Sometimes Second Best Turns Out To Be the Very Best

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The vision lay deep within my head for as long as I could remember. I don’t know where it came from. I only know it originated from a distant place – a distant past – and that it had an almost spiritual importance. I couldn’t explain the nature of that importance, but I knew I must follow it where ever it would take me.

So began my thoughts upon entering my first and only art class in sixth grade. This was only my second year at Florence Brasser Elementary School in Chili. By then, I had so divorced myself from caring what my peer thought of me that I had no fear of failing. So, with this picture in my head driving me, I gladly entered the contest, fully expecting to win.

Oh, did I tell you? I’m not the artist in my family. Never was. That would be my brother. Artists create something from nothing and see the wholeness of their creation. My brother was (and remains) very good at that. I, on the other hand, can never separate Continue Reading “Sometimes Second Best Turns Out To Be the Very Best”

The Best Little Hole House in Greater Western New York

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Our family moved to the Rochester suburb of Chili during the Christmas break of my fifth grade. There are a lot of things I can tell you about that particular transition. It’s amazing what I still remember. There’s the “long” (because it was written on a narrow roll of paper) letter I received from the fifth grade classmates I had left behind in Woodlawn Intermediate. There’s my rediscovery of the game of chess while partaking in what was promoted as “science” class. (Apparently, “mapping” the moves – not even real chess notation – had something to do with scientific thinking.) Most relevant for this tome, however, was my new classmates’ anticipation of summer.

For many youngsters in and around the Rochester area, the summer not only brought the welcome end of “pencils, books and teacher’s dirty looks,” but it also ushered in the Continue Reading “The Best Little Hole House in Greater Western New York”