Posts by stuartmichaelson

Chicken Noodle Soup Maiden

By on Mar 31, 2019 in Fiction | Comments Off

Nineteen fifty-nine was a year of great uncertainty. What about the Russians? Why so many TV Westerns? But in Stuart Nation, Philadelphia’s West Oak Lane neighborhood, I tripped over my own vexing questions like they were too-long shoelaces—all swirling around a girl in my fourth-grade class whose disinterest intoxicated me. I was a happily-chatty kid most of the time, except when I was around Carol, whose studied cool and blond, bowler-cut hair usually left me incapable of saying more than hello. To the actual Carol, that is; I shared some incredible phantom-afternoon interludes with...

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Lunch, 1968

By on Mar 31, 2019 in Fiction | Comments Off

“This is important,” my buddy Walter bellowed one lunchtime across the chatter and clatter of Germantown High School’s vast cafeteria. “And I can only say it once.”  The topic that day in 1965 was color—specifically, orange, the hue of a stack of cheese crackers piled high and majestic near the cash register. I’d questioned the wisdom of paying for food we each had access to at home, albeit connected to peanut butter in the form of Lantz snacks. Why buy them when we have them in our kitchens? “These crackers,” the tall, handsome 10th grader said in stentorian tones...

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