Recovered Salon: The 40+ Best OS Stories You Never Read
One morning about a week ago, bleary-eyed and sipping on coffee while ritually scanning OS to jumpstart my brain, I conceived an idea to compile and post a list of stories on a regular basis. Stories about interesting people, places, events, things, observations, rantings and more that somehow missed my attention and were destined to remain buried in here somewhere and that - damn it - I wanted and needed to find! And further, that I was sure OS writers wanted me to find! But how was that going to happen?
It’s a fear of mine which I suspect more than a few of you may share: With all this great stuff on OS, and more coming in literally by the minute, what’s here that I will never see because there’s just so much? What’s here that’s wonderful, but falls to the wayside forever because, for some reason or other, it doesn’t make the cover or because I don’t have time to unbury it, discover it?
Thus, the “Recovered Salon” compendium was born.
Below you’ll find more than 40 entries to this first-ever effort. They are organized in no specific order, just as random and wild and marvelous to explore as our OS community.
These are the most beloved orphans, the stories where the writers’ hearts reside. Many were submitted by the writers themselves; some, by fans who thought certain pieces deserved to be uncovered, discovered, recovered. I agree.
Enjoy Recovered Salon at your leisure. Please feel free to offer feedback on the project below (but no entries, please…. We’ll post another compendium soon, so e-mail me if you want details on how to participate.) This is a work in progress. It’ll improve over time – but we needed to start somewhere.
If you do drop by to read one of the stories below, may I suggest leaving a comment for the writer to let him or her know? Writing is, after all, a two-way street; a reader completes the process. A few words from you are a creative tonic for the soul – and can help bolster this incredible OS community.
Note: If for some reason you submitted, but do not see your story below, please e-mail me and I will correct. Thank you! Additionally, for those of you who keep track of numbers, the stories actually amount to about 35.... Several were pending. We'll add once we receive those special requests.
Sunday avec le Monsieur
Author: Monsieur Chariot
Recommended by a fan: “There are beautiful illustrations along with M. Chariot's fascinating and descriptive text about his illustrations shown. Joan Walsh was the first to comment on the post, too.”
The Last To Know
On the morning of September 11th, I took my morning tea break at 9:00 per usual, and while standing on the porch of the Ashram with my teacup in hand, enjoying the view we had of the long valley that runs down from Rainier westward, listening to the coyotes yip along the treeline, I heard a ripping sound.
So Much For the ‘No Retreads’ Promise
Author: Joe Cantwell
The announcement that Rahm Emanuel has been hired as Obama's chief of staff hits me as a violation of his commitment to hire ‘no retreads’ in the administration.
Of What Stuff Are Heroes Made?
Author: LT Bohica
During plebe summer, upperclassmen would randomly toss socks into our formations. They were pretend hand grenades that we were supposed to immediately jump on. It may seem silly to pretend socks are grenades and jump on them, but many Medals of Honor are awarded posthumously for just that - leaping on a grenade to save the lives of others. Supreme self sacrifice. I read the citation for a young soldier who did just that in Iraq.
Armenians do get sloshed, but rarely drink just to get drunk.
Recommended by a fan: “A wonderful piece about Armenia’s ‘Tamada’ tradition a few weeks back. It was largely ignored on the first go-round, but fascinating and worth your time.”
A Boomer Coming Full Circle
Author: Joan Kark
A baby boomer reflects on presidential elections past and present. “I remember the spring of 1968 when I put up my hand-painted posters of Robert Kennedy across my college campus during the Democratic primaries. Too young to vote, I was struck by his charisma and message of hope that we could work together to solve problems.”
The Last Boat In
Author: Dean Unick
As I rounded the final corner of the island and turned to a final course toward the wind and harbor, the full force of the storm blew at me with a will. Rain flooded down, visibility dropped to near nothing, the island a hundred meters away disappeared in the downpour. The thunder roared continuously now muffled by the rain filled ears and airs.
Strategy and tactics
Author: Jason Korke
Strategy and tactics are different perspectives. They are the forest and the trees, the big picture and the small picture. Above all, there is absolutely nothing wrong with them contradicting one another, and it is not a sign of mental inconsistency to have one position from a tactical (or small-picture) standpoint, and another from a strategic (or big-picture) standpoint. … I also think we'd be well served by stopping, from time to time, and saying, “Hang on - we're arguing about completely different things. We sound like we disagree but we really don't.”
Angkor Wat – wanderlust photo feature
Now that I'm a Mom of a little one and another on the way (not what you may think, these kids are adopted and sans the stretch marks) I have time to reminisce about recent past travels. One of my favorite solo travel experiences was to Siem Reap Cambodia to see the incredible Angkor Wat complex. For a pop culture reference think Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider.
Dearly departed landlord
Author: Steve Arney
Recommended by a fan. About the author’s comical relationship with a late, beloved landlord: “The first time my landlord, Jim, needed into the apartment I made this promise: ‘I’ll make sure all the drugs are hidden.’”
I Bought A Flag Today (and it feels good!)
Author: Lisa Kern
As an unwilling participant in George W. Bush’s 8-year epic failure, I’ve lost many things.... Of all of the things I've lost, though, none feels quite as disturbing as my inability to stop associating the American flag with George W. Bush.
The Same Story: Women’s Basketball
I've really enjoyed reading Lairderg's articles on women's baseball. I also play on a women's team, the Detroit Danger, and I also play coed baseball as part of the Detroit Tigers fantasy camps and with many of its members in the summer. I, as many women baseball players have, grew up playing fast pitch softball... not out of desire, but out of lack of opportunity to play baseball.
A Man, a Boy, and a River
Half a mile downstream, they saw the first of four great blue herons. “Look!” the boy shouted as the bird spread its wings 4 feet tip to tip and flew just in front of the moving boat. “The last time I rode this river I saw a bald eagle nearly that close,” the man said. The boy was excited, and later only a little disappointed no eagle would be spotted this time.
The Redemption of John Edwards and the DNC Message
What I care about is that he talked about the two Americas. The Americans that are in poverty and how the number of Americans entering poverty is increasing…. He promised that he would work for those people. He can redeem himself, by getting to work. And this is the work I want from him, the Clintons and Obama. This is what I want from the Democratic Party.
Author: Gary Justis
A dream conversation with the late Fergus, greatest dog in the history of the World: “After I lost the love of my first people, I went to live with an old woman. She was difficult and unfortunate in her life, so naturally I was the object of her unhappiness. I lived outside, on a slab of concrete chained to a post, in all weather.”
What would you like a Chinese student to know about America?
Author: Dorinda Fox
I was befriended by a Chinese student living in China and wrote to thank her for that honor. She replied, "When I graduate I wanna go to the US to have a master degree of accounting. So I wanna know more about America." She wants to know. Here is your chance. What can you tell her about America?
How to Cook for 100 People You Hate
“Disclaimer: I don't really hate these people, but ‘Cooking for a 100 People That for the Most Part You Feel Somewhat Ambivalent About and Are Relatively Certain that 25 of Them Have Outstanding Warrants and 1 Might Be a Serial Killer’ is a bit wordy.”
Dear President-Elect Obama
I never write letters to famous people, but I was tempted to write to President-Elect Clinton, just to say one thing, the same thing that I ask of you now: Dare to be great.
Lessons on Missiles, the Vote, Democrats and JFK
Author: m. a.h
It is Easter Sunday; I am no more than three years old. My father kneels beside me, hair tousled, his breath inevitably tainted with alcohol. He tries to cajole a smile for the camera, but my jaw is clenched, my eyes closed into angry slits. As soon as the camera clicks, I turn those eyes to my father and hold his gaze. I reach for the stuffed rabbit that’s been concealed in his coat for the photo op, and we continue to stare at one another until I am certain that my father is aware of my disappointment and he averts his eyes in shame.
Lone Traveler on the Moon
Author: Gayle Mattern
I was looking out the window, watching a sandstorm blow, rocking us gently. Outside was a moonscape, barren and forbidding.... I felt like we were alone, just us against the moon... too soon there was the cold light of day.
The "Yes We Did" Paper Chase
Detailed events surrounding the author’s post-election newspaper chase: "...But I believe I found something more profoundly precious today – the courage to dream again."
The Dark Night - A Personal Story About Gays and Murder
Author: Sally Swift
How one of the author’s closest friends was beaten to death by gay bashers. "Because then as now, prejudice, hatred and violence were the weapons others used to confront a lifestyle that confused, offended and clouded their mainstream judgment."
Author: Sandra Miller
It's funny how you never can tell what people will be drawn to - but I thought maybe more women shared the difficult relationship with their mom that I suffered, and could relate.
Two Weddings and a Funeral
Author: Lea Lane
I’d rather be forced to read a dozen New York Times columns by Bill Kristol than go to a wedding alone. When the slow-dance music starts I usually head straight for the ladies room, or the door. And as for funerals, well, they’re obviously difficult for anybody. But the two weddings and a funeral I recently attended may have changed my perception about the celebration of love.
Forget MILFS: Beware the Paws
I’ve come up with a new name for a different kind of woman. “PAWS: Penis and Wallet Seekers.”
What these women want is a man with substance and we’re not talking sexy equipment packages. We’re talking wallets, the bigger the better, and preferably cash… lots of cash. So for these women, it gets down to this: She wants a penis and a wallet. The penis is optional.
My First Lesson in Race Relations
Author: John Walker
On that steamy afternoon I not only came to see Black people as "real people" but I saw my grandmother as a "real person" for the first time as well. She was somebody. Strong and courageous. She was my hero.
Author: Sibohan Curious
A commentary/true story about what it really means to "care" for students and for people in general: “My classes the following semester didn't show any early signs of disciplinary issues except one. Let's call him Adam.”
W – The Wounded Puppy
A recent Wall Street Journal article which refers to Americans’ "treatment" of president Bush a "disgrace" deserves an extra look.
The Chess Set
If I spend a fortune on a handbag at a specialty boutique in Kennebunk Port, Maine, why am I distressed to see a coworker with the same bag in Cleveland, Ohio, a week later, unless I wanted to feel superior to her in having something different?
AN UNFINISHED PHOTO/WRITING PROJECT in 2 parts
1. THE STORY: Street Art – Lamp Perhaps Antique
Says the author: “(In one of my blogs) people were writing a story in the comments. It was going really good and then it fizzled out. I sorta wanted to know how the story ended. Maybe they will see the link here and come back and let me know what happened to Shelly Zinka, Pinky Tornado, The Texan and the monkey's paw. It is a small hole in my life, but it is a hole.”
2. MAKE COMMENTS AT o’stephanie’s related post:
Author: Donna Sandstrom
Orca Sing is the brainchild of Fred West, a local musician and choir director. About ten years ago he had the idea of bringing a choir to the islands to sing to the whales—an alternative to the harsh and abrasive noises we usually pump into their world.
A Boy's Tale Expands Beyond Our Reach
Author: Faith Paulsen
Armand, at 75 nowhere near ready to retire, is well-known for sharing stories. He’s told countless young students about his childhood in Volvic, France during World War II, when he and his family hid from the Nazis. But tonight is different.
Author: Kent Pitman
An indignant and worried letter by Kent Pitman to the Obama campaign in the form of a response to the overly invasive questions they're asking as screening for the new staff. (Note: If you're in a hurry, skim to the letter, which is an enclosure within the article, and which has a yellow background.)
The Randomness of the American Dream
Author: Lisa Solod Warren
"I don't believe in coincidences. I believe in the curlicued whimsy of fate," says Sam Tyler, the character actor Jason O'Mara plays on my favorite new television show Life on Mars.
John Carpenter is the Election 2008 Nostradamus
Author: Glenn Farrington
It’s amazing watching these normal people accept this wild predatory animal, who just shows up from out of nowhere, as something cuddly they just want to happily invite into their lives…but hey…it’s just a movie…that could never happen in real life.