My one chance in life to play the Virgin Mary was ruined by Freddy Bobb. I swear it was him. Each year, our Sunday School retold the story of the first Christmas and one particular year, Freddy was chosen to be Joseph and I was blessed with the role of his pregnant fiancé. The... Continue Reading →
The Eve of All Souls
1199-1B / Dhahran / Halloween party created by my Mom, Shirley "Prepare yourself. It's like no place you've ever seen." This was the unsolicited advice I received before a working trip to Harlem. As a reporter for my TV station's daily magazine show in Rochester, New York, I was traveling downstate to interview... Continue Reading →
Starting Over for the First Time
First House, Ras Tanura, late 1950's My parents joined the growing number of bachelors and bachelorettes living in Quonset hut dormitories along bleak hot walkways. The sand blew in everywhere and the only vegetation was an occasional tamarisk tree, hastily planted oleanders and hearty periwinkles – they call them vincas, Stateside -- a blossom... Continue Reading →
At each point the heart breaks, it becomes at once more tough and more tender.
Few children consider their parents adventurers. Our moms and dads are ordinary folk. They are not people with lives and intents of their own. They don't arrive in our lives, but we in theirs: we don't have the luxury of seeing them coming. They are, if we're lucky, benevolent personages. Mine were; a comfortable... Continue Reading →
“This is the story of how we begin to remember…”
Cousin Michael Lamb, Kimmie Gail & Shirley AyersEaster / Middletown, OHIO The stateside world I knew was bounded by the gentle hills of the Ohio River Valley. My grandmother lived just across the river from Cincinnati in northern Kentucky. My mother and father and I would fly into this cool and pleasant place every... Continue Reading →
I have been awake since long before dawn, wondering how to remake my life in yet another city in America.