Category Archives: Stories-Quaker

The Party That Went On Too Long

The Party That Went On Too Long

  Seat belts were only for airplanes when I was nine, in 1951. So one day I leaned over the back of the front seat, to ask a question of my mother, who was driving. 

The radio was on, and a news report had just finished. The announcer had said something about the Communist Party. 

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This party had been mentioned before, in other news reports I had begun, just barely, to notice. We had no TV yet, so it was all scattered words without pictures, which gave rise to my question:

“Mommy,” I said, “how can a party go on so long? Continue reading The Party That Went On Too Long

From “Meetings” — Life, The Woods, & The Chainsaw

From “Meetings” — Life, The Woods, & The Chainsaw

Autumn 1966: While at Friends World College, for one studytravel journey we piled into the school’s Volkswagen buses and headed for Vermont, to the farm of a friend of the Director named Bert. Bert had left the city to become an early back-to-the-lander; but he was no laid back hippie. His farm was well-organized and productive.

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It was autumn, and we arrived well after dark. In the morning, I went outside, looked around, and reeled back in astonishment. I had never seen New England fall foliage before: the hillsides and even trees nearby all seemed alight with a kind of psychedelic aura that was almost audible, loud purple, operatic orange, roaring red and buzzing neon yellow, so overwhelming it seemed like it must surely be illegal. Continue reading From “Meetings” — Life, The Woods, & The Chainsaw

Sample A Quaker Mystery: “Murder Among Friends”

Sample A Quaker Mystery: “Murder Among Friends”

What’s a holiday break good for if not bingeing? Not on booze or pills, but the foods of the season, and then either some classic video — or even better, some good escapist fiction. 

Which brings me to A Quaker Mystery: Murder Among Friends

It’s summer, 1991, shortly after the first Gulf War. A Quaker conference is gathering at a Friends-founded college in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, to see if the various branches can learn to get along. Quaker Bill Leddra has just arrived with Eddie Smith, who’s Clerk of the Lavender Friends Fellowship.

On the way, they listened to a fiercely homophobic radio sermon by the Rev. Ben Goode, an empire-building rightwing preacher based nearby. Goode’s thundering about “taking back America from the perverts” set them both on edge. And then . . .?

Murder-Cover-w-CEF-Selfie-SM Continue reading Sample A Quaker Mystery: “Murder Among Friends”

A Quaker Christmas Story: Candles In The Window

A Quaker Christmas Story: Candles in the Window

– Part I

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A winter view of Pendle Hill from the Yorkshire Dales, England[

This Quaker Christmas story takes place in the  village of Settle, Yorkshire, England – 12th Month, 1814. Candles in the window were not a peaceful sight . . . .

Abram Woodhouse was late, and he knew it. But even so, as the daylight faded he climbed the path up Castleberg hill on the north edge of Settle.

Continue reading A Quaker Christmas Story: Candles In The Window

A Continuing Quaker Thumbprint on Japanese (& World) History

A Continuing Quaker Thumbprint on Japanese (& World) History

Recently, there’s news about how the Japanese prime minister is about to dump the antiwar provisions of Japan’s constitution — which have kept Japanese troops from fighting in other countries for seventy years.

Hey — what could possibly go wrong?

There have been loud street protests there against this impending change. Good on them.

Japanese-antiwar-protest

 

Continue reading A Continuing Quaker Thumbprint on Japanese (& World) History

For Friendly Summer Reading: Two New Books

For Friendly Summer Reading: Two New Books —
Quaker Stories & Friendly FAQs

#1–
So you know I’ve been interested in Quakers and Quakerism for decades.
I began exploring this interest by writing stories about Friends in 1977.
Beginning in 1989, I was asked to read my Quaker and other stories to campers and adults at Friends Music Camp, at the Olney Friends School in Ohio, where Friend Peg Champney was the founding Director. I’ve been invited back to read more of these stories every summer since.
Now I’ve collected nineteen of these stories in a new book, “Posies for Peg.”

FMC-Cover-Clip-4-Web Continue reading For Friendly Summer Reading: Two New Books

A Quaker Story of Remembrance — and Maybe Prophecy

A Quaker Story of Remembrance –and Maybe Prophecy

Pirates Six, Cubs Three

Sometime in the 1980s.

I wasn’t having a good night. And I hadn’t had a good day. Needleman in the Washington office had called just after lunch. He said they wanted me there, right away. I had to help the boss get ready for a big hearing before the Defense Systems Commission tomorrow. I told him I’d promised to take the kids to a ballgame.

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Needleman wasn’t impressed. “They play ballgames in Pittsburgh every night, Nelson,” he said. “We get a chance at a hundred million dollar contract once every ten years, if we’re lucky. This hearing could win it for us. The boss needs your data, and he needs you here to explain it to him. Tonight.”

Continue reading A Quaker Story of Remembrance — and Maybe Prophecy