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He had me home within a few minutes. He came inside to say "Hi-Bye," like he did for the rest of his life. Dad was up by then. Both of my parents were visibly relieved to have me home in one piece. Back from the biggest adventure of my young life, I shrugged. There and back. The one I'll never get to see again.

DEVILS DEN on ride - Conneaut Lake Park 2016

Isn't it funny, what sticks with you? Since then, I've done lots of stupid stuff in cars. Not so much driving fast which can kill you dead. But driving in places I have no purpose being.

Barbara J Sternwheeler

Burying VWs in the snow so far off the road that the tow-truck driver looks at you in wonder. Taking Plymouths up dry creek beds and desert sands and running over so many creosote bushes that the cars smell like railroad ties. Sticking Hondas so deep in the mud that you don't think you're ever going to get them out. Plus, I know, for an absolute fact, that I am the very last person in the world to take a Ford Escort Station Wagon along the lake at Hazel Park and up past the Harned place.


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And during every winter, with every snow storm, I am compelled to go out for a drive—even it's nothing more than a simple 'round the block. And even if I'm all alone I'm never by myself because, you see, my Cousin Bill is always along for the ride. Slavery, Sayings, and that Younger Generation:. Compiled in the late s, it is information collected from some of the last survivors of slavery in this country.

The interviews are direct transcriptions of vernacular conversational speech you'll see examples, below. It gets pretty thick, but it's honest story-telling at its best, especially when you take the time to read aloud. Why bother with such a thing? I'm writing a book that includes the time in which the United States allowed slavery.

If I'm going to consider writing even a paragraph on the idea of one person owning another, I need to know more than I do. The volume I have is based on information gathered from elderly ex-slaves living in Arkansas at the time of the interviews.

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Some were born in that state, but many more moved there after Freedom. If you know your U. These huge, dry topics spring to life with these small and humble stories. Why don't kids read this stuff in high school?

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Personal history is a very messy thing. Besides the descriptions of forced breeding, rape, and torture by overseers and owners, there's the language. Yit an' still a heap of de niggers did leave dey mars masters and a heap of dem didn', an' us stayed on and farmed de lan'. Patrollers are almost universally represented as buffoons. Yankee soldiers are often regarded more as vandals than liberators. The Klu Klux is viewed with mostly abstract fear. Of particular interest to me are the proverbs I've never heard. Life's lessons boiled down to a simple turn of phrase.

I've collected dozens. Still I may be taking my grub when some of these young whiskey drinkin' razzin' around young chaps is under the dirt. It pays to live honest, work hard, stay sober. God only knows what some of these lazy triflin' drinkin' young folks is comin' to. What they tell is harrowing, heartbreaking, humorous, and heroic how's that for alliteration? They offer insight into what it's like to be considered no more than an animal, to experience the whims of sometimes cruel and perverse owners, to feel both the confusion of sudden freedom and the responsibility of choice.

Taken together, they rival any adventure story you know.


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Ask yourself: Are all the stories old people tell you true? Are they all false? The trick to understanding such a collection is to read enough of it to gain the over-arching structure and then decide, with the help of other sources, what you wish to believe. Pick any of them, spend a few hours, and prepare to be amazed. It's as if everything in our lives can be chunked into neat, easily digestible bits of information. Not true. It also suggests we've grown so stupid that we need numbers to recognize the start of a new thought. We always kind of figured that's why writers used paragraphs.

There are hundreds of thousands of you writing out there. For heaven's sake, please come up with something original.

We'd really like specific and concrete examples of how your advice will help us. If you're making it up as you go along like I am then have the guts to admit it. If you use outside sources of information, then provide a link.

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PREVIOUS STORIES | Author | Don Hilton Books

If you're worried about us not coming back to your article once we follow the link, then improve your writing. That last sentence held more than 30 words and some of them were polysyllabic! Did any of you writers out there have trouble understanding it? What makes you think you're smarter than we are? So, when you lure us in with a catchy title and then fail to deliver matching content, we call you bad names.

Maybe you don't care if we call you bad names. But we want you to know, all the same. Have the wherewithal to hint, up front, that the information you're providing is a big, long, perhaps paid-for advertisement for a product that was given to you for free. Have pity on those of us reading at a 5th grade level. We can't always tell when you're pushing product. That's likely the point. We're not going to start hating you and stop reading because your writing makes us think.

In fact, it make us more likely to check your updated posts. You don't have to go all crazy-obnoxious-conspiracy-theory on us, but avoiding any trace of offense turns your words into the blandest of processed cheese-foods. Yes, you have a reputation to market. Yes, you fear, somewhat justifiably, that any controversy you stir might sink you at a later date.

We're not asking to see pictures of your bare bottom nothing personal, we're just sayin'. But it sure would be nice if you let your light shine, if only a little. Think of the dead writers you admire. We bet none of them hid behind their words. Neither should you. Organize It:. I have a degree in Philosophy. I usually keep that fact to myself because announcing it is like farting in church.