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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Auntie Barba

When God wants to give you a wake-up call, She will make sure that you get the fortune saying Things are seldom what they seem, or Listen to the whispers or you’ll hear the screams.

Reopening The Wound

Reflections On Oliver Stone’s JFK

I’ve never been as strongly affected by a movie as I was by Oliver Stone’s JFK. Although Stone takes artistic liberties in weaving together the disturbing facts surrounding Kennedy’s assassination and its subsequent investigation, I found his central thesis — that Kennedy’s death was part of a well-orchestrated plot reaching into the highest levels of our government — not only plausible, but compelling.

Notes From The Closet

I imagined him turning to his passenger and saying, “Fuckin’ fag.” I imagined his heart beating faster with the thrill of what he’d accomplished, his blood pressure rising with his rage. I imagined how he hated the sight of me, of what I must represent for him.


At the age of two, I saw the ocean for the first time. I threw wide my short arms and ran shouting, straight into the Pacific, where an undertow reached out to embrace me. I still remember the upside-down whirlpool of warmth, like the womb out of which I’d so recently swum.

A Device To Save My Life

It was raining again, on a typical north German morning in November of 1963, when three things happened that would change my life forever. First and foremost, I turned thirteen that day. But when I ran downstairs, expecting the cheerful face of my mother, gifts, and shouts of happy birthday, she looked at me with sad and bloodshot eyes. Weeping, she choked, “The American President Kennedy has been assassinated. Assassinated! He was so young.” I cried with her, hugged her, and comforted her as well as a thirteen-year-old boy could. We all had loved and adored youthful Jack Kennedy, the man from across the big ocean who had declared himself a Berliner. How different he was from the senile old men who governed us.

Games People Play

For Christmas, he asks for the Game Genie. It promises to unlock the power of his favorite video games, give him more speed, more weapons. With the Game Genie, every time a fire-breathing dragon kills you, you get another life. Not bad. Religions have been founded on less.


The Value Of Trees

Big Sur, California. Yesterday on Highway 1, I drove forty miles of misted mountain roads, trusting myself and a senile Ford Bronco not to skid off any of the thousand-foot drops. I was spending half a summer afternoon to save an unwelcome stranger from getting lost.

A Rescue

I pick up garbage for the town. Instead of riding up front, I like to walk behind the truck and empty the cans. I’d rather travel under my own steam.

Readers Write

Close Calls

In 1969 I was a social-work student living on a budget in New York City. To save money, I walked through Central Park to and from school each day. One afternoon, I was followed by a smiling young man who persisted in asking me directions. I walked faster, hoping someone else would appear on the path. Before I could run, I felt a knife against my back and an arm around my throat. “Don’t scream,” he hissed.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


He who shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will revolutionize the world.

Benjamin Franklin

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