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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Another Appetite

The days of my life are inscribed in autumn’s diary; the leaves are pages burnished by experiences: some fiery red, some golden yellow, some mellow green, some dull brown.

Right Livelihood

Food Co-ops

Food coops became popular during the past decade as an alternative to supermarkets and retail natural food stores. What draws people to them are lower prices, democratic participation, friendly atmosphere, higher quality, and other factors. A number of books and articles have appeared extolling the virtues of coops, but very little of a critical nature has been written.

Channel One

Standing on the roof of a building high above Chapel Hill, I watch the sun passionately set. The sky is dazzling. The end of day heralded by pastels of tangerine, salmon, crimson, lavender, azure. Voluptuous swells of purple cumulus clouds glide across the lower sky while, high above, sleek streams of feathery cirrus race into the darkened east. I am awed.

Journal

Old letters are like old photographs of yourself. I’m shocked; I can actually hear this child-me speaking through these letters to myself. “To me when I am 13.” “To me when I am 16.” “To me when I am grown and a married lady.”

People Are Starving

We were born in Michigan. We were born in California. We were born in Italy. We were born in Florida, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Canada. We grew up with money. We grew up on food stamps. We grew up with enough money to buy food but not enough to forget what every mouthful was costing our parents. We ate whatever they put in front of us. We had to be bribed and cajoled.

Loyalty Rewards

In the fall of 1991 I was the lowest-ranking waiter at a steakhouse in Hampton, Virginia. My sole transportation was a Honda 350 motorcycle — halfway between a street bike and a moped — whose chain slipped at the most inopportune times.

Lost Cause

My dad’s name was Ed, but his friends called him Eddie. In old photos he is Jack Nicholson handsome, with devilish good looks and a mischievous gleam in his eye. I can see why my mom fell for him.

A Place For Songs

In the summer we got word that the county forestland near our northern-Wisconsin home would be clear-cut. “Not my favorite pines,” I said, hoping. But, yes, those were the ones.

One Flight Up

One can die in cleanliness, or one can die in filth. I’m not talking about your soul. At the Prince Hotel — an old Bowery flophouse — the men paid a few dollars a night to live in stalls, four feet wide and six feet deep, with chicken-wire ceilings.

Shadow Dancing

Autumn comes, summer ends . . . so quickly.The fire is momentarily resurrected in dazzling fall days, brilliant changing falling leaves. I compete with birds and squirrels for the bounty of fruit, nuts, berries. Too delicate for scorching summer, good-eating greens form carpets everywhere. This season, between fire and ice, is a delightful respite.