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And then Sarge said to me . . .
We begin our recounting of Shriver Stories with one from Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 196567), the first Peace Corps Volunteer to publish a novel about her experiences in the Peace Corps, that is entitled Lament For A Silver-Eyed Woman:
In 1971, my husband and I were walking along Park Avenue toward Grand Central Station late at night after enjoying a Manhattan Transfer concert. We passed a couple standing in the shadows of a building and my husband stopped short. He grabbed me and hissed into my ear, Thats Sargent Shriver and Eunice! He couldnt help himself he called out, Hi Sarge, I used to work for you.
Shriver came right over and we told him we were former Volunteers (my husband, Uruguay, me, Cameroon). He turned to his wife and then Sarge said, Eunice. Come meet some Volunteers. She was shy at first until I thanked her for the work she was doing for mentally disabled children.
Then we all chatted, Shriver very excited to tell us that Teddy had won the Michigan primary that day. Then their car pulled up and we told them to please not let us disrupt their plans but they would have none of it. We talked for another twenty minutes before parting company Sarge was truly reluctant to leave us. His Volunteers were very important to him, as much as he was to us.
Send an account of an encounter you had with Sarge to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Think Xerox, Think Fiction
Xerox is working with Lulu.com to promote their DocuTech POD machines to the creators of what they estimate as 450,000 manuscripts annually. Their Xerox Aspiring Authors fiction contest is pitched as designed to stop the cycle of rejection letters that keep so many from seeing their work in print.
The winner will get 100 copies of their book and $5,000, but entrants are enticed with the promise that every entrant will get a single copy of their work for free. (Fine print indicates that they may only consider the first 1,000 submissions as qualifying entries though. Go to the Xerox site and look it over. www.XeroxAspiringAuthors.com
In this issue
Being young, scared, and gay is how Ralph Cherry (Ghana 196971) was in 1969 when the draft and the Peace Corps conspired to give him a career and a life. He tells us his story in our series about the Peace Corps and the Vietnam War.
We have two wonderful essays in our A Writer Writes column. Finn Honore (Colombia 196769) lyrically recalls his first days in Cartagena, Colombia when he suddenly realizes he had been assigned to the tropics. And Terry Campbell (Tanzania 198587) gives us a touching remembrance of his trip back to his country of service where he found the boy who once rode on the back of his bike.
Award winning poet Philip Dacey (Nigeria 196365) writes about a P.0.D. publisher in Poets Take Note that is looking for truly good poets who might be rewarded with contacts and publication.
There is more to this issue, of course. We have six book reviews, a list of 13 recently published books, lots of talk in Literary Type, and I interviewed Karen Larsen (Bulgaria 199698) about her life, the Peace Corps in Bulgaria, and her travel book, Breaking The Limit: One Womans Motorcycle Journey Through North America.