About This Issue

Imagine, if you will, a phantom classroom. You are seated at a desk, on the first day of school. Your favorite teacher welcomes a classroom full of people from various backgrounds and age groups. She asks, "What did you do this summer?"

Sitting at their dream desks, your classmates share their stories. One offers a detailed remembrance of her family's summers at the beach ("On the Island" by Margaret A. Frey); another tells of her trip through Germany ("Building Breakfast" by Anna Sykora). Yet another shares observations from a 1979 trip to Cuba ("Port au Prince, Haiti, 1979" by Arlene Mandell), while another complains about being stuck in a suburb ("Forked in Itasca" by Michael Lee Johnson). One classmate describes a pilgrimage to the tomb of a Hollywood actress ("Finding Jean" by Steve Honeywell).

Others share more unusual adventures, such as a trip across space ("Probe" by John C. Weil and "All the Great Structures Go" by Kent Robinson) or a personal story of growth ("Better with Age" by John Woodington). Some regale the class with stories from everyday life ("Welcome to the New Economy" by Thomas Sullivan, "The National Sales Meeting" by John Joyce, "Rhumba on the Subway" by Lyn Lifshin). Still another shares insights from a road trip ("It's About Time" by Wayne Scheer).

As you listen to the stories, you bask in the late summer sun that spills through the window. You close your eyes and listen, traveling with them as they explore this world.

Alyce Wilson, Wild Violet editor