Georgia

Section 1

by Elizabeth Mellen

When I was nine years old, we landed on a red-dirt road in Warm Springs, Georgia.  The road sloped down from the highway, that is, a two-lane narrow paved road which curved itself through the grouping of village store fronts and their boardwalks, proceeding through with no apology and out to the countryside beyond.  It was fall, 1946 and I was very glad to be in this place after so many years of going to China and not going to China and going to China and not going, of living in New York and then Kansas, in New York and then Kansas again.  We were together now, in Warm Springs, GA, mother and father, four children, and a car, a miracle after the war years without.

It was a white, one story frame house just across the red-dirt road just as it should have been from the white, frame Warm Springs Methodist Church building.  Just beside the house, another road dropped down suddenly, to a railroad track.  At the crossing stood a white X-shaped wooden sign with ‘RR Crossing’ in large black letters on it and beside it, a horizontal sign bearing the word “Bullochville.”   I liked it then, still do, that the name Bullochville was still present in this place which carried the moniker ‘Warm Springs,’ for our life there really partook of both of this layered town’s identities.  Continue reading

New Hampshire Wedding

By Tiana Leonard

“I do!”

The groom-to-be’s emphatic response cut Larry off in mid sentence as he was reciting the vows. Gathered friends and family laughed in understanding. Stiff and Amy had waited 48 years to share those words and they were eager. Not counting her withholding college boyfriend, this was Amy’s first serious relationship. Amazingly, her 49-year-old consort was also unmarried. Maybe they had been searching for each other.  When a mutual friend had introduced them in Gainesville, Florida, three years before, they had both thought the other attractive but uninterested. A year of increasingly personal online flirting followed during which they discovered that they had 60 Facebook friends in common.

In June, when Amy was back in Gainesville on summer break, she told me she was asking a man named Stiff Packard out to lunch. When I asked her later how it had gone, she said it had been fun. She told me he was studying to be a nurse and was the DJ of an internet radio jazz program. Since Amy lives in Washington DC, I didn’t give it much thought. So a few months later I was shocked to learn that Amy and Stiff were having daily two-hour phone conversations. This was momentous. Amy has been phone phobic since leaving puberty. As far as we knew she had never talked on the phone for more than a half hour with anyone.  Her brother Andrew was clearly shaken. He and Amy have been close ever since my divorce from their father started them on a life of airplane travel together.  During football season, they would watch the Gators play on their bicoastal TVs, texting continually on exciting plays. Andrew is divorced and his youngest child will soon be leaving for college. The prospect of losing his special relationship to Amy was wrenching.  I felt the same way. Because of her academic schedule, Amy has spent every Christmas as well as spring and summer vacations with me. Now that I was a widow, I was looking forward to European trips together. Continue reading

“Margarete”

By Ellie Levin

Morningside Gardens                                                                           February 2015

Dear Jud,

It’s snowing today.  I remember in 1982 when you came here from New Jersey through the snow.  After dinner you insisted on going to Lincoln Center to see an Italian film, “The Night of the Shooting Stars.” It is such a beautiful, hopeful film about friendship between Americans and Italians in a small town during World War II.

Yesterday I went to see some old film footage made by two sisters, probably twins; it was called “Margarete” as that was the first name on some envelopes in the box where the films were found.  Janek Turkowski on a hike a few years ago, stepped over the Polish border into East Germany and just for fun bought the films at a flea market. After he began to look at them he wanted to know who made them and why. It became the center of his work in theatre in Poland. He couldn’t find out how the films got to the flea market dealer. He did find Margarete with the help of a friend fluent in German. He went to see her. She was 99 years old, and in a nursing home. She could see just enough of the films to authenticate them. Continue reading