These Things Happen

FREE 7-9 October

These Things Happen is a collection of human-interest vignettes re-formatted with hyperlinks from the Contents to the stories and back again. These things really happened to me, or I watched them happen, or people told me their experiences. The events took place in Michigan, Florida, Spain, Egypt, England, Wales and Ireland. They were all broadcast on the Irish national radio station except “The ‘Mentally Deficient’ Boy”, and most were recycled in The Sacred Heart Messenger. Reviews requested. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download to your computer or probably some other e-gadget.

Sample story:

Lost Opportunities

 Charles Wilbert (Bill) Snow (1884-1977) was known as “the Maine Coast Poet”. In the early 1960s, when Bill and his wife, Jeanette, were in their seventies, they were enjoying their retirement at a pace that would have driven most working people into the ground. They were travelling around to universities in the United States, where Bill lectured on poetry and read his own.

Bill’s best-known poem is called “Conflict”, about a boy born in a seacoast town, where –

The sunburned rocks and beaches
Inveigle him to stay;
While every wave that breaches
Is a nudge to be up and away.

In the early years, Bill was a maverick university professor who didn’t always conform to university policy, and so he often found himself between teaching positions. He spent some time counting reindeer in Alaska.

I was riding in the back seat one day when Bill was driving with Jeanette through a strange city in rush hour traffic. He was having trouble changing lanes to make a turn. Jeanette watched for openings in the traffic, and when she spotted one she would say, “All right, Bill, you can go now.”

By the time Bill looked around to double-check, the gap would be filled. After this happened several times, Jeanette said in exasperation, “Oh, Bill, you’ve lost your opportunity again.”

Perhaps remembering the reindeer, Bill said calmly, “I’ve lost a lot of those in this life. Just keep looking.”

Spruce Head cover

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