Reviews from

Pebbles in my Shoe

Picking at old scabs.

41 total reviews 
Comment from c_lucas
Excellent
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Backing down from a bully is a way to find an early grave. In the sixth grave I met such a bully, but I never fought him until summer. We fought three times and I lost three times. The next Fall we were friends.

 Comment Written 01-Oct-2017


reply by the author on 02-Oct-2017
    Thanks, Charlie. You don't really need to beat a bully. You just have to face him. Even it requires three beatings. Thanks again. Peace, Lee
reply by c_lucas on 02-Oct-2017
    You're right, Lee. Charlie
Comment from MTF1955
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

That was excellent. You made me laugh and nostalgic all at the same time. I remember those days. Seems we're worse off now. So very sad. Great job. Mary

 Comment Written 01-Oct-2017


reply by the author on 02-Oct-2017
    Thanks so much, Mary. I agree. It feels like we're sliding backwards. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks so. Many thanks. Peace, Lee
Comment from LIJ Red
Excellent
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In July 1965 my draft notice was dropped in the trash by Miss Mary Jett, who ran the local Selective Service Office. Red was anchors aweigh already. This is well written, Lee, and should do fine in a nonfiction contest.

 Comment Written 01-Oct-2017


reply by the author on 02-Oct-2017
    Thank you, Red. If we keep writing, eventually we'll know everything. Thanks again. Peace, Lee
Comment from EverInParadise
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

This is such a special piece and so very well done. I enjoy reading your work, the work, if you will, of an accomplished writer. I strive to develop such skills. You come up with magical metaphors: a Richard Widmark character . . smile. I loved armored naiveté. There may be one typo (be) instead of (by). What special talent you have and are willing to share with me (us). Thank you.

 Comment Written 01-Oct-2017

Comment from lyenochka
Excellent
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Wow. Fabulous storytelling as always, Lee. I don't know if it's biographical but it sounds like it could be. Sorry to hear about Aldene. Sounds like a good man gone too soon. A lot of pain surrounding ethnic barriers and divisiveness still happen now.

Louise and Eddie are odd Polish names. I didn't know "Polack" could be spelled that way as I've always though it was "Pollack" but that's fish, too.

Seems like a word is missing here - to make it a full infinitive form:
" I took care never refer to people in pejorative terms." (took care to never)

 Comment Written 01-Oct-2017


reply by the author on 25-Oct-2017
    Thanks so much, lyenochka. Yes, this is a true story. I miss Aldene. I'm guessing 'Louse' and 'Eddie' were names chosen by their parents because they sounded American. Pollack/Polack are both common spellings for the pejorative. Take your pick.

    Thanks again. Peace, Lee
Comment from Thomas Bowling
Excellent
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Very good. Your story about high school years reminds of Frank Fortione. We were double dating, and Frank had never met the girl I fixed him up with. When we got there and Frank saw her he said. A Dego. I'm a Dego. Were a couple of WOPs. The girl's father looked on disapprovingly. He said, "We don't use those words in this house." Frank never saw her again.

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 Comment Written 01-Oct-2017

Comment from hvysmker
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Overt disdain can be chalked up to simple ignorance. Couched bigotry is a more insideous kettle of carp.
*** My father was the same. I was often embarrassed as a kid by his name calling. Let two or three of them get together and the sky would turn blue. I moved to Chicago when leaving the army and didn't have a car. Sometimes I'd borrow my fathers. I'd go to his job with him, use his car, then pick him up after work. We'd stop at a small restaurant where he and a gang of cronies would meet before work. They were all bigots. I'd sit with an open newspaper while they knocked every race not there. They'd talk about niggers until a black came in, then about Kikes until a Jew joined them, then switching to Pollacks. Extremely embarrassing.

Next time you see this kid, just walk right up and clock him in the chops 'til his chimes ring. Seems you owe him that much."
*** That helped me once in basic training. As a book reader instead of a conversationalist I was initially bullied. That is, until I walked over the chief bully and requested him politely to stand up. While he was doing so, I sucker punched him in the face, turned and walked back to my bunk. They never bothered me after that.
I say 'despite' because, in those days, in New Britain, salt and pepper were expected to keep to separate shakers. Never the twain to meet--except on fried eggs, maybe.
*** He-he-Gigglesnort! I like that explanation. One time, in Germany, my housemates were a black sergeant and his German wife. When out together we could count on being prejudiced against by at least one of three sides.

Might be you're looking for help where none can come from."
*** Ahah! I might have finally found an error. Is the above a question?

Three years later, Eddie took an AK-47 round to the head on the first night of the Tet Offensive.
*** Ah, I remember it well. A reaaaallly fun night. They hit every American base in the country on that one night.

Personally, I don't believe all bullies are cowards but they have one thing in common. They pick those perceived as weaker than themselves. That's where the fun comes in. It's no fun if the victim might fight back.

This story hit home for me, Lee, well worth a sixer.

Charlie

 Comment Written 01-Oct-2017


reply by the author on 01-Oct-2017
    Thanks so much, Charlie. Seems we've had a few similar experiences. My dad was a vocal bigot, too. But my mother's underhanded version scared (and scarred) me more.

    I agree--all bullies aren't cowards. But they bleed like everyone else. If punches are going to be thrown, throw first--and make it a good one.

    Thanks again, Charlie. The galaxy is much appreciated. Peace, Lee
Comment from barbara.wilkey
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

You did a marvelous job describing America in the 60's. My small hometown had an entirely WASP population and went to great lengths to keep it that way. HMMMM Good luck with the contest.

Mostly, they provided resentful backs for the newcomers to climb over. (interesting)

He dislikes because he knows he's dislikeable, and he will not know a happy ending." (interesting reflection)

 Comment Written 01-Oct-2017

Comment from Drew Delaney
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Other than a few typos, this is brilliantly written. I am so envious. You manage to put the reader in the scene as though he was right there soaking it all in. Nice job. Best wishes in the contest. Drew

 Comment Written 01-Oct-2017

Comment from kiwisteveh
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Super superb. You do a great job of mixing reminiscing with philosophising, never quite letting one get in the road of the other. I can see you get the latter from the bunch of philosophers you were surrounded with as a child, from your parents to your best mate and even your Polack girlfriend - I suspect if we re to use the insult we should be polite and only do it with one 'L'.

One other tiny spag/typo while I'm at it - there's a 'May' that should be a 'My' somewhere if you can be bothered finding it to fix it.

There is much to like - the hook in the opening, the easy switch from talk to action and back again, the history lesson sugar-coated with colourful description, the dialogue (always fun with you) the metaphors - pebble, gristle, parfait - the perceptive examination of a different time.

If justice is done, you will have another winner.

Steve

 Comment Written 01-Oct-2017


reply by the author on 01-Oct-2017
    Thanks so much, Steve. I appreciate your heads up on the spelling of 'Polack'. I'm not sure I ever wrote that word before. But I heard it plenty.

    Philosophy is something I usually hear in retrospect. So, that's what she meant!

    I guess that's why I like rehashing these stories--It's like hearing a joke that initially soared over your head. Ah, now I get it!

    Life is a lot like an O Henry story. You don't get it 'til you've read the final sentence.

    Thanks again.

    Peace, Lee