Category: Essays & Letters

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…

Letters From Spain, Part 3

Text and photos by Pete Shaw October 17, 2018 Dear Cyndy and Josh, La memòria és important. Plaça de Sant Felip Neri is where a piece of canvas comes to life. Nearly two weeks ago we were in Madrid’s Reina Sofia, a former hospital turned modern art museum. It houses Picasso’s “Guernica,” that masterpiece of…

Letters From Spain, Part 2

Text and photos by Pete Shaw October 12, 2018 Dear Margaret, I speak Spanish. This is a truth. An even greater truth would be to say that I speak it poorly. Languages are not my thing. I never got down programming a computer. I can’t read music. And I took seven years of Spanish to…