Writers’ Page


Don Stevens

He stood proudly saluting as the Red White and Blue passed by the old veteran from WW II. His body showing his age of a man in his mid to late 80’s. As you looked across the street while the parade passed by, you saw a true patriot who fought for what we all enjoy today, our FREEDOM!

There were many of the same senior generation of men and women as they stood alongside their fellow servicemen lining the sidewalk, some with help from their family members; nevertheless, they managed to salute the American flag. It brought a chill looking at those who served, as they stood there remembering the times they may have been by themselves in some foreign land away from home and loved ones.

There were intimate times when that soldier or sailor or a Marine saved a companion’s life while in battle. Those are the time that all of us remember when we stand looking at Old Glory for what we believe in, and as we remember those who made the greatest sacrifice of all for his fellow man.

This old Marine stood proud when the orders were to standby on the shores of a little unknown town in Japan, to face an enemy without reservation on another shore that wanted to take away the way of life that we cherish. Whether you have or have not served, it matters not, but what matters is we should be like that old veteran, proud and devoted to be an American.

On a personal note, I wonder if the younger generation really understands what our generation did for the history of the world…and I wonder if they would ever understand the many sacrifices we made…or even care. There is a huge difference between what we did as a younger generation vs today’s young people. I also wonder…would they be texting on their iPad while the world implodes around them and never know how it happened.

A Friendly Loaf of Bread

Bill Bjerstedt

Perhaps 10 years ago, maybe 12, I was shopping at King’s Supers on Baptist Road. My usual grocery store.

I leisurely loaded my cart with items on my list. And, of course, items that were not on my list. How could you spend enough money for food, if you didn’t load on some specials or other attractive things?

To the checkout cashier.

Item after item onto the belt to be sacked. Cash register total jumping after each scanned item. To the total to pay from your pocket.

From my cart, the cashier drew three bags of bread flour. As the flour was dropped into plastic bags and into my cart, the lady doing that job, asked “What are you going to do with all this flour?”

I replied “make bread.”

Then she said “Make me a loaf.”

We both laughed about her reply.

And on I went to my car and home.

The next time I made bread, I remembered the exchanged laughs that we had. And I thought “I’ll take her up on her suggestion.” And I did.

Fun for me and surprise for her!

I said “I’m Bill.” She said she was “Lorie.” I invited her to visit me at my bakery.

She lives north of my house, in Larkspur. Passes my house on the interstate each work day going to and from work at King’s.

Lot’s of times, now, she is in my bakery on her way home.

We’ve been friends for many years.

I should measure the time in “Bread Years!” How long is a “Bread Year?”

Many loaves.

Lorie’s habit is a complement for Baker Bill.

Writers Group

Phyllis Oliver

I have been a member of our Writer’s Group for several years. In that time some of the people have left and many new ones have taken their place. We usually number from 7-12-18 or more depending on the time of year. Summer we can go down in number but we still have meetings. One of the best things I like about the group is that we don’t critique one another’s writings. It is a free choice on what subject you choose to write – a personal history story, fantasy, mystery, a recent incident – almost anything goes. I especially enjoy the articles read aloud by the author that has researched a subject – this is a time to learn something. Just listen and learn. The giggles are heard at times and outright laughter that we all join in – a funny true story and unbelievable occurrences written about that we all enjoy. Writing to me is a fun thing to do and I especially have enjoyed childrens stories and fantasy – using my imagination and going where I would normally not go and even researching places and things to help me with this job of creating, building, using words and all the while learning too! I can’t leave out the break time in the middle of the 1:00-3:00 p.m. time of our meeting – with a chance to walk around and rest from sitting – there is always a treat of cookies/cakes and something to drink. We stay away from any controversial subjects and you won’t find conflict in our readings and choice of subject matter. Variety in our writings is great – we get to know a person through their words and stories that they choose to present! I am proud and happy to attend these meetings and want to continue to learn and grow from others and progress in my own interest with words – their meanings as I will try to become more creative. See you next week!

Grumpy Me

Bernice Kantrowitz

I have always known that I am not perfect. The truth is I have a grumpy side that exhibits itself more than I want it to. Even though I try to control it, grumpy has been haunting me for almost as long as I can remember. I often wish that I could avoid it but I can’t control it. Since it usually ends up with me coming out at the wrong end of the situation I know that I am not going to overcome it. Any time I try to give in to this side of me I end up worse than before. On the few occasions when I have tried to stand up to the person or thing that is causing me to grump I am sorry that I lost control.

You may ask, “Why do you always write about the negative side?” My answer is, simply because no one would care or listen to positive situations because they can be boring. Also if you really want to know who I am you have to know I’m really grumpy. The truth is that I have thought about what happened that made me a frustrated grumpy person. It happened many years ago but it seems like it was only yesterday and it has gone by too quickly. I don’t know what transpired in the years between but this is what I remember.

When I was five years old my parents were excited about taking an overnight trip to Washington, DC to see a baseball game. My mother loved baseball and she especially had a strong feeling for the Pittsburgh Pirates because she had been living in Pittsburgh before she married my father and moved to Berkeley Springs, W. Va. In addition my father loved watching baseball games and was almost as excited about watching the ballgame as my mother. He was a New York Yankee fan and the Pirates were playing the Yankees so my parents were anticipating the game. Naturally, I was looking forward to the trip and was as excited as they were since I got caught up in their enthusiasm, but I didn’t know what to expect.

I remember they were all talking about this pitcher for the Yankees. A lot of people were shouting his name even before the game started. His name was Babe Ruth. Now the game hadn’t even started but I couldn’t get enthused at what everybody around me was excited about. I was bored and disappointed because I didn’t even like the game. Soon my grumpy side took over and I started crying that I wanted to go home. My parents were so engrossed in the baseball game that they ignored me. After a while I gave up and fell asleep but I will always remember how grumpy I felt and how it didn’t help me at all. My parents were happy that they saw the Yankee Babe Ruth beat the Pittsburgh Pirates. Even my mother cheered even though her team lost.

To this day I still am bored with baseball but my late husband, Sam, loved the game and after my father died he used to take my mother to all the baseball games.

The frustration I experienced at that game reminds me of how wasted the grumpys are and how responding to them is wasted energy. What I finally learned about myself is that as old as I get I will sometimes get grumpy because that’s me, but with age I discovered it is better to ignore it than to respond.