My Patron saint

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“It’s Ash Wednesday,”  Donald reminded Anne. “Let’s watch ‘San Gabriele.’ ”

“That Italian movie?!” she mused. “How well do you remember your college Italian?”

“Gabriel Possenti was a perfect role model for Lent,” he reminded her. “Each of us has to carry whichever crosses God asks of him. Two of Gabriel’s sisters, and his mother, died when he was small. His brother Lawrence even committed suicide. Gabriel died a Passionist Religious, of tuberculosis, when he was twenty four.”

“I remember,” she explained. “Through it all, he was a charming, happy, friendly sort. It’s not easy, but it’s possible and necessary.”

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers.  Write a complete story~beginning, middle, and end~in one hundred words, based upon a photo prompt. Rochelle Wisoff~Fields is our fearless leader. This week’s photo prompt was supplied by Dale Rogerson.

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Ah, yes! I remember it well!

I’ve always had a phenomenally good memory, but only in a qualified sense.

Does anyone remember Marilu Henner, who, long ago, played Elaine Nardo, the art gallery employee on “Taxi”? She is purported to have a perfect autobiographical memory.

I appear to come quite close.  Oddly, although I’m always forgetting where I most recently put my eyeglasses, keys, wristwatch, etc. , I seem to have quite an amazing memory to remember verbatim conversations, and all manner of arcane trivia, from decades in the past.

People are always passing comments about how exasperating it is that I can’t quite seem to remember to do the important chores, to run necessary errands, or otherwise to keep a promise, but I can always remember the times, in the tenth grade, when my theology teacher at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip told us that he’d never liked boiled hot dogs, and that his brother had a major foot problem.                                                                                                                          I haven’t lived in Jackson Heights, Queens, since September 11, 1971, five days before my twelfth birthday.  My parents and I, during the first years of the twenty first century, went back to St. Gabriel’s, our old parish in East Elmhurst, for a couple of reunions.  I attended grammar school there.  Sister Catherine, of the Sisters of Charity, was on the faculty when I was there. At one of the reunions, I re introduced myself and explained to her that I thought I could remember that she was once named Sister Lawrence. She reacted with a stunned facial expression and  replied: “Not since 1966!”                                                                                                                                  Of course, I could come up with quite a large number of other similar incidents. I quite often enjoy shocking old friends, teachers, and classmates with these trips down memory lane. It would be nice, however, if I could as easily summon up the equivalent ability to remember  to buy things I’ve run out of, to take out the garbage, and to meet whichever deadlines may arise in the here and now.

Mnemonic

the Black Pearl

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 “So,” Ivor asked Muriel, “Have you ever heard of the origin of the Black Pearl Legend?”

She nodded “no”.

Her husband went on to explain:

” Long ago, there was a lovely Spaniard woman who came to America because of a broken heart. One day she bought a train ticket to Philadelphia. Mysteriously she was murdered on the platform.

“The culprit was never caught.”

“Folks say her ghost appears at this location on random days, around noon. Don’t worry, though. It’s just a crock. ”

Just then the Angelus bells rang at nearby St. Gabriel’s.

The couple cringed and turned pale.

 

Please join us and read Friday Fictioneers, a collection of hundred~word stories based upon a weekly photo prompt. Our fearless leader is Rochelle Wisoff~Fields. This week’s prompt is supplied by J.S. Brand.

 

Well it’s one, two, three what are we fightin’ for?

“Have you read the Washington Post’s article on the fiftieth anniversary of the Tet Offensive?” Stanley asked Yolanda.

His friend asked for a head start, not having read it yet.

“On this day in 1968,” he explained, “The Viet Cong launched a series of  attacks on South Vietnam, that lasted until September 23rd.”

“It was one of the war’s largest military campaigns.”

“Yeah,” she admitted. “William Calley’s My Lai Massacre was on March 16th that year too.”

“That’s why I always  give to organizations like the American Legion,” he reminded her. “Hey, you never know where these guys have been.”

stumpsWelcome to Friday Fictioneers, where Rochelle Wisoff~Fields leads us in our weekly attempt to write a story based upon a photo prompt. Rochelle supplied this week’s photo prompt.

Calling all Dingbats, Meatheads, and Little Girls

Noise has always been the veritable bane of my existence. Ever since my very early childhood I’ve always had quite a love/hate relationship with sound in general. Everyone most certainly knows about my intense interest in music, especially the Beatles, as well as 1960’s music of all kinds.                                                                                                                                There’s also quite a dark side to sound, however.  Noise, and excessive volume, get me plum crazy. It’s an especially nasty problem when I’m subjected to  high~pitched, shrill sounds.                                                                                                              Libraries and churches, in my younger days, were havens of peace and quiet. Back then most people were significantly concerned about being ladies and gentlemen, and, as a general rule, could be counted on to respect the obligation to remain as silent as possible in these environments.                                                 

That era, however, is long gone. Now, since the advent of cell phones (I’ve always quite bitterly resented the telephone but that can be fodder for another day) there are all sorts of  creeps who feel free to talk on their phones even in these once forbidden places. A couple of times, a few years ago, I went to Lincoln Center in Manhattan. There was a rule against telephones on the premises and people seemed quite willing to honor it. Do people have to be charged practically forty dollars for admission to someplace before accepting the obligation to respect others?                                                                                                            To my chagrin, I shall always have to deal with my aversion to noise. It would most certainly be quite nice, however, if at least I could count on the assumption that all the defiantly narcissistic cacophony may someday dwindle down a little bit.                                                                                         I hereby request that we all stifle it as much as possible.

 

 

St. Edith, Rosa, and Blessed Titus

“This time of year is heavy for a history major, you know,” Stanley told Yolanda.

“Why?” she wanted to know.

“January 27 is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz,” he explained. “St. Edith Stein and her sister, Rosa, both Carmelites, died there. Blessed Titus Brandsma, another Carmelite, died at Dachau.”

“They’re my favorite Carmelites,” Yolanda reminded him. “The Steins died because they were Jews and Titus died because of his outspoken defiance of the Nazis.”

They both stood motionless for a seemingly endless few moments in the bitter cold. Then the couple walked away quietly, clutching textbooks.

Please join us as Rochelle Wisoff~Fields, each week, guides us through Friday Fictioneers, a collection of hundred~word stories. This week’s photograph was supplied by Sandra Crook.

if not art school

Larabie and Miz Kitti ran into each other outside the local art school.

“Three prominent twentieth-century characters were failed art students,” he reminded his friend.

“Explain away, Larabie,” the Miz wanted to know.

“I’ve always been interested in the Catholic intellectual world,” he went on, “So I know that G.K. Chesterton dropped out of art school.”

“Because I’m a John Lennon fan,” he told her, “I know that he did too,”

Then he reminded her, “Hitler never even got accepted when he applied.”

“Behind every failed artist,” she mused, “there’s a revolution waiting to happen?”

Dale Rogerson supplied this week’s photo prompt. Rochelle Wisoff~Fields leads, as always, Friday Fictioneers.

Catholics who use Contraception should be Prohibited from Communion

…along with all the false teachers who make excuses for them. Use of contraception is an objective mortal sin; it is an intrinsically evil and gravely immoral act. The use of mere contracepti…

Source: Catholics who use Contraception should be Prohibited from Communion

utopia dystopia

Dora and Periwinkle always read the Chick Tracts they find on their train.

“This moron was a true product of our ugly age,” she exclaimed.

He wanted an explanation.

“He was like the secular fanatics who cry racism, anti-Semitism, yada yada when they don’t get their way,” she groaned.

“His cartoons portray an ugly, vengeful God who sends everyone except Fundamentalist Christians to Hell.”

“Secularism is equally ugly and vengeful, sentencing all us intolerant Deplorables and Hypocrites to some neo-Nuremburg Trials.

“Fanaticism of any kind is always quite evil,” Periwinkle sighed.

Both then stared vacantly and sadly into the distance.

Thanks to C.E. Ayr for our photo prompt this week and to Rochelle Wisoff~Fields, as always, for guiding us in Friday Fictioneers.