Category: Essays & Letters

Let A Thousand Lilies Bloom

Story by Pete Shaw It is a little early in the Summer for such things, but the lilies are blooming. In the front of my house, there are about 30 of them, some reaching over 12 feet tall. The trumpet varieties reach toward the sky, their flowers blaring unheard but not unnoticed. I am not…

Today’s Progress Indebted to Sustained Activist Efforts

Story by Pete Shaw A month ago I attended the 10th anniversary memorial for Keaton Otis, the young Black man executed by the Portland police near the corner of Northeast 6th and Halsey. That corner has become hallowed ground. For an all too short spell, Otis’s father Fred Bryant held a monthly vigil at the…

No Fooling

Story and photos by Pete Shaw Call me Plum. Golden Plum. My Friend’s four year old daughter, Grape, declared it so.  As did her mother, Pear, and her 17 month old brother, Lemon who, holding on to Mother Pear’s leg, looks upon me with wonder and smiles. For a time, I had been Peach. I…

Giving Thanks

Story by Pete Shaw Although it is not often listed in podiatry and infectious disease journals, one of the primary attributes of erythrasma is boredom. Erythrasma is a superficial skin infection caused by a bacteria, Corynebacterium minutissimum, that we all have on our feet, but most people can fight it off. However, in July of…

Bill Ritchey, 1954-2019

“Everybody’s doin’ somethin’ I heard it in a dream But when there’s too much of nothing It just makes a fella mean” –Bob Dylan Story by Pete Shaw September 10, 2019 Epigraphs, I suppose, should have some meaning regarding the text that follows them. And I also suppose that with an artist like Bob Dylan,…

Garden State Porch Memories

by Pete Shaw The Denville Public Library, my father tells me, is the only one around. This is no surprise as Denville, a small town just off Interstate 80 in upstate New Jersey, had a population of 16,635 according to the 2010 census. Next to the library is the Denville Historical Society. There is a…

Giving Thanks

Story by Pete Shaw I celebrate Thanksgiving. No, I do not get traditionally festive by wearing hats with buckles and pretending that the holiday itself is based in anything other than colonialism, imperialism, racism, misogyny, and white supremacy. But as a person who in general is extremely thankful for knowing good people doing great things…