I have included two short stories and a (for lack of a more appropriate term) poem.
When I stopped playwriting in the early 2000s I decided to write a novel, a project that had been kicking around in my head for quite some time. It’s called And The Walls Come A-Tumblin’ Down and it’s available through Amazon (I self-published). It’s a retelling of the biblical tale of Joshua and Jericho with an attempt to draw parallels to today’s Middle East.
The short stories are somewhat autobiographical. Each is an attempt to recreate a period of my youth, largely so I could revisit those worlds and the feeling of those bygone years.
This short story juxtaposes my reaction to my son’s Little League experience with my sleepaway camp memories when I was about the same age. It also focuses on one of my first romantic obsessions, Carolyn Marcus, a brilliant athlete whom I met and “fell in love” with at that camp (and who, unfortunately, I am unable to find or learn anything about). When another camper from back then attempted to put together a reunion, one of the people he contacted, and whom I was subsequently able to contact, was Leah Cohen, whom I had mentioned in the story and who was Carolyn’s counselor. She sent me a photograph of her six campers, with Carolyn sitting at one end. I set it as wallpaper on one of my computers since looking at it always gives me a little shot of nostalgia. Immersing myself in this story is a much more powerful dose.
This story is largely true (although my real brother is named William and is nothing like the Larry in the story). When I reached out to contact Varda, it was partly idle curiosity. But also because she represented Dean’s to me where I first fell in love. Reconnecting with her and revisiting Dean’s (although in real life I went alone) had their own rewards, but reconnecting to those memories and feelings were not among them. It was only when I wrote the story that I rediscovered that lost world and time.
In my late teens my grandfather asked if he could paint a picture of me. I sat in his studio while he worked and for some reason began to create these little free verse tales. I was definitely influenced by a book of cute little poems called either Wink or Twink, I can no longer remember. The “brother” I write about was actually a number of different friends from my youth (and my brother as well). Again, the nostalgic value of this writing is what prompted me to dust it off and include it on this site. But I always felt it should be illustrated and a wonderful theater buddy of mine, Richard “Dick” Smith agreed to do these drawings.