Pimpernel's Writings

Letters from Maine

E. Pimpernel, Editor [Some unusual correspondence came my way recently, and I decided it might be of interest to all and sundry. Personal remarks have been edited out, but a fascinating journal of life in rural Maine is left for the reader to peruse.] Beaver Falls, Maine

Dear Cousin Mooooooo,

After our visit out to Arizona with you and our weekend at that there nudie-farm, Ma and Pa got to talking about how they might turn Uncle Eben's old fishing camp on Lake Passawhomper into a…

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Coming of Age

When his horse took a fall jumping a hedge, his right kidney was ruptured, and this was enough to send him back home from boarding-school and make contact sports forbidden for the next two years with semi-bedrest for six months. The decision to bring him home and have him enter the local high school was deemed the safest course.

In those days there was no home-tutoring of invalids ? he would simply re-enter the tenth grade in the fall, so he surrounded himself with books on…

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Uncle Larry and the Chinese Piano

Uncle Larry was not my uncle, nor was his Christian name Larry. He was, in fact, my mother's second cousin, but twenty years her senior. His given name was Whitfield, but an elder cousin had the same name, so the family simply called him Larry, to avoid confusion. Perhaps this confused Larry most of all.

Uncle Larry lived in St. John, New Brunswick in Canada, where he was a school principal. A bachelor, he would spend his summer vacation visiting various relatives for a fortnight each.…

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The Scarf

It was the custom in our community to expose the general populace, and especially the under-aged, to a variety of ?cultural experiences'. This was accomplished in a number of ways. The Community Concert series brought to the Town Hall auditorium presented a selection of performances by choirs, orchestras and famous soloists. The public library sponsored Rabbi Zaitchick's Chess Club and Mrs. Lawson's Bridge Club, where one could both learn the games and practice them. We had a local symphony orchestra who played for the public twice…

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It is night. I know this because the sun is somewhere else. Because those who sleep at night are asleep. Because there is that special silence that comes only now while the earth has turned away to let the shadows disappear. Because of the screams.

What horrors have descended upon them, the screamers? Fear flaps with wings down the corridors, around the corners, through doors and windows opened or closed, riding on the current of the screams.

There seem to be three screamers. Possibly two, but…

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The Gift of Time

Perhaps you know her?

She's been in a wheelchair all of her life, but through the miracle of the Internet, she can now bring that part of the world she can't go in person right onto her PC screen ? her picture window through which she has learned to reach out like a skilled fisherman and hook in nearly everything she needs for her various projects.

Oh yes, she has projects. In order to work on them, she has taught herself how to research, how to…

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The Umbrella-Cover Man

We children knew it was truly Spring when the Umbrella-Cover Man arrived in our town with his pocket notebook, swatches of material, and a knife-sharpened pencil that was not quite a stub. He also carried in his car a portable sewing-machine, a variety of replacement parts and a glue pot.

People walked in those long-ago days, and an umbrella was both a practical necessity and an item of fashion among the ladies of the community. Today they're called stick umbrellas, meaning the pole does not fold…

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The Kiss

Neither he nor she was prepared for it, that kiss. Oh, they knew it was going to come; in fact, it was some weeks into their relationship overdue. They sensed its presence, always hovering in the background, darting in then veering wildly away like an indecisive butterfly in a garden full of temptations, but neither was prepared to be the instigator. Something between them, within each, knew that that the moment was not yet arrived, yet arrive it surely would, in the fullness of time, and…

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