Mary E. Adair
Summer Time, and the feeling is ... well, sweltering. As if to prove it, July blistered its way onto the calendar today. My sister tells me they promise (like it were a gift) to reach at least 117 degrees on the 4th in Phoenix. No need for fireworks in that weather!
However, many of such will likely be set off across this nation as we celebrate once again our Independence Day. We hope that none of the celebratory preparations set any fires. The huge one still burning in the Lake Tahoe area is fair warning. One of our authors, Mark Crocker, waxed eloquent on the subject in his poem, "Oh My Beautiful Lake Tahoe," and also expounded knowledgeably in an editorial, "Tahoe Is Burning." Before it happened so tragically, he had already submitted a lovely tribute "To My Daughter," Lady Rose, as we know her, and also sent in her latest poem, "Remember When." Sadly, it has an epilogue of reality, and she is no longer with the object of her verse. You will also find another poem, "Snow," oddly timed in the heat of July, but one Mark wrote at an earlier time about Tahoe winter weather. Maybe it will serve to cool us for a moment.
Bruce Clifford's six poems are mostly romantic, or romance on-the-wane, or his songs lamenting our times - "I Can't Believe," "Moments of Evaporation," and the tantalizing "The Sanctuary," while "The Dress" is on the lighthearted side and "Will We Ever Learn," and "The Next Degree of Separation" each sound like farewells.
Speaking of farewells and humor, M.J. Mansfield adds one of each with "Leaving Me" and "Meat." John I. Blair submitted an assortment also:
"Old Dog" and "The George And Dragon" where he exercises his comical viewpoint; "They Gave Their All" a poignant tribute; "The Distant Misty Moon" offers an abrupt contrast of mood; "The Elm That Shades My House" and "The All-Nighter" being quietly reflective. Of them all, your editor related best to the latter, as she struggled to get the issue together and released.
"When They Were Seventeen," an article where LC Van Savage picks up the theme Gregory Hargrave used for June about the periodical locusts, and laughs her way through it, recalling earlier experiences. Her column "Consider This" reveals her reason for saying, "Do Fence Me In."
Gerard Meister continues to observe politics in his light-hearted manner in "Thinking Out Loud," and Thomas O'Neill ("Introspective") shares one of his beauty and the beast tales. "Irish Eyes" by Mattie Lennon apprises us of his latest adventure in the literary world - participating as a costumed storyteller at the annual Writer's Work Shop, pictures included.
"Dave's Here" warns of some unexpected pitfalls in publishing your own magazine as David Francis muses on future plans. Eric Shackle's column lauds the world's oldest YouTuber, 107 years old, and living the "life of Riley."
"Cookin' With Leo" gives the reader some tasty ideas for the Fourth and other times when guests are over. Believe him, although his article is called "Leo Goes To Wal-Mart, Again??? the ingredients didn't come from there. While speaking of Leo C. Helmer, let's call your attention to the next two installments of his Great Jobs series. This issue you will find them in the "Stories" section. Chapter 6 is "So Who Needs A 4F ID? and Chapter 7 tells about "Breaking Ice on the Mississippi." Both include information not readily found just anywhere, both historical and personal.
The other story, "Do They Take Rain Checks In Boston?" is a contemplative essay by Jacob Wight. For those who would like to read other compositions by any of the authors in the ezine, click on their byline in their work.
We just had a short month, and now the next two summer ones are each the maximum days allowed - all the time needed to indulge in sitting in the shade or under an air conditioner and browsing through Pencilstubs.
See you in August!
Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.