Faces & Places

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Dreams are illustrations... from the book your soul is writing about you. ~ Marsha Norman

After my column last week about authenticity and vulnerability, I decided it is easier and more fun to write about other people’s stories than my own. The reason is simple; I don’t want to be vulnerable, because it scares me. It’s like letting you see the junk drawer in my kitchen or the garage, it’s kind of like my punctuation – all messed up. In hopes of improving myself, I sent an email to the syndicated columnist, Sharon Randall asking her what program she uses to correct her punctuation, and telling her I want to be as good a writer as she. Her response was gracious, “I learned the basics of grammar and punctuation from my sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Mary Camp, and have practiced them all my life, including the past 35 years in which I’ve been writing a weekly newspaper column.” Since I was probably talking instead of listening, and busy passing notes during grammar and punctuation class, I missed out. As they say, “for every choice there is a consequence” and I’m still paying. The best I can hope for now is what I can learn on YouTube and books on the subject.

However, there are sweet things that I remember. There was a drug store directly across the street from the school, where a nickel could get me a Turkish Taffy, that would last a few hours and the other few hours were spent picking it out of my teeth. The worst part was that I couldn’t chew on the taffy and talk at the same time and talking was as important to me then as it is now. I was one of those kids who didn’t come from a “good home.” I was a street kid, and the only people who listened to me were my teachers, my granny and the couple who owned the “mom & pop” store where I bought my breakfast, lunch, and supper, which normally consisted of a bottle of Pepsi and package of Hostess Ding Dongs, or Twinkies, and have enough left to buy a used comic book at the second-hand store next door. All that depended on whether the man of war found the twenty five-cents left on the kitchen table by the man of war’s wife, aka, my mother. If he found it first, he would say, “Finders keepers,” as he pocketed it. He would have his beer for supper, and I would wait for lunch at school the next day.

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