Category Archives: Essay/Memoir

Cousin Paul by Joseph Fleckenstein

Paul McCartney playing at concert
 

I wrote to Paul, but a response was not received. The second time I enclosed adequate British postage, thinking the postage might my enhance chances. It wasn’t as though I was asking for a grant or a personal visit. My mere request was for an autographed photo. A souvenir to hang on the wall. Something to elicit oh’s and aah’s. A “Where did you ever get that?” One would think that, if Paul did not care to be bothered, he would have a secretary to take care his fan mail. Perhaps an elderly widow in … Continue reading Cousin Paul by Joseph Fleckenstein

Cuba Revisited by Marjorie Rissman


 

We lived in a very small town on Eastern Long Island, closer to duck and potato farms than New York City. But my parents believed that it was important to see beyond the local environment and travel was one of the ways they taught us, my sister and me, to open ourselves to the world. Thus, almost every Winter Break we went on a journey. When we were young we traveled to Florida staying at hotels that were steps away from the beach. When I was eleven we went on a cruise which was so … Continue reading Cuba Revisited by Marjorie Rissman

The Whirlwind by Lyn Martin

Whirlwind illustration by Lyn Martin
 

It was a fall day, not cold but cool… a brisk and breezy day, full of that feeling you have when a peppermint melts in your mouth and your nose suddenly wakes up. Except this feeling affects your entire body, your mind and your emotions. I remember that feeling from when I was a child and it always made going back to school seem special. But this was an ordinary school day for me; I was in the fourth or fifth grade. Life was wonderful then, every day was a joy, going to school and … Continue reading The Whirlwind by Lyn Martin

My Father’s Tears by Jean Auguste Gravel

man grieving
 

I’ve never seen my father cry. This is surprising because he’s not one of those “boys don’t cry” sorts and never scolded us for tears. With four small boys running around the house, he saw ours almost daily as we grew up, most often for scraped knees or easily forgotten boyhood tragedies. To him, tears were to sadness what laughter was to mirth—each held an important part in the yin and yang of the emotional spectrum. But I thought I saw him cry once. It was the day of my grandmother’s funeral. I only remember … Continue reading My Father’s Tears by Jean Auguste Gravel

A Matter of Perspective by K. Douglass Hopkins

tom cat
 

K. Douglass Hopkins, DMV, is the 3rd place winner of Streetlight’s 2016 essay/memoir contest. I sighed as I loaded my duffle into the Trooper, reluctant to leave for a long weekend at the emergency veterinary hospital. It had been one of those perfect early spring days that, slanting now towards a soft peeper-filled dusk, had transported my mind to vanished places and long gone years. The sun, warm across my shoulders as I planted early peas, struck through the bare tree limbs onto flattened taupe grasses and crispy dead leaves. A light breeze replaced the … Continue reading A Matter of Perspective by K. Douglass Hopkins

Heinz and the Hula Doll by Annette Boushey Holland


 

Annette Boushey Holland is the 1st place winner winner of Streetlight’s 2016 essay/memoir contest. My last year of elementary school, at the end of the 50s, was also the end of my family’s life in Washington D.C., where we’d lived for four whole years. My father was in the Air Force, and we moved a lot while I was growing up. This time he was transferred to a small town in Tennessee, called Tullahoma, where he was to serve as commanding general of the nearby Air Force base. The first day at my new school, … Continue reading Heinz and the Hula Doll by Annette Boushey Holland

No God or Stars by Jennifer Cox

taxotere
 

Jennifer Cox is the 2nd place winner of Streetlight’s 2016 essay/memoir contest. Until I was six I was loud and my eyes lit up and family was everyone everywhere. Then my cousin Jeffrey died, and it took a year for the brain tumor to kill him. We were the same age, he was me, and I watched him die. It took a year for him to lose his hair, his sight, his hearing, his face, his hand/eye coordination. He taught me to tie my shoes and then he suddenly couldn’t put his on. He was … Continue reading No God or Stars by Jennifer Cox

St. Anthony of Poughkeepsie by Cora Schenberg

Main Mall Row, Poughkeepsie, NY
 

I’ve always known that what I love can disappear. When I was three, I fell asleep on the subway, head on my father’s lap, my stuffed green bunny clutched in my arms. One instant I slept; the next, Daddy roused me and rushed us off the train. Standing on the platform, I remembered Bunny. “He’s on the train!” I screamed. But the doors had slammed shut, the train roared and screeched into its tunnel, drowning my cries. Perhaps this was when I learned that a dark, howling void waited to carry away what I loved. … Continue reading St. Anthony of Poughkeepsie by Cora Schenberg

Something Like Poker by Amy Grier


 

I had what most people would describe as a full-time mother. I believed this, not knowing that other kids had mothers who didn’t get weary of their lives, who didn’t need to box themselves into their bedrooms from time to time. Since I can remember, my mother would sometimes hide for days, wrapping herself in her ivory sheets, sleeping or eating toast with margarine and jam from a small plate my father would bring her. Then,one morning, she’d be in the kitchen when I got up for school, drinking coffee as if nothing had happened, … Continue reading Something Like Poker by Amy Grier

Coming Down from Sky Pond by Glenn Freeman


 

Sky Pond is one of the more popular destinations in Rocky Mountain National Park. Perhaps you’ve been there. The trail ascends through heavily traveled Glacier Gorge, past the Loch, then curves through a large, steep bowl of alpine meadows. Once you emerge from the trees into the meadow, you can see a plateau with a moderate cliff face with Timberline Falls plummeting through the middle. Steep peaks surround the falls and it’s easy to see that Sky Pond will be in the middle of these peaks, but you can’t see it yet. From this point, … Continue reading Coming Down from Sky Pond by Glenn Freeman