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Editor's Corner

By Mary E. Adair

May...

Hello again! May weather continues to be mostly unpredictable in the states this Spring. Unpredictable is a good word as well, to describe what the titles of the articles and other writing in this issue will disclose. You have various definitions of beauty ahead as you read through the selections. Tales from times past in the Story section should pique your imagination, or perhaps evoke reminiscences of your own, but the "Roadrunner Conversation" by Herschel Raney may lead you to try such similar activities in the future.

Debi Craner reports on sources for a relatively new medical procedure, possibly the ultimate in seeking for beauty. Quite a serious new article appears in Bi-Polar with information and insights, while the article about diving is a reprint of a deep-sea diver interview with your editor. The diver is the one who did the underwater work in "Abyss" and supplied the equipment. A picture of the mini-sub used is included. The in-depth (no pun intended) conversation was first published in Hobbie$, Etc. (one of the AMEA Publications family) in 1995. We shared it again in this magazine, then it was lost to our online public when the domain contents were inexplicably erased in late August 1999. We are proud to restore it now.

The columns continue to enlighten and inform, so much so, that many tell us they look forward to them each month. Cassandra again invites us into her world of beauty appreciation, and Astrid sheds light on another area for beautification. Cheri's movie review also brings a "lost column" to light anew with a reprint this month. Provocations author pbobby leads our minds in new directions as we consider his 'look' at a segment of the New Testament. Connie returns to the fold and offers some suggestions for a memorable evening, while cooking editor Leo suggests an entirely different type of party.

Two of our columnists, Connie A. Anast ("On the Other Hand") and Robert Beaty, aka pbobby ("Provocations"), sometimes turn their talents to poetry, and thus share "Sunlight" and "2000 Years Ago" with us. We have three new authors, James M. Heisler, Doug Tanoury and Megan Rea Berry (Ken's daughter.) You will want to check out their bio's and poetry. Other poets returning for your pleasure include Debi Craner, Ken Berry, and JoBi Wilson.

May is the month to commemorate mothers on Mother's Day and to honor our armed forces service-people and veterans. The lyrics below were copied from one of our family's older genealogical records, where a relative transcribed the singing of an elderly uncle who was a survivor of that American Civil War between the Union and the South. The page was spotted with what was obviously teardrops where the transcriber declared that the uncle, though nearly a century old, still sang in a strong clear tenor. The song combines the two themes emphasized in our magazine for May.

BREAK THE NEWS TO MOTHER

While the shots and shell were screaming upon the battlefield,
The boys in blue were fighting, their noble Flag to shield.
Came a cry from their brave Captain,
"Look boys, our Flag is down
Who will volunteer to save us from disgrace?"
"I will," a young boy shouted, "I'll bring it back or die,"
Then sprang into the thickest of the fray,
Seized the Flag but gave his young life, all for his country's sake.
They brought him back and heard him slowly say --

"Just break the news to Mother,
She knows how well I love her,
And tell her not to wait for me,
For I'm not coming back.
Just say there is no other,
Can take the place of mother
And kiss her dear sweet lips for me
And break the news to her."

From a tall and lofty general whose wits must wish great deeds,
"Who saved the Flag for us -- 'twas noble, brave indeed."
"There he lies, Sir", said the captain,
"He's sinking very fast,"
And slowly turned away to hide a tear.
The general in a moment knelt down beside the boy
Then gave a cry that touched all hearts that day.
"'Tis my son, my brave young hero,
I thought you stayed back home."
"Forgive me, Pa, I run away --

"Just break the news to Mother,
She knows how well I love her,
And tell her not to wait for me,
For I'm not coming back.
Just say there is no other,
Can take the place of Mother
And kiss her dear sweet lips for me
And break the news to her."

***

Yes, it is May - month of this editor's birth. For those who have observed the stubborn persistence in keeping this magazine going (despite setbacks, travel, and health problems) that is probably not a great secret!

Not a secret, that is, because most of the days in May mark birthdays of noted-for-their-tenaciousness Taureans, including my fiance and my mother. And since Taureans are also noted for their honest evaluations, we must state the magazine wouldn't be here anyway, except for the superbly talented webmaster Mike Craner. Mike not only produces and enhances the magazine, he often contributes to the literary content, which we continue to appreciate.

Again we urge you to browse through the issue, and if you would like to see your writing appear in Pencil Stubs Online, please do submit using the on-site forms. It can be a lot of fun having your own words featured in one or more of our magazine sections.

With that we bid you adieu until June!  

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