M. Stevens-David Review: "Different Coins in the Fountain" by Carlos Cornejo
Carlos Cornejo's idea to write his collection of short stories in two books is brilliant and these stories do take the reader all around the world because they are "set" in many different cultures. I loved his work and find my mind going back to certain phrases and characters from time to time. I will treasure these two volumes and very happily add them to my own book collection.
Apr 16, 2014 - 12:15:21 AM
M. Stevens-David Review: "The House on Dead Boy Lane" by Carter Johnson
"The House on Dead Boy Lane" is very well-written and it held my interest right though till the end. I found the cover of the book very mysterious and compelling and having been raised in a very small town, I know that all small towns have places of mystery.
Apr 13, 2014 - 12:25:30 AM
Jake laid his fishin gear down in the bottom of dad's old, green canoe and then he slid the canoe quietly into the slowly moving water of the Aroostook River. The canoe rocked slightly as he settled himself into the seat and picked up the paddle. He paddled silently along the edge of the shore as he slowly made his way downstream to where the river divided and then he cut across the current in the middle and paddled until he reached the opposite side. He lay the dripping paddle across his knees and let the canoe glide along the edge of the riverbank.
Apr 13, 2014 - 12:17:40 AM
Great Aunt Cassie
She was our great aunt but us Stevens' kids always called her Aunt Cassie. She only stood about five feet tall in her stocking feet but she had more drive and energy in her little finger than most people had in their whole body. There wasn't anything that she couldn't or wouldn't do if she put her mind to it. To me, she was the epitome of the true American pioneer spirit.
Apr 11, 2014 - 7:12:35 AM
The residents of Aroostook County, Maine generally consider themselves to be conservative by nature and it usually takes quite a while for new styles and fads to catch on. When the news finally reached Ashland that longer hairstyles were "in" for men, the news was greeted with wholehearted enthusiasm. The entire male population heaved a sigh that was equal to a condemned man's relief, when he hears that his death sentence has been rescinded.
Apr 9, 2014 - 12:23:12 AM
My brother Jake and I were born only sixteen months apart. At birth, he was given the Christian name of Arnold Louis at birth but, our great Uncle Hal soon christened him "Jake" and this nickname was to stick with him throughout his life. He was a chubby little boy with bright carrot colored hair and he had a dusting of light orange freckles scattered across his nose. His eyes were bright, blue and when he smiled in his lopsided way, huge dimples appeared in both cheeks. If you've ever seen one of Norman Rockwell's paintings of American children, then you've seen Jake.
Apr 6, 2014 - 12:15:26 AM
I'll never forget the time our cousin Leroy came for a visit. We considered him a "city" kid because he lived three miles closer to town than we did. Leroy really wasn't all that popular with us because he liked to brag so damn much.
Apr 3, 2014 - 5:22:13 AM
M. Stevens-David Review: "The Colors of Blue" by Lance McCulloch
The characters throughout the story were very well-developed and interesting and frankly, I was sorry to see the story end. Mr. McCulloch should be very proud of this, his first book and I for one, hope that he continues.
Apr 2, 2014 - 2:10:31 AM
Great Uncle Hal
Mother's uncle, Harold Sutherland, was a tall gaunt man with a fringe of flaming red hair and piercing blue eyes. He was as Scottish as a person could get and damn proud of it too. He and his wife Cassie owned and operated a small family farm on the Goding Road about a half a mile down the road from our house. Aunt Cassie and Uncle Hal as we called them were the limelight of our lives. When things got too boring at our house, we could always be found at their house listening to or being involved in some aspect of their daily life.
Mar 30, 2014 - 12:12:33 AM
Uncle Ron was the kind of man nobody really understood. He was, well, kind of different and that was putting it mildly. He stood about five feet eight inches tall and all of his life he weighed around one hundred forty-five pounds. His hair was a light; reddish brown and his eyes were the color of muddy water. It was his laugh that got your attention though. He had a way of laughing that made you question not only his sanity but your own as well. His laugh began with a high pitched giggle and ended somewhere up high, close to a scream. Hearing it made the fine hairs rise up on back of your neck like the hackles on an angry dog.
Mar 28, 2014 - 7:23:34 AM
When most people think of their grandfathers they think of them with deep love and affection but not me. My maternal grandfather was not a man whom one could like or love easily.
Mar 23, 2014 - 12:12:30 AM
Charley, The Lazy Goose
His father spoke to him each day about three things that he considered very important in life. They were anticipation, participation and awareness. His father warned Charley that if he did not start exercising right away, he would not be strong enough
Mar 21, 2014 - 8:07:29 AM
Upon the death of his father in nineteen fifty, Des McCormack, our neighbor to the north, inherited the small family farm. Some years, if the drink wasn't calling him more than the potatoes, Des would plant a few crops here and there around his hundred or so acres. There was a small apple orchard located just down over the hill from the homestead and his father had taken great pains to nurture the trees so that by the time Des was old enough to farm, the trees were mature and were producing a variety of wonderful apples.
Mar 16, 2014 - 12:10:26 AM
My daughter and her family came for a four day visit during Easter this spring and we had a lovely time. Since they live in a fairly large city in New Jersey and we only get to visit about once a year, I tried to spend a lot of time with my granddaughter, Peyton, who had just turned seven. We live in the town of Minot, in the foothills of south, central Maine and I wanted her to get to know me better and how we live here in the rural countryside.
Mar 13, 2014 - 12:20:35 AM
Diary of Death
I am no longer aware of time or anything else except what is on my television screen. I hear and see that the second tower has begun to lean ominously and ABC News is stating that the second tower is going to fall too! Suddenly, the air is filled with news flashes and a new word is beginning to emerge. Terrorists!
Mar 9, 2014 - 12:07:33 AM
When we related this story to our friends and relatives, nobody believed us at first, but when we told them that it was the absolute truth, everyone was incredulous! This couldn't have happened, especially at a very fine hospital in a very excellent doctor's office in Lewiston, Maine. But it did, it really did! And oh yes, the only thing I changed in the story was the doctor's name.
Mar 5, 2014 - 12:23:09 AM
Ashland High School Graduation - 1963
Life takes you where it wants and you simply have no control one way or the other. It doesn't mean that it's bad, that's just the way Life is.
Feb 23, 2014 - 12:17:30 AM
Mr. Bunners & the Snowman
Just as he was about to fall asleep, he heard a lot of jibber, jabbering in the air above him. He jumped up and hopped out of his hiding place just in time to see his two friends, Bubber and Flubber Crow as they flew away into the cool fall air.
Feb 20, 2014 - 4:35:09 AM
The Fishing Pole
Our Great Uncle Hal had a fishing pole that he treasured beyond anything else. He'd saved his money for a long time and finally, when he had enough, he'd sent all the way down to L. L. Beans in Freeport to get it.
Feb 16, 2014 - 12:17:36 AM
M. Stevens-David Review: A Twist of Lyme:Battling a Disease That "Doesn't Exist" By Andrea Caesar
I, as the reader cannot simply tell you of how horrible Lyme disease can be, but this young woman has the ability to describe and define all the various twists and turns this monster takes as it makes its destructive way through her body.
Feb 11, 2014 - 6:07:32 AM
When I was about sixteen, I went to work as a clerk at Chasse's Drugstore in Ashland. The large, turn of the century building sat on the corner of Main and Oak Streets and three-quarters of the building held everything that one could possibly need, from pots and pans to clothing. This century old emporium held magical and wondrous things for old and young alike.
Feb 9, 2014 - 12:17:00 AM
The Reluctant Repairman
"Yah want to know what's really wrong with these friggin machines? Well they're state of the art that what they are, en they're really too smart fer most people!" With another contemptuous look in my direction, he went stamping down the cellar stairs and out the garage door, hopefully never to be seen again!
Feb 7, 2014 - 12:20:02 AM
Ashland might have been called a one horse town by some but, it was also a one cop town. In the late 1950's, Ashland was in desperate need of a new town cop so, a search was initiated and a man was finally hired who was from "away." The new town cop's name was Richard Casey and it didn't take too long before his nickname around town was "Dick" for reasons I shall elaborate on.
Feb 2, 2014 - 12:15:03 AM
The third grade brought a whole new dimension into my life in the form of Ethelene Munroe. Ethelene had already retired as a Latin teacher after teaching some thirty-odd years in the high school and she only occasionally accepted substitute teaching jobs. She must have been at least seventy years old by the time she taught my class and she was more than a little senile. When the principal announced that she was coming, we waited for her arrival with a mixture of fear and excitement because her reputation at the high school had extensively preceded her.
Jan 31, 2014 - 12:15:02 AM
M. Stevens-David Book Review: "In the Mists of Time" by Richard D. Baldwin
This is a story about two young men, artists, who move to a dilapidated farmhouse along the Maine coast and after buying the property, they discover a secret about the previous owners that takes the reader back to the sailing days when slaves were being brought to our American shores. This book was originally published in "2006" under the title "The Gibbs' Place Mystery."
Jan 29, 2014 - 12:17:30 AM
"A man really doesn't know when he's well off." Bub thought to himself for the hundredth time that week. He could still hear his wife's shrill words ringing in his ears. "I must be speakin a foreign language," she'd say because Bub hadn't understood what she'd said and they didn't understand each other a lot!
Jan 26, 2014 - 12:23:04 AM
Up over the hill behind our house, on land owned by our nearest neighbor, Les Page, was an old apple orchard that had been planted by his great grandfather. No one had bothered with the orchard for a long time and by the time we were growing up a lot of the trees were already dead or dying. During apple season, us Stevens' kids used to pull commando raids on that apple orchard every chance we got.
Jan 19, 2014 - 12:15:01 AM
Aroostook County is infamous for her snowstorms. One particular storm that I remember will stay in my mind forever. It is the time we had a particularly heavy Northeaster. The storm slid into Maine from the east. It had been trapped by an arctic flow that had dipped down into the county from Canada. The storm revolved where it was for the better part of three days and left five feet of heavily packed snow before moving off into the Canadian Maritimes.
Jan 12, 2014 - 12:15:08 AM
The Waiting Room
There's something about "free" services that brings out the best or worse in people or at least that's what I've always found. Why do I say this? Let me explain.
Jan 5, 2014 - 12:10:52 AM
The Age Game
It really started when I was about sixteen, this little harmless game that I played with myself and others. One would think that one ages fast enough that one wouldn't want to make oneself seem chronologically older but the human mind often works in funny and inexplicable ways. It is a kind of psychological game that I have carried with me throughout all the years but alas, it has finally come to an end. I can understand at sixteen, wanting to appear older but as I aged, well, it all went a little bit like this.
Dec 29, 2013 - 12:23:17 AM
Silly Willy, the Christmas Tree
The day finally arrived and Farmer David made his choice. He chose a fine Norwegian Pine and he spent several days decorating it. It was magnificent to say the least. Willy watched all the activity but his heart was broken. Still, he held his head up high and he didn't let on to all the others but, from time to time, a large blue tear slipped down his shiny green branches to the ground. He glanced over at the lovely Norwegian Pine and wished with all his heart that it could have been him.
Dec 22, 2013 - 5:10:20 AM
Every once in a while, all the Gods in the universe get together and create a child that is so beautiful, so talented that it's almost as though they tried too hard. A child such as this was born in our small town of Ashland to a poor French Canadian family.
Dec 21, 2013 - 12:13:40 AM
Christmas in Tha County
After Grandfather Stevens' death around nineteen thirty, Grandmother remained single for a number of years and when she finally did consent to remarry, she married a man named Warren Peterson, who was twenty years her junior.
Dec 15, 2013 - 12:15:18 AM
The Maine Pine Tree
The little tree didn't really know how he had come to be, he just was. He looked all around him and all he could see was tall, green grass for miles and miles. Why, he really wasn't as tall as the grass and he only had three small branches growing on his trunk.
Dec 8, 2013 - 12:20:45 AM
M. Stevens-David Review of Books by Rabbi Kenneth Ian Segel
As a writer of stories for children myself, I thoroughly enjoyed reading another writer's work. I found the story 'The Amazing Sparkey' about a family's dog, to be both charming and well-illustrated. Again, I found the story charmingly written with a lesson in giving and kindness and beautifully illustrated also. I would recommend this to others as well. Thank you Rabbi Segel for allowing me to read it.
Dec 4, 2013 - 5:10:01 AM
Tha Huntin Trip
Nineteen fifty-five had been a good year for Dad. The potatoes that he'd so lovingly and patiently nursed along all year had been dug and the yield had been better than expected. And now that the bulk of the harvest had been sold, Dad could breathe a sigh of relief and take a little time off. These breaks were few and far between and he was due for a rest. He always looked forward to a few good fishin trips each year in the early spring before the potatoes demanded all of his attention and now that the first mark of fall was on the trees, Dad's blood stirred with the long anticipated annual hunting trip up to Musquacook with his boys, Walt and Jake.
Dec 1, 2013 - 12:22:29 AM
Photographs of the Week: The Maine Sky
These images were provided by Martha Stevens-David and were taken in her local area in Maine.
Dec 1, 2013 - 12:02:14 AM
Two things Dad didn't readily discuss were religion and politics. He was a man who kept his own opinions very close to his chest and he was a man known for minding his own business. He might hear some really juicy gossip during his day at work in the potato house but he never repeated it when he got home at night. Often times, when something happened, mother would rush to tell him the news and he'd only laugh and say he'd known that for a long time. Mother was never quite sure if he was telling the truth or if he was just pulling her chain.
Nov 24, 2013 - 12:23:44 AM
The Blueberry Pie
Eb Walker and his wife Emma had been married for so many years that they'd forgotten exactly when their real anniversary date was and human beings being what they are, this date-forgetting every year, commenced a fight that lasted right through till the next year's anniversary. When any of the neighbors were stupid enough to comment that "marriages are made in heaven," Old Eb would cast a jaundiced eye in their direction, sidle a little closer to them so that Emma wouldn't hear and mutter that in his opinion they were really made in hell!
Nov 17, 2013 - 12:07:37 AM
Every Sunday, throughout the Ashland area in Aroostook County, Maine the churches of all the different denominations would ring their bells and church-going folks would hurry off to their respective houses of worship. Competition for the lost and sliding souls among the churches was fierce and God help you if you didn't belong to what each group considered the "best" church and the "best" church was the group you happened to be talking to at the moment.
Nov 13, 2013 - 8:05:11 AM