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Reviews from
Pebbles in my Shoe


Picking at old scabs.

  41 total reviews 
Comment by
MJ McIntire
 
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This story has a lot of emotions. I found it funny at times, then I was annoyed with how bigotry was (is) one of the most non sensible things in the world. With all going on, people still judge by skin and race.

Even as a child you noticed your parents bigotry and still strong enough to choose who you would be friends with.
The fact that Eddie hit you and you had every right to defend yourself, you did not hit back because you would get in trouble-again, doing the right thing.

I see a very clear lesson here. At a young age you stood against what others thought was "normal" to be mean to others because of their "category."

Lesson: You are a strong, self-thinking person who does not follow what others think even though it was in your own home. You make your own decisions about people regardless of their "category."

MJ


 Comment Written 05-Oct-2017



reply by the author on 10-Oct-2017
    Thanks so much for your fine review, MJ McIntire. You know I was trying to get at. I appreciate the glowing cross. Peace, Lee
Comment by
antonieta
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Very nice extract tackling contemporaneous issues. You bring your characters to life but I believe this is a piece of non-fiction. Well-written in a conversational tone.


 Comment Written 04-Oct-2017



reply by the author on 10-Oct-2017
    Thank you, antonieta. Yes, non-fiction. I'm glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
emptypage
 
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Beautiful story, Humpwhistle. Jarring how close it hits to home right now, in 2017 in the *United States of America.

Will anything ever be different?

Very moving tale. Good luck. Sorry about Aldene.


 Comment Written 03-Oct-2017



reply by the author on 10-Oct-2017
    Thank you, emptypage. Ain't it funny how issues from the 60s are still relevant today. Borrowing from a Pete Seeger song, 'When will we ever learn?' Thanks again. Peace, Lee

reply by emptypage on 10-Oct-2017
    Where HAVE all the flowers gone?
Comment by
trumby
 
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This is the year that I was born, mate.
Very good writing.
It's funny how all the reminiscing on this site is about this stage of life. It's like there's a brick wall that stops emotional development after this stage.
Father's do tend to be rather proud when their son stands up for themselves for the first time. Mine was over the moon when I flattened the neighbor, even though it cost me $350.


 Comment Written 03-Oct-2017



reply by the author on 10-Oct-2017
    Thanks, Trumby. I can't speak for others, but I write the most interesting slices of my life. Being an adolescent in the 60s was interesting. Glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
N.K. Wagner
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  Rank:  104 (+2)
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Yeah, the 60s were a tough time. We thought differently than our parents, who reflected prejudices learned from their own parents. We could either be openly defiant or shut up and keep our heads down until we were old enough to live our own lives.

Your father's advice would have been the same had Eddie been another WASP. It was a male thing, not an ethnic thing. An ethnic thing would have been your parents bad-mouthing Louise, something they didn't do. I suspect Louise was right about her brother and her "rejection" of you was to keep the peace at home. A pretty common practice of those without power. Poignant, and beautifully written.
:) Nancy


 Comment Written 03-Oct-2017



reply by the author on 10-Oct-2017
    Thank you, Nancy. Actually, my mother did have disparaging words for Louise. Mom was insecure, so she practiced demeaning people based on origins. It took me a while to figure that out.
    Yes, Dad would have counselled me to clock any bully. Problem was, he had always told me not to resort to violence. He'd put me in a bad spot.

    Thanks again, Nancy. Glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
Father Flaps
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Hi Lee
That's a great opening line,
"In 1965, Louise Cemnewski was a lovely pebble I couldn't shake from my shoe."
When we have a pebble in our shoe, we hope it will move to the side where it won't bother us. We don't want to have to take the shoe off, shake out the aggravation, and tie it back on. That's such a waste of time. But most times, it stays put, creating untold discomfort. We put up with it as long as we can before we're forced to take action. But you call Louise a "lovely pebble". Did she cause you aggravation? Did she make you uncomfortable? Somehow, I think you didn't mind her being there. You liked to remember her from time to time. Fond memories. I've got a few pebbles in my shoe, too.

I'd like to highlight a few of your lines...
"Couched bigotry is a more insideous kettle of carp." (insidious)
"For all its lofty ideals, America has nasty names for everyone whose ancestors didn't row over on the Mayflower."
"Looming tragedy enveloped her like a storm over Galveston Bay."
"If Aldene and my dad were in agreement, I figured it must be blizzarding in Hell."(I like that, turning a noun into a verb.)
"I wouldn't let that goose-necked Nazi kick me around town like a soccer ball in a polo shirt."

I truly enjoyed your entry in the Non-Fiction Writing contest. True stories are always the best. I was a bit surprised that Louise abruptly cut you off, so to speak. But it was her brother, after all.
This is very well-written. I have to dig to find anything that might help. Aside from the spelling of "insidious", this is all I can come up with...
"First, I wouldn't moon after a Polish girl with a smiling, nasty brother." ...(I've never heard of that, "moon after". I'm wondering if this might be better,
First, I wouldn't swoon over a Polish girl with a nasty, spiteful brother.)

You did a great job with this, Lee. Good Luck in the contest! You know, seriously, you could turn this into a novel that could be made into a movie.

cheers,
Kimbob





 Comment Written 03-Oct-2017



reply by the author on 10-Oct-2017
    Thank you, Kimbob. Thanks for understanding that problematic first line. A pebble in the shoe, no matter how lovely, can't be tolerated for too long.

    Mooning is mostly an eye thing. In fact, 'moon-eyed' is a common descriptor for one 'smitten'. Perhaps it's a regionalism.

    Thank you for your wonderful review, and, of course, the galaxy. Glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
robyn corum
Word Twister
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  Rank:  21 (+1)
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  Rank:  16
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  Rank:  45
 
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Lee,

Wonderfully written, and beautifully analyzed. I wish you could look into MY past and make it look so smart and have it make perfect sense like your does in hindsight. *smile* I look back into my childhood and teen years and they still look just as mixed up and when they were happening. --sigh-- Fix it, Cap'n?

Thanks, Lee. And much good luck!


 Comment Written 03-Oct-2017



reply by the author on 10-Oct-2017
    Thank you, Robyn. I'm not sure how smart I look in this remembrance. But I do try to make sense of a situation that baffled me at the time. I hope you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
dracofelsinensis
 
 
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This reads very easily and didn't drag at all. It was full of interesting insights into the era and some nice phrases: "my father's off-the-cuff epithets were not nearly so malicious as Mom's deeper-seated, doily-covered innuendoes"; "... in New Britain, salt and pepper were expected to keep to separate shakers"; "... wouldn't let that goose-necked Nazi kick me around town like a soccer ball in a polo shirt".

Louise's insight into her brother Eddie's mentality and his dislike of others was remarkable. She appears to have understood him profoundly but in a matter-of-fact way. Her fatalism was shown to be correct when he met an early death. A pity that she was one who slipped away when she would have had much to offer.


 Comment Written 03-Oct-2017



reply by the author on 10-Oct-2017
    Thanks so much for your acute insight, dracofelsinensis. Louise understood Eddie better than she understood herself. But I think she knew, if push came to shove, she'd have to choose her brother. That's what happened.
    Glad you enjoyed the story. Peace, Lee
Comment by
F. Wehr3
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Fantastic job of writing, Lee. I appreciate your honesty in telling this story. No, we don't get the fairy tale ending, but we get an ending. Maybe, it doesn't make sense. Maybe it makes perfect sense. I think when you reflect back, there is a lesson, not profound, but a lesson all the same.

Great work and good luck,
Russell


 Comment Written 03-Oct-2017



reply by the author on 10-Oct-2017
    Thanks so much, Russell. It's funny. Whenever I'm pressed to tell a personal story, I almost always revert to the 60s. Being an adolescent during those times turns out to be a gift. So much reality to work with. And I've barely scratched the surface.
    I'm so glad you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
Comment by
apky
 
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Itlooks like your country will get out of ethnic classifications as firmly as they'll get out of NAR multi-billion "rights".

I enjoyed the read and found it profound,.

succession of colorful layers--like a(an) ethnic parfait--all seeking

"It was his brother-in-law, Eddie Cemnewski, did the damage all be(by?) himself."


 Comment Written 02-Oct-2017



reply by the author on 10-Oct-2017
    Thank you, apky. Funny how the past repeats itself. I hope you enjoyed. Peace, Lee
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