright, 2009

December 7, 2006 I clicked over to a website with memories the days of black and white TV. It was a fantasy trip to see the faces of early TV that I grew up with. They say you lose what you don't use, but I find it amazing what the mind stores and keeps intact. I was transported right back to my place on the floor in front of the Motorola and sang the tunes with the quartet of my brother and sisters. When we came in from Highland Ave, Elementary we'd turn on the TV and tune in to Adventure Theater with Flippo the King of the Clowns on WTVN-TV Channel 10. We'd watch Mickey Mouse Club and the Adventures of Spin and Marty, The Little Rascals, Superman or Sgt. Preston of the Yukon. On alternating days The Old Wrangler would host Western Roundup. He'd sit on a fence with a rope in his hand and call Howdy to us. He'd show us his latest rope trick and then on to the movie. There was The Lone Ranger, The Cisco Kid, Sky King and a lot of cowboys with Bob Steele in them. "THROW DOWN THAT STRONGBOX!" Wow...those were the days. It comes to mind that in 1955 The Wrangler announced there was going to be a writing contest. I remember because it was the year I was being told over and over that I was a big boy now and would have to give up my little boy things. I grew and matured from that time but Hermie never did. He remained 9 years old. He never left me and I never made him go away. It had to be the winter season because I remember cold and snow. "Boys and girls we are going to name four heros: Superman, Sgt. Preston, The Lone Ranger and Sky King. Write to us and tell us in 500 words or less which of these heroes you would most like to be and why. In three weeks we will read the names of the winners on the air. There will be twelve winners--three from each category. Girls, you can enter too. The winners will get to come to 10 TV for a tour. We'll put you on television and then we're all gonna go to a special place and have a big party. I'll be there along with Flippo. He's gonna do his magic act and we'll have loads of food, fun, games and prizes, gifts and goodies for everybody." "Mother," I called, "they're going to have a contest." "Who's going to have a contest and what's it for?" she replied. "The Wrangler on Western Roundup. You have to write a story about why you would like to be one of the hero's they show on his TV show. I want to enter. What do you think?" "If you want to I think you should. You're always telling stories about something. You should be able to write a good story about being a hero. Who would you like to be?" "I would like to be the man of steel, Superman." I struck my hands on hips pose and stuck out my imaginary muscled chest. Yet she detected my lack of confidence. "Are you going to do it?" she asked. I could see there was a question within the question. "Mother, I think everybody is going to pick Superman. Maybe I'd stand a better chance if I chose Sky King. He still flies around and stops bad guys." "Yeh, but," she spoke slowly and pointed her "you know better than that" finger at me, "Superman takes on the toughest challenges." That pretty much settled it. I gathered my writing tablet, pencils and thoughts. It took me several days because I wrote and rewrote about 10 TV times. Finally it was time to walk that puppy to the mailbox. I stood there a moment just in case I thought I should rewrite one more time. I gave it all my best hope and dropped it in. Of course I did the second look just to be certain it didn't stick to the lid. Two weeks had passed and I was listening for updates all the time. "Boys and Girls keep sending in those stories. We've got hundreds of them and they're really good. It's gonna be hard picking winners. Be sure to tune in next Monday when I'll be reading the names of the winners." Hundreds? I could already hear Mother's soothing voice, "Well, son you tried and that's what's important." I know that's true but let some other mother say those words to her kid. Two months passed and it was finally next Monday. My brother and sisters tried to occupy the same spot as I in front of the TV. The Wrangler spoke, "Well, all you little wranglers out there it's time for the reading of the Hero Contest winner's names. We'll do that right after these words from Ovaltine." "Awe Man!!! Why do they do this?" we screamed. "OK we're back but I seem to have misplaced my list. Has anyone seen the list?" We were ready to take off the back of the TV, reach in and shake him up. Just then the camera moved around behind the set and discovered Flippo the clown with the list playing hide and seek with the Wrangler. Everyone in TV land hollered to the Wrangler. He heard and found Flippo, who thought it was the funniest thing ever. The Wrangler agreed to let Flippo read half the names. 1. David P. 2. Robert S. 3. Sharon K. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Herchel Newman 10. 11. 12. "Yippee Kie Yeah!!! Wahoo!!!" We jumped and danced in a circle. Mother, was right in the midst of us jumping just as high. We didn't hear any names past mine. We said, "We won, we won!" It was "we" because they listened every time I read and rewrote. The phone began ringing and I was an instant celebrity. At school it was as if I'd wrapped a large expensive gift and given it to my teacher. I'd won penmanship contests in school before but nothing as far reaching as this. My Sunday School teacher showed pride stating she was glad I didn't make what seemed the easiest choice. The day we spent was as much fun as The Wrangler promised and more. I came home with a shopping bag so full of games and goodies I could hardly carry it all. To top it all off, I got to stand in front of my class at school and tell the whole story. Note: Flippo the King of the Clowns was an icon in central Ohio. Kids of all ages would laugh and scream to him when he showed up in holiday parades. He is one of Ohio's great sons--Bob Marvin--who passed away in 2006. Put Flippo in a Google search to see this clown.

Back in the Days of Black and White

Herchel Newman

I clicked over to a website with memories the days of black and white TV. It was a fantasy trip to see the faces of early TV that I grew up with. They say you lose what you don't use, but I find it amazing what the mind stores and keeps intact. I was transported right back to my place on the floor in front of the Motorola and sang the tunes with the quartet of my brother and sisters. When we came in from Highland Avenue Elementary, we'd turn on the TV and tune in to Adventure Theater with Flippo, the King of the Clowns, on WTVN-TV, Channel 10. We'd watch "Mickey Mouse Club" and "The Adventures of Spin and Marty," "The Little Rascals," "Superman," or "Sgt. Preston of the Yukon." On alternating days The Old Wrangler would host "Western Roundup." He'd sit on a fence with a rope in his hand and call Howdy to us. He'd show us his latest rope trick and then on to the movie. There was The Lone Ranger, The Cisco Kid, Sky King and a lot of cowboys with Bob Steele in them. "THROW DOWN THAT STRONGBOX!" Wow...those were the days. It comes to mind that in 1955 The Wrangler announced there was going to be a writing contest. I remember because it was the year I was being told over and over that I was a big boy now and would have to give up my little boy things. I grew and matured from that time but Hermie never did. He remained nine years old. He never left me, and I never made him go away. It had to be the winter season because I remember cold and snow. "Boys and girls, we are going to name four heros: Superman, Sgt. Preston, The Lone Ranger and Sky King. Write to us and tell us in 500 words or less which of these heroes you would most like to be and why. In three weeks we will read the names of the winners on the air. There will be twelve winners--three from each category. Girls, you can enter too. The winners will get to come to 10 TV for a tour. We'll put you on television and then we're all gonna go to a special place and have a big party. I'll be

Back in the Days of Black and White

there along with Flippo. He's gonna do his magic act and we'll have loads of food, fun, games and prizes, gifts and goodies for everybody." "Mother," I called, "they're going to have a contest." "Who's going to have a contest and what's it for?" she replied. "The Wrangler on Western Roundup. You have to write a story about why you would like to be one of the hero's they show on his TV show. I want to enter. What do you think?" "If you want to I think you should. You're always telling stories about something. You should be able to write a good story about being a hero. Who would you like to be?" "I would like to be the man of steel, Superman." I struck my hands on hips pose and stuck out my imaginary muscled chest. Yet she detected my lack of confidence. "Are you going to do it?" she asked. I could see there was a question within the question. "Mother, I think everybody is going to pick Superman. Maybe I'd stand a better chance if I chose Sky King. He still flies around and stops bad guys." "Yeh, but," she spoke slowly and pointed her "you know better than that" finger at me, "Superman takes on the toughest challenges." That pretty much settled it. I gathered my writing tablet, pencils and thoughts. It took me several days because I wrote and rewrote about ten times. Finally it was time to walk that puppy to the mailbox. I stood there a moment just in case I thought I should rewrite one more time. I gave it all my best hope and dropped it in. Of course I did the second look just to be certain it didn't stick to the lid. Two weeks had passed and I was listening for updates all the time. "Boys and Girls keep sending in those stories. We've got hundreds of them and they're really good. It's gonna be hard picking winners. Be sure to tune in next Monday when I'll be reading the names of the winners." Hundreds? I could already hear Mother's soothing voice, "Well, son you tried and that's what's important." I know that's true but let some other mother say those words to her kid. Two months passed and it was finally next Monday. My brother and sisters tried to occupy the same spot as I in front of the TV.

2

Back in the Days of Black and White

The Wrangler spoke, "Well, all you little wranglers out there it's time for the reading of the Hero Contest winner's names. We'll do that right after these words from Ovaltine." "Awe Man!!! Why do they do this?" we screamed. "OK we're back but I seem to have misplaced my list. Has anyone seen the list?" We were ready to take off the back of the TV, reach in and shake him up. Just then the camera moved around behind the set and discovered Flippo the clown with the list playing hide and seek with the Wrangler. Everyone in TV land hollered to the Wrangler. He heard and found Flippo, who thought it was the funniest thing ever. The Wrangler agreed to let Flippo read half the names. 1. David P. 2. Robert S. 3. Sharon K. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Herchel Newman 10. 11. 12. "Yippee Kie Yeah!!! Wahoo!!!" We jumped and danced in a circle. Mother, was right in the midst of us jumping just as high. We didn't hear any names past mine. We said, "We won, we won!" It was "we" because they listened every time I read and rewrote. The phone began ringing and I was an instant celebrity. At school it was as if I'd wrapped a large expensive gift and given it to my teacher. I'd won penmanship contests in school before but nothing as far reaching as this. My Sunday School teacher showed pride stating she was glad I didn't make what seemed the easiest choice. The day we spent was as much fun as The Wrangler promised and more. I came home with a shopping bag so full of games and goodies I could hardly carry it all. To top it all off, I got to stand in front of my class at school and tell the whole story. I'm glad the B&W site brought this memory back to life to enjoy all over again.

Note: Flippo the King of the Clowns was an icon in central Ohio. Kids of all ages would laugh and scream to him when he showed up in holiday parades. He is one of Ohio's great sons--Bob Marvin--who passed away in 2006. Put Flippo in a Google search to see this clown.

Copyright 2006, Herchel Newman

3

Big People II Of Hairpins and Lipstick

If you recall the first part of this diatribe you know that we students at Knoxville Jr. High School were often left alone in our dreary, chalky classrooms while our teachers were off doing something else. I never knew where they went or why. However, since these events took place during the early part of World War II, I thought then and wonder now if it had something to do with that. Could our teachers, worn out from listening for Jap planes and weary of keeping a stiff upper lip, simply have been resting up in some underground bunker? I picture them basking under the attentions of a cadre of uniformed, motherly ladies, like soldiers at the USO. If it sounds weird, it's the kindest fantasy I could come up with. As you might have guessed, we students weren't especially vicious back in my day. Otherwise, our wardens could not have left us alone so much-no matter what! Modern students, as I understand it, would dismantle the classroom and murder each other. By comparison we were pussy-cats. Still, there was a certain amount of deviltry afoot whenever the teachers slunk away for their mysterious trysts. Whenever they left, all of us were silent and sat stock-still for a few minutes. Then, when the class badboys thought the teacher weren't coming back, they would pop out of their seats and begin to wrestle. Mostly, their contests were verbal but occasionally they escalated into physical conflict. I now know their fencing matches were attempts at establishing a pecking order. In any case, these miniature thugs taunted each other with awful obscenities, as well as certain of the especially well-developed girls. Sometimes it was entertaining but, even though the jeers weren't aimed at me-being flat-chested at the time-I often felt intimidated too. Most of us dealt with it by sitting absolutely still, faces blank and mouths shut. Male or female, it wasn't a good thing to make yourself noticeable and, therefore, a target. Just enjoy the show! Incredibly, this kind of boyish behavior actually seemed to lessen as we grew older. I recall, for example, sitting in a chemistry class day after day sans teacher and listening quietly to the World Series. Maybe the bad boys didn't take chemistry! Maybe baseball has a soporific effect. Another reason for the relatively genteel ways of the student populace at Knoxville may have been the formidable Vice Principal who served as a motivator by relentlessly prowling the halls. The Vice was a hulking, bombastic man with a fleshy red face, and -arms that seemed unnaturally long. His name was Mr. Williams and the students called him Hack, which tells you a lot. We learned of Hack William's fearsome reputation almost on our first day in seventh grade. No one at Knoxville ever admitted witnessing it, but rumor had it that one time a boy was acting up and Hack picked him up by the throat and slammed him so hard against one of the windows that he either knocked the boy out or broke the window; or both. I believe I actually saw this man holding an occasional limp, whey-faced· boy against a wall and shouting ferociously into the kid's face. However, these images might be the product of my feverish imagination, because I was afraid of Hack and whenever I saw him in the halls tried to make myself invisible. Imagine my reaction then when Hack came right into our music room one day in the middle of us singing a chorus of Finiculi, Finicula. All of us sat up a little straighter and sang as loud as we could, "Hearken, hearken, JOY is everywhere!" I think our teacher, who was a fluttery little woman with the figure of a pouter pigeon actually genuflected! Anyway, after singing our last hearken, we all sat stiffly, with hideous, frozen grins on our faces. Hack actually smiled and said a few words, but I don't remember what. He then startled us by bursting into song in a high, tremulous, almost falsetto voice. I thought it was a joke and started to laugh but the mirth quickly stuck in my throat, turning into what could have been a death rattle. I realized that Hack actually thought he could sing and was showing off! Instinctively I knew his intention was also-in some distorted way either to encourage us to like music or to reward us because, obviously, having taken music as an elective, we were already aficionados. Transfixed, I listened to his interminable, wavering operetta but had to press my lips together tightly and pinch myself on the butt periodically to keep from guffawing. Fortunately, Hack didn't notice and simply sang on and on, hypnotized by his own performance. That was my chief encounter with Hack Williams. Oddly, it was outside of this same music room that I had my only significant encounter with the head Principal, Mr. Stone. The Principal was a small, slender man with gray hair who seemed always to wear a gray suit and who spoke in a soft, gray voice. He slid quietly but infrequently about the halls, spending most of his time sitting behind a polished desk in his austere office doing whatever top Principals do. Our diminutive music teacher was actually a very kind

Big People II

Of Hairpins and Lipstick

If you recall the first part of this diatribe you know that we students at Knoxville Jr. High School were often left alone in our dreary, chalky classrooms while our teachers were off doing something else. I never knew where they went or why. However, since these events took place during the early part of World War II, I thought then and wonder now if it had something to do with that. Could our teachers, worn out from listening for Jap planes and weary of keeping a stiff upper lip, simply have been resting up in some underground bunker? I picture them basking under the attentions of a cadre of uniformed, motherly ladies, like soldiers at the USO. If it sounds weird, it's the kindest fantasy I could come up with. As you might have guessed, we students weren't especially vicious back in my day. Otherwise, our wardens could not have left us alone so much--no matter what! Modern students, as I understand it, would dismantle the classroom and murder each other. By comparison we were pussy-cats. Still, there was a certain amount of deviltry afoot whenever the teachers slunk away for their mysterious trysts. Whenever they left, all of us were silent and sat stock-still for a few minutes. Then, when the class bad-boys thought the teacher weren't coming back, they would pop out of their seats and begin to wrestle. Mostly, their contests were verbal but occasionally they escalated into physical conflict. I now know their fencing matches were attempts at establishing a pecking order. In any case, these miniature thugs taunted each other with awful obscenities, as well as certain of the especially well-developed girls. Sometimes it was entertaining but, even though the jeers weren't aimed at me--being flat-chested at the time--I often felt intimidated too. Most of us dealt with it by sitting absolutely still, faces blank and mouths shut. Male or female, it wasn't a good thing to make yourself

Big People II

2

noticeable and, therefore, a target. Just enjoy the show! Incredibly, this kind of boyish behavior actually seemed to lessen as we grew older. I recall, for example, sitting in a chemistry class day after day sans teacher and listening quietly to the World Series. Maybe the bad boys didn't take chemistry! Maybe baseball has a soporific effect. Another reason for the relatively genteel ways of the student populace at Knoxville may have been the formidable Vice Principal who served as a motivator by relentlessly prowling the halls. The Vice was a hulking, bombastic man with a fleshy red face, and -arms that seemed unnaturally long. His name was Mr. Williams and the students called him Hack, which tells you a lot. We learned of Hack William's fearsome reputation almost on our first day in seventh grade. No one at Knoxville ever admitted witnessing it, but rumor had it that one time a boy was acting up and Hack picked him up by the throat and slammed him so hard against one of the windows that he either knocked the boy out or broke the window; or both. I believe I actually saw this man holding an occasional limp, whey-faced· boy against a wall and shouting ferociously into the kid's face. However, these images might be the product of my feverish imagination, because I was afraid of Hack and whenever I saw him in the halls tried to make myself invisible. Imagine my reaction then when Hack came right into our music room one day in the middle of us singing a chorus of "Finiculi, Finicula". All of us sat up a little straighter and sang as loud as we could, "Hearken, hearken, JOY is everywhere!" I think our teacher, who was a fluttery little woman with the figure of a pouter pigeon actually genuflected! Anyway, after singing our last hearken, we all sat stiffly, with hideous, frozen grins on our faces. Hack actually smiled and said a few words, but I don't remember what. He then startled us by bursting into song in a high, tremulous, almost falsetto voice. I thought it was a joke and started to laugh but the mirth quickly stuck in my throat, turning into what could have been a death rattle. I realized that Hack actually thought he could sing and was showing off! Instinctively I knew his intention was also-in some distorted way either to encourage us to like music or to reward us because, obviously, having taken music as an elective, we were already aficionados. Transfixed, I listened to his interminable, wavering operetta but had to press my lips together tightly and pinch myself on the butt

Big People II

3

periodically to keep from guffawing. Fortunately, Hack didn't notice and simply sang on and on, hypnotized by his own performance. That was my chief encounter with Hack Williams. Oddly, it was outside of this same music room that I had my only significant encounter with the head Principal, Mr. Stone. The Principal was a small, slender man with gray hair who seemed always to wear a gray suit and who spoke in a soft, gray voice. He slid quietly but infrequently about the halls, spending most of his time sitting behind a polished desk in his austere office doing whatever top Principals do. Our diminutive music teacher was actually a very kind woman who seemed perpetually overwhelmed. That may be why she also left us alone from time to time. However, she didn't do it as often as some of the others. She made no attempt to teach us how to read music or to instruct us in any of its other aspects, but she did see to it that we sang our little hearts out. I always sat in the alto section because my voice was low but sang the soprano parts because I couldn't follow the alto notes. It caused some confusion to those sitting around me but didn't seem to make any difference to our plump little teacher who directed us by waving her arms around enthusiastically. I enjoyed singing even though we tended to sing the same songs repeatedly. Unfortunately, we all recognized Miss Pigeon as a pushover and so we also giggled and talked a lot during this class. It was a terrific release after some of our other ordeals! Then, one day our teacher uncharacteristically raised her voice as well as her arms and may have even stamped her diminutive foot. She had had enough and wouldn't stand for it anymore! Shockingly, she pointed at me and ordered me out of the room! Perhaps she had heard my loud, alto voice above all of the others. In any case, I was the goat or, as I thought about it at the time, an innocent, sacrificial lamb. Whenever banished from a classroom, you couldn't simply wander the halls. Hack would get you if you did that. It meant that you were to stand outside of the door for the remainder of the period. It was like being put into the stockades although there were no actual handcuffs. The humiliation was entirely mental. Anyway, as I slumped against the wall outside of Miss Pigeon's room, the big guy himself-and I mean Stone--came slipping up on me from behind. He stopped and stood right beside me, almost the same height as I, and he said something I will

Big People II

4

never forget. In his muted, woolen voice, he said "So that's the kind of a hairpin you are", and for an endless moment stared at me in quiet disgust. Of course, I hadn't the faintest idea what he meant but felt my face redden, and wished I could disappear. Then Herr Stone left, skating off silently; becoming increasingly gray until he disappeared at the end of the long hall. Hairpin! It sounded ominous and degrading and I puzzled about it for years. Eventually I learned it was just a really old-fogey term--vaguely dismissive--for a woman or girl. Ultimately, I wondered if there were similar titles, as delicately pejorative for men. I wondered how a man might take it if I said to him, "So that's the kind of a razor you are!" Somehow, it just doesn't have the same ring to it. Anyway, I felt sorry I had upset Miss Pigeon because I actually liked her, although, honestly, the workings of her mind were as obscure to me as were the minds of the other teachers. One whose thinking left me especially clueless was a science teacher I had in both the seventh and eighth grades. Mrs. Ricer was walleyed, which made it impossible to ever know if she was actually looking your way. Probably, it made us fidget a little less than might ordinarily have been the case. Anyway, Mrs. Ricer seemed to like me at times and other times did not, and I hadn't the foggiest notion about the reason for either situation. I was always good at science and so it wasn't my stupidity that aggravated her! In any case, I just accepted her smiles or snubs as another example of the baffling behavior of adults and wasn't unduly upset by it. She taught us some actual science but was also concerned, indeed, almost obsessed, with our morals. In fact, on the first day of class she set us straight about the role that lipstick plays in a girl's life. Marching up and down the aisles and occasionally stopping, Mrs. Ricer surveyed us with her walleyes, looking this way and that-but at what or who we were unsure-and gave us the grim details. One thing was clear: only girls who were wayward-or wanted to bepainted their lips. She glossed over the awful things that lipstick might bring on, leaving the consequences to our imaginations. Since I did not wear lipstick at the time, Mrs. Ricer's fluctuating attitude toward me wasn't due to that. However, listening to her lecture, I couldn't wait to obtain my first sinful tube of Ponds "Brilliantly Red" lipstick. It sounded so exciting! By the time I was thirteen and in Mrs. Ricer's class again, I wore bright red lipstick after

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school when I was with my friends and felt deliciously wicked doing it. I know of no girl who took Mrs. Ricer's admonitions seriously. Fortunately, even though we lacked the facts and the nerve to refute her, we all had a fail-safe, built-in, timedelay BS detector. Like so many other things we were told, we filed her statements away in our semi-developed brains under the heading: "Think about this later--it doesn't sound right." Ultimately, our mature brains opened the file and had a good laugh. Something similar happened with another monologue Mrs. Ricer indulged in more than once. This tirade involved bad habits, which were always unspecified. Our teacher said if you did something over and over again it created a groove in your brain and, eventually, the groove would become so deep that your brain would split apart! According to her, the habitual offender would then have a "split personality". We knew from the movies it meant insane! Images of hideous, deranged madmen that we had seen on the silver screen filled my imagination. However, we were not sophisticated enough or sufficiently tuned into innuendos to know what kind of habits she was talking about! We were so dumbfounded by these ideas that nobody ever questioned why the same thing didn't occur with good habits. Mrs. Ricer seemed to interpret our blank looks as proof of some kind of guilt, and she would smile a sly little smile, nod knowingly, and roll her wall-eyes about in all directions. science stuff. When she wasn't attending to our morals, Mrs. Ricer actually managed to teach us about Mendelian Inheritance and a lot of other good

By Evelyn Bold © November 2007

Serena--A Cat's Tale By: Linda DePeel November 2007 I had seen the poor little creature out back, but she would slink off whenever I got close to her. But not without giving me a "Take me with you" look. She was just a baby. Still... We already have six cats inside, and I had vowed that we would not take in anymore strays. Besides, the mother would find it eventually. Well, little did I know... Here comes my sister, Rose, bringing the baby kitty into the house. My heart went out to it, but at the same time, I felt dismayed. Seven cats! No, no, no! That was just too many, and what would we do when the landlord decided to sell the house? Most places won't allow pets, let alone 7 cats, five of which still have their claws intact. My sister saw my dark look, and said, "Well, you've got to take her! She was abandoned by the mother, and she'll die!" Of course, Mommy was more than happy to, and apparently, Majority Rules, because she stayed. No chance of taking her to a shelter, or perhaps giving her to someone who would give her a good home. I knew better than to even approach my mother with that subject, but Rose had to Give the Ridiculous a Try. She said to Mommy, "Now you need to run an ad in

Serena

A Cat's Tale

by Linda DePeel November 2007

I had seen the poor little creature out back, but she would slink off whenever I got close to her. But not without giving me a "Take me with you" look. She was just a baby. Still... We already have six cats inside, and I had vowed that we would not take in anymore strays. Besides, the mother would find it eventually. Well, little did I know... Here comes my sister, Rose, bringing the baby kitty into the house. My heart went out to it, but at the same time, I felt dismayed. Seven cats! No, no, no! That was just too many, and what would we do when the landlord decided to sell the house? Most places won't allow pets, let alone seven cats, five of which still have their claws intact. My sister saw my dark look, and said, "Well, you've got to take her! She was abandoned by the mother, and she'll die!" Of course, Mommy was more than happy to, and apparently, Majority Rules, because she stayed. No chance of taking her to a shelter, or perhaps giving her to someone who would give her a good home. I knew better than to even approach my mother with that subject, but Rose had to Give the Ridiculous a Try. She said to Mommy, "Now you need to run an ad in the paper and give the kitty away." I thought Mommy would tear my sister's face off! So, all I could do was punt. Of course, cats have their own personalities, and Serena has hers. She is a tortoise shell, rather homely, as Mommy says, "That's a face that only a mother could love." Probably why Mommy and I did fall in love with her. First thing Mommy taught her was where the litter box was, and faithfully prompted her to use it, or would call on me to

assist. She caught on right away, no problem. Then second thing Mommy taught her was how to "Jump on and Fight." I tried to convince Mommy that this was not a really good idea, but Mommy ignored me. Now she gets aggravated when Serena wants to Jump on and Fight! Of course, I had to add my touches. She now knows how to box! This was something I could not teach my son, Mike's cat, "Squeakit." He's just too timid, and I am five bucks poorer because I was foolish enough to bet him I could teach "Squeak" to box. We've had our share of problems with Baby Serena, which goes without saying. She loves to reign down terror on our Himalayan cat, Boss. She's a bit more mellow now; she mostly wants to wash his face. Mommy and I locked horns about putting her in this small cat-carrier at night. At first I was okay with it, since she was so tiny--fit in the palm of my hand. But she began growing like a weed, and I finally put my Size Eight down firmly, and put the carrier away. Mommy was filled with a bit of angst, but so far, she has disturbed Mommy's rest only once during the night. Serena is my Little Buddy, and lays on me most of the night. I have to sleep with my arm around her or she will stomp on my head and bellow! She loves paper, so I crumple it up and toss it and she fetches it and brings it back to me, like a dog fetching a stick. She also likes our cleaning bucket, and rolls it all over the kitchen. She has real character--ornery as me or both of my kids. (Mark says that's not true at all--he was the ideal child--groan!) But she is a very sweet, loving kitty, and for some reason, she doesn't seem to look so homely. If only her body would catch up with her feet, which are huge!

The Lord God made all creatures great and small, and He loves us all.

© 2007, Linda DePeel

Susan and the Bear

Susan opened her eyes. It was very dark and her bed felt funny. She was scared. She didn't know where she was. Then she remembered. She was in her sleeping bag in the tent in the woods. She was going to California with Mommy and Daddy and the boys. She remembered how after supper at the campground here, they had birthday cake with candles because it was her birthday. She was three years old now. She moved her hand and felt the necklace she got for her birthday with her name on it. Then she remembered it was time to get up and go to the bathroom like she did every night. "Mommy," she called. Mommy didn't answer her. "Mommy," she called again a little louder. "I need to go to the bathroom." "Susan, it's dark. Go back to sleep," whispered Mommy. Mommy's sleeping bag was right next to Susan's. "But I need to go to the bathroom." "Oh, all right," said Mommy. She sounded tired and grumpy. Mommy unzipped her sleeping bag. She put on her jeans and her jacket, and then she put on her shoes. Then she helped Susan get out of her sleeping bag and put on her jacket. "Come on," whispered Mommy, crawling over the end of Daddy's sleeping bag. Susan crawled behind her. Mommy unzipped the tent door and climbed out into the cold dark night. She picked Susan up and started walking up the road toward the restroom. It had a light outside so they could find it in the dark. The stars were very bright in the sky when Susan looked up. Everything else was black and shadowy. All of a sudden Mommy's shoulders jumped and she squeezed Susan tight. She made a funny noise like a hiccup. "What's wrong?" asked Susan. "Oh, nothing," said Mommy. "I thought I saw a bear." "Where?" asked Susan. "Where's the bear?" "It wasn't really a bear. It was just a fireplace. The fireplace looked a little bit like a bear in the dark," said Mommy. Susan didn't want to see a bear in the woods. The bear might eat Mommy and then it would eat her. She put her arms around Mommy's neck very tightly and hid her eyes on Mommy's shoulder. "I'm scared," she said. "Don't be scared. There really isn't any bear." Susan thought Mommy sounded scared too. Mommy opened the restroom door and it was light inside. She helped Susan use the toilet and then carried her back to the tent. She zipped the tent up tight and then she zipped Susan back snugly into her sleeping bag.

Susan and the Bear

Susan opened her eyes. It was very dark and her bed felt funny. She was scared. She didn't know where she was. Then she remembered. She was in her sleeping bag in the tent in the woods. She was going to California with Mommy and Daddy and the boys. She remembered how after supper at the campground here, they had birthday cake with candles because it was her birthday. She was three years old now. She moved her hand and felt the necklace she got for her birthday with her name on it. Then she remembered it was time to get up and go to the bathroom like she did every night. "Mommy," she called. Mommy didn't answer her. "Mommy," she called again a little louder. "I need to go to the bathroom." "Susan, it's dark. Go back to sleep," whispered Mommy. Mommy's sleeping bag was right next to Susan's. "But I need to go to the bathroom." "Oh, all right," said Mommy. She sounded tired and grumpy. Mommy unzipped her sleeping bag. She put on her jeans and her jacket, and then she put on her shoes. Then she helped Susan get out of her sleeping bag and put on her jacket. "Come on," whispered Mommy, crawling over the end of Daddy's sleeping bag. Susan crawled behind her. Mommy unzipped the tent door and climbed out into the cold dark night. She picked Susan up and started walking up the road toward the restroom. It had a light outside so they could find it in the dark. The stars were very bright in the sky when Susan looked up. Everything else was black and shadowy.

All of a sudden Mommy's shoulders jumped and she squeezed Susan tight. She made a funny noise like a hiccup. "What's wrong?" asked Susan. "Oh, nothing," said Mommy. "I thought I saw a bear." "Where?" asked Susan. "Where's the bear?" "It wasn't really a bear. It was just a fireplace. The fireplace looked a little bit like a bear in the dark," said Mommy. Susan didn't want to see a bear in the woods. The bear might eat Mommy and then it would eat her. She put her arms around Mommy's neck very tightly and hid her eyes on Mommy's shoulder. "I'm scared," she said. "Don't be scared. There really isn't any bear." Susan thought Mommy sounded scared too. Mommy opened the restroom door and it was light inside. She helped Susan use the toilet and then carried her back to the tent. She zipped the tent up tight and then she zipped Susan back snugly into her sleeping bag. Susan was happy to be back in her sleeping bag, and she felt safe again with the tent zipped up tight. She didn't think the bear would come in the tent. She snuggled up on her pillow and shut her eyes. When she opened her eyes again, she saw the green tent with tree shadows on the wall. She saw George and John in their sleeping bags. She saw Mommy right beside her and Daddy on the other side of Mommy. She remembered about the bear in the night. She didn't like to think about the bear. The next night Susan opened her eyes and it was dark again. This time she knew she was in her sleeping bag in the tent. She thought about getting up to go to the bathroom. She thought about the bear. She didn't want to go outside the tent. The bear might really be there tonight. Susan shut her eyes tight and went back to sleep. Every night after that, when Susan woke up and it was dark, she always stayed in bed. She didn't want to get up at night any more for a very long time.

© 2007, Sharon Lippincott

This Truth I Believe I'd rather be writing. Connections make the world go round. A clean house is a sign that company is coming. You learn more with your mouth closed than open. The only wrong way to write is to not write. Today's sorrow is tomorrow's truth and memoir. I write because I can't not write. Weeds are a sign of Mother Nature's opinion of gardens. I think, therefore I blog. Peace begins one heart at a time. My beginner hair was brunette; my real hair is white. Any lifestory you write is better than writing nothing. Anyone who claims you must arise at 5 a.m. to write is a control freak. Our stories create digital, editable layers of reality. Nothing deepens understanding of parents more than becoming one. Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy cool toys. Many of my best friends live in my computer. A day without e-mail is a day with a broken computer. The more I read, the better I write. Some people think I'm crazy when I'm really in my write mind. The only thing better than reading a great book is writing one. Grandchildren aren't the only reason to write, but they're the best. Your writing style is as personal as your fingerprint. Honor it. Love makes everything possible. Sharon Lippincott, Monroeville, Pennsylvania The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing

This Truth I Believe

I'd rather be writing. Connections make the world go round. A clean house is a sign that company is coming. You learn more with your mouth closed than open. The only wrong way to write is to not write. Today's sorrow is tomorrow's truth and memoir. I write because I can't not write. Weeds are a sign of Mother Nature's opinion of gardens. I think, therefore I blog. Peace begins one heart at a time. My beginner hair was brunette; my real hair is white. Any lifestory you write is better than writing nothing. Anyone who claims you must arise at 5 a.m. to write is a control freak. Our stories create digital, editable layers of reality. Nothing deepens understanding of parents more than becoming one. Money may not buy happiness, but it can buy cool toys. Many of my best friends live in my computer. A day without e-mail is a day with a broken computer. The more I read, the better I write. Some people think I'm crazy when I'm really in my write mind. The only thing better than reading a great book is writing one. Grandchildren aren't the only reason to write, but they're the best. Your writing style is as personal as your fingerprint. Honor it. Love makes everything possible. Sharon Lippincott, Monroeville, Pennsylvania http://heartandcraft.blogspot.com

Summary of Formatting Tips

If for some reason you can't read the pop-up formatting tips, print this list out and use it to study the pages as you look at them.

Page: 3

1 : Page margins: Sides: 2" Top: 2" Bottom: 1.0" Body font: Cambria 12 pt. Line spacing: at least 20 pt. 2 : Title: Cambria 26 pt. bold. Color for emphasis and fun. Paragraph border below, 3 pt. to match weight of letters. 3 : Paragraph spacing, first line: 24 pt. before 4 : Numbers entered with right tab at margin, dot leader. All intervening tabs cleared. 5 : Line spacing: Multiple, 2.2

1 : Paragraph border around two paragraphs. Same color as page border. Shading color picked for emphasis. Keep it pale. Font in first sentence of each paragraph is 14 pts for emphasis.

Page: 6

1 : Title does not stand out. 2 : Double-spacing between paragraphs standard for business letters and Internet articles. Courier font is reminiscent of typewritten high school papers.

Page: 7

1 : Page margins: Sides: 1.25" Top and bottom: 1.0" Layout: different first page Body font: Charter BT 12 pt. Line spacing: at least 24 pt. 2 : Title font: Charter BT, 24 pt. Seven single space, unformatted lines after. 3 : Posting date at beginning of story is useful for organizing collections and placing individual story in overall life sequence. 4 : Posting date at beginning of story is useful for organizing collections and placing individual story in overall life sequence.

Page: 4

1 : Page margins: Sides: 1.4" Top and bottom: 1.0" Layout: different first page Body font: Century731 BT 12 pt. Line spacing: at least 20 pt. Paragraph indentation: .3" 2 : Title: Century731 BT Paragraph formatting: Before: 96 pt. After: 9 pt. Color: Selected to give added interest to page in eBook. You can also use color if you plan to print on a color printer - not currently an economical choice for large numbers of copies. 3 : Page border: 3 pt. line, 24 pts. from edge of page. Same color as title.

Page: 8

1 : Copyright symbol is sufficient notice. 2 : Page number location in footer is a widely used option.

Page: 5

Page: 10

1 : Very wide paragraph indentations. Margin shift on third paragraph. 2 : Fix this mysteriously straying margin by rightclicking inside the paragraph and selecting Paragraph from the pop-up menu. Reset left indentation to 0. 3 : Wingdings separate sections. From Wingdings 2 font.

Page: 11

1 : Page margins: Sides: 1.25" Top and bottom: 1.0" Body font: Garamond 12 pt. Line spacing: at least 17 pt. 2 : Title font: Garamond, 26 Paragraph formatting: 72 pt before 6 pt. after 3 : Paragraphs not indented since each starts a new section. 4 : Paired dingbats work well to separate sections in a collection of short vignettes. These characters are from the Wingdings 2 font set.

1.25" sides 1.0" top and bottom Layout: Different first page Body font: Century731 BT, 11.5 pt. Line spacing: at least 18.6 pt. 2 : Font: Century731 BT, 20 pt. font, bold and centered. Paragraph settings: 54 pt. before, 12 pt. after. 3 : Cliche statements set off in simple italics, without bold. 4 : Use italics for emphasis rather than caps. 5 : Spell out numbers in narrative documents. 6 : Caps okay for emphasis within italicized phrase.

Page: 16

1 : Header with title and page number helps if pages become separated in loose pile. Use right tab for page number. Different first page layout prevents header from showing on first page. 2 : Use em-dash rather than hyphen. 3 : Copyright notice is a good idea to remind people.

Page: 13

1 : Place dingbat at top of new page rather than floating it at the bottom of previous one. 2 : Em-dash nice touch to set off 's name at end. Okay to use month in copyright notice, but not necessary. This serves double purpose of dating story more precisely as well as copyright notice. Remove extra leading from multiple-line identification at end of story.

Page: 18

1 : This draft story was crammed onto a single

Page: 19

1 : Page Margins: 1.25" sides 1.5" top 1" bottom Layout: Different first page Body font: Book Antigua, 11 pt. Line spacing: at least 18 pt. 2 : Title font: Book Antigua, 18 pt. Paragraph, 72 pt before, 6 pt. after Paragraph border, bottom line, 1 pt, spaced 3 pt below 3 : First line of first paragraph in story, chapter or section may be left flush with left margin. This is becoming standard usage, but still optional. 4 : Full justification with smooth right margin coordinates with title/ layout. 2

Page: 14

1 : Title does not stand out. 2 : Sans serif font harder to read over many pages. Tight line spacing and long line length make it difficult for eyes to track lines. 3 : Combination of bold and italic is overkill, may be distracting.

Page: 15

1 : Page Margins:

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Page: 20

1 : Header set at 1" below paper edge. Top margin of 1.5 provides space between body and header. Paragraph border same as title. 2 : Page number in footer.

Page: 21

1 : Footnotes are a great way of adding explanations without bogging the story down with detail. 2 : Copyright notice is always a good idea. It lets people know that you respect your work..

Page: 22

1 : This story is hard to read with the small sans serif font, long lines and tight spacing.

Page: 23

1 : Page Margins: 1.20" sides 1.0" top and bottom Layout: Different first page Body font: Baskerville Win95BT, 12 Line spacing: at least 20 pt. Paragraph indent: .3" 2 : Related clipart balances heavy title and adds interest. Image alignment: right margin, paragraph top. Text wrap to left. .2" wrap margin on left. 3 : Title font: Albert, First line 29 pt Second line 16 pt. Two blank lines of Albert 29 pt above first line. One blank line of Baskerville Win95BT 12 pt. below second line. 4 : Flush left opening paragraph. 5 : Full justification with smooth right margin.

Art selection, 12 pt size Border this close to edge may not print on some printers. Busy-ness won't appeal to all. 2 : Page Margins: 1.5" sides 1.2" top 1.3"bottom Layout: Different first page Body font: Casque, 11 pt. Line spacing: at least 20 pt. First line indent: .25" 3 : Title font: Casque . Top line 36 pt Second line 18 pt 108 pts before top line 12 pts after second line. 4 : Italics work well for setting off name at beginning. 5 : Posting date at beginning of story is useful for organizing collections and placing individual in story in overall life sequence. Italics are good option for setting it off. 6 : Wide margins for shorter story make easier reading.

Page: 30

1 : Nice touch to conclude with quotation.

Page: 32

1 : This format is fine, but the story is for children, and it would be difficult for young readers to follow. Lacks pizzaz.

Page: 33

1 : Page Margins: .94" all the way around. Body font: Garamond, 15 pt. -- good for young eyes. Line spacing: exactly 21 pt. Paragraph indent: .5" 2 : Title font: CAC Moose 38pt. Paragraph: 18 pt before 12 pt. after 3 : Page border: 31 pt from text. 4 : Clipart picture: aligned to left margin and bottom margin. Nudged up by hand into best position. 3

Page: 28

1 : Comic Sans is large and easy to see, but uses reams of paper and isn't easy to read with the double-spacing.

Page: 29

1 : Page border: 24 pts from paper edge.

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This graphic was resized in Word and doesn't print well at all. Always resize in a graphics program for best printing.

Page: 36

1 : This list may not get a second glance.

Page: 37

1 : Thoughts come alive with clipart, color and dingbats. Margins: Top: .8" Left/Right: 1.25"

Bottom: .7" Font: CAC Futura Casual 18 pt. Line spacing: At least 27 pt. 2 : My "Heart and Craft" signature logo. Text and border colors selected from logo with Pixie freeware color selection tool. 3 : Title font: CAC Futura Casual, 28 pt. bold 4 : Page border: 31 pt. from edge of page. Art selection. 5 : Heart dingbat found in Times New Roman font. Use Insert> Symbol and scroll down through character set.

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BUY The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing from your local bookseller or order online.

Contact Sharon Lippincott e-mail: [email protected] phone: 724-733-4720 READ her blog: heartandcraft.blogspot.com VISIT her website: www.sharonlippincott.com

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