All posts tagged: Issue 08 Essays

Stepping Off

By RALPH SNEEDEN

“And we went on living it, like a wave, that doesn’t know
it is at every moment different water.”
—Alan Williamson, from “A Childhood Around 1950”

In 1967 I almost drowned when I wandered from a sandbar and dropped into a deep cleft. That particular summer on the Jersey Shore, my older sisters had taken to riding what seemed to be kind, propellant waves with the rafts our mother had rented near the boardwalk, the industrial canvas sort you couldn’t buy in a store. I wasn’t a confident swimmer yet, so my mother wouldn’t even let me near one, which made no sense; the rafts were oversized life preservers, after all.

Megan DoStepping Off
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Death of the Farm Family

By SARAH SMARSH

It was unlikely that Betty and Jeannie would end up in the country. They’d always moved within cities—Wichita, Chicago, Denver, Dallas—and neighboring small towns. And it was unlikely they’d stay for long. They first hit the road when Betty was a teenager and Jeannie a baby, and by the time Jeannie was in high school they’d changed addresses forty-eight times. In the late 1970s, though, they landed for a good while on a Kansas farm.

Megan DoDeath of the Farm Family
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