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Finding His Beat, fiction

The bell rang.

“Danny, stay after,” Mr. Maddox said as the room cleared.

The kid couldn’t help his tapping: pencil, thighs, ruler—calculator cover.

“Instead of coming to math tomorrow, I want you to see Ms. Sweeney.”

“The band teacher?”

Mr. Maddox grinned. “You’re a drummer…you just don’t know it.”

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Apr 5Liked by Justin Deming

Oh! This is just grand, Justin! You know about good teachers!

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author

Thank you, Sharron!

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Some might call it ADHD. But the seasoned teacher knows better. A possibility just waiting to be discovered.

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author

Absolutely, Heather. Thanks! 😊

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This is magnificent Justin! Are you sure this is fiction? It seems like you probably come across instances like this all the time in your line of work.

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author

Thanks, Matthew! It’s fiction, but you’re right. Instances like these do happen quite often. My team recently had a neat breakthrough with one of our students who did an improv skit as part of a project. He ended up discovering an interest in theatre and plans on pursuing it as a high schooler!

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Cool!

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Apr 7·edited Apr 7Liked by Justin Deming

That is a wise teacher.

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Apr 5Liked by Justin Deming

The accordian lives ( Fiction )

The monitor beeping in critical care reminded her of the accordion he had gifted her on their wedding. He was in a coma. They had given up and so allowed her to play. At the sound of the instrument his eyes fluttered and they exchanged looks for one last time.

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Apr 5Liked by Justin Deming

Aw. So sweet, Sunil. Such a perfect way to leave this world.

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Apr 5Liked by Justin Deming

Thanks Sharron!

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What a beautiful connection between two people. Music can transcend so much.

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author

Such a beautiful story, Sunil.

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Majestic Music, fiction

The Creator strummed His cosmic guitar. With every note, every chord, every reverberation bouncing through the universe, a new star was born, and a new world brightly transformed. The breath of life formed from His divine instrument, producing a song on the lips of men. Together we perform in concert.

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author

Epic in scope and incredibly rich with your chosen details! This is awesome, Brian—loved everything about it!

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Thank you, Justin! This popped up in my feed at the right time, and I thought this is the perfect day for a fifty by the fire! Thanks again for hosting.

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Apr 5Liked by Justin Deming

Snap 😅

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Apr 5Liked by Justin Deming

PASTURE SONG, 1935 - a prose poem from 🌿Leaves

As the sun slides down the wide prairie sky, she stands in the pasture playing her guitar, singing to the cows – her only audience, in a clear, sweet voice. They follow her siren song back to the barn. She’s their reluctant Lorelei, but her dreams and her future lie elsewhere.

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author

This is a wonderful tribute, Sharron. If I remember correctly, didn’t you previously share (at some point…can’t remember when) an audio clip of her playing/singing? I love the inclusion of mythology here as well…your poem is jam-packed with perfection!

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Apr 6·edited Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

Yes, I did,Justin. I am going to bring it back - it's been over a year. Tomorrow I am posting this 50-word memory along with a 400-word version of the same story. Just to see which has the most impact.

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author

Aww. Looking forward to both. 💜

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I see you mentioned to Justin that you are posting this and a longer version. I'm looking forward to reading them both.

Don't you just love how cows are enthralled by music? They are so inquisitive.

I love your description of the sun sliding 'down the wide prairie sky'. Beautiful.

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Thanks again, my friend. I have seen several videos on Youtube of women calling the cows home by singing. My mama was not the only one!

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Beautiful. I think animals appreciate music more than we think. But they are lousy tippers. 🤣

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Apr 5Liked by Justin Deming

A Different Place-fiction

He disliked the coins sheen under the artificial light and the dirty subway and the crowds of people that walked by his guitar case. He wanted to be in a smoky bar. He knew the difference. He knew how the people looked at him and how they looked at themselves.

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author

I really enjoyed the contrasts you set up with this one, JRQ. Excellent story!

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Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

I had this idea that he didn't like the subway because people came to him to pity him and they came to the lounges to pity themselves, but I didn't have enough words.

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author

That’s exactly how I read the story! I thought the message was conveyed beautifully.

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I think you had just the right amount of words. Well done!

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Apr 5Liked by Justin Deming

As the planets turned into alignment the solar system hummed with resonance. Vibrations grew across the galaxy. The stars chimed in unison, harmonics and overtones bridging the void, filling empty space as the final note fell into place. Perfect harmony reigned; God had finished tuning. And a chord rang out...

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author

Forkbeard Jon for the win. That final line is brilliant, and the entire piece is simply stunning. Thank you for sharing with us!

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Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

Wow, I saw the post, typed what came to mind, realised I'd had the same idea as Brian, fell asleep, and woke up to some jolly nice feedback. Thank you very much 😁

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author

Haha you’re welcome. Kinda cool that you were both on the same wavelength without realizing it!

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This is really beautiful. I feel like it's the prelude to the Hallelujah Chorus.

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Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

I was thinking more of the opening to Money for Nothing, but Im very happy it inspired you to greater heights 🙂

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Chicks for free. Here you go... 🐥🐤🐥🐤🐥🤣

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Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

😂

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Apr 5Liked by Justin Deming

Wow! You and Brian were channeling each other today! Excellent FBJ!

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Music really is universal. 😉

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Appearances, fiction

“Does it matter if it's in tune?”

“Huh, hadn't thought about that”

“He's not actually going to play it, just be buried with it.”

“I don't know, he'd never go on stage without tuning and this is the biggest stage of all”

“But…he's dead”

“So?”

“Fair enough, I'll tune it”

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author

Seems like the best course of action. I’m happy they chose to tune it. Great scene here, DW!

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Wise choice. He's dead ... but is he really?

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Always tune. No matter what.

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New Orleans Beat, poem

My piano keys dance and sway,

Creating musical works of art.

On my piano I riff night and day;

Fingers moving like a second heart.

From Congo Square to Bourbon Street,

Notes flow Mississippi deep,

Those rhythm and blues can't be beat.

Sounds that never fail to make me leap.

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author

Oh I love this, Caro. You can just feel the rhythm flowing here! Also…I’m with Sharron!

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Thanks, Justin. Glad you loved it.

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Apr 5Liked by Justin Deming

Nice one, Caro. Now you need Mark Starlin to put it to music!

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author

Yes please!

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Hi Sharron. Thanks.

Sorry I'm just getting around to responding. I checked out Mark Starlin and immediately subscribed.

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Great! Mark is the quintessential goofball ( and proud of it.) A very entertaining guy.

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Apr 5·edited Apr 5Liked by Justin Deming

The Musician (poem)

There he is again.

On the sidewalk

With his guitar and cup.

Why doesn’t he get a job?

He is barely surviving

On the meager donations.

I stop a moment.

I listen and contemplate.

He nods, as usual.

And we know

That I envy him

More than he

Envies me.

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author

I felt this one in my soul. Well done! Thank you so much for sharing!

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The arts are a tough way to feed your belly, but they feed your soul.

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Little Ditty 'Bout Jack and Diane, non-fiction

Bob died at forty-eight.

He sang his heart out til it gave out to “Jack and Diane”.

His band played on.

John Cougar Mellencamp’s ditty “Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of livin’ is gone.

A steel guitar and a raspy voice echoes on.

I miss him.

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author

Oh, Heather. My heart aches for you. After I’m done reading these stories I’m going to go listen to “Jack and Diane”. The song will take on a new meaning for me!

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Thanks Justin. Bob had a gift of bringing joy to everyone around him.

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Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

I confess, I don't know who Jack and Diane are, but I am going to go find out right now. Loved your story, Heather. Glad to see you by the fire.

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Thanks, Sharron. I'm really enjoying stopping by. Such a great idea!

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Riverside Serenade, CNF

The first time I ever performed a song I wrote publicly was at the Great Hudson River Revival, honoring my recently departed musical (and life) hero, Pete Seeger. I almost chickened out, but my young son offered to sing with me, and gave me courage. I hope Pete heard us.

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author

What a beautiful moment you’ve captured here, Chele. I hope he heard you, too. Something’s telling me he did.

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What a wonderful memory. I hope he heard you too.

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Apr 5Liked by Justin Deming

The Girl of the Guy in the Band

You were passionate for both:

Pluckin’ that banjo

An’ lovin’ me.

Hummin’ and pickin’ out the melody on the 6 string

You’d say, “I got an idea.”

“Listen,”

And murmur a tune.

Stop, start again,

Each time a little different.

Never did play the club

Where Somebody’s agent hung out.

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author

Love the voice in this piece, AnnieKate! Thank you for sharing with us!

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Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

Thank you Justin. ... and thank everyone for reading and for their Likes. It warms my heart and brings encouragement.

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"Love...Love me Do" --Fiction. Psy-fi.

The times when the Beatles played gigs in the Liverpool cellar is where I want to go when we time travel.

Cellars have the perfect acoustic, darkness and mood. They create the right atmosphere and the cosy comfort needed for a successful show. I close my eyes, turn on a CD, and I'm there.

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author

Lovely! Music has the power to transport us, doesn’t it? Thank you so much for sharing this, Rene!

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Charity, Fiction

We were passing through this idyllic town. We followed the music two blocks down the street. There he sat on a chair with his open guitar case sitting on the ground. He was old with a scraggly beard. A crowd gathered. We stopped, listened, and threw him a few bucks.

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author

A kind moment captured, Matthew!

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Some fabulous contributions; great prompt, Justin.

The Brave

The top of the famous stadium was higher than he’d imagined as he perched, towering above eighty thousand expectant patriots. The breeze ruffled his heavy dress kilt and his magnificent flame-red beard. His chest expanded and Scottish hearts swelled as the skirl of his bagpipes stirred them into song.

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author

Thank you, Barrie. This is lovely…so atmospheric! Whenever I hear the bagpipes being played I get goosebumps. They are one of the most majestic and beautiful instruments.

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As a proud Scot, I agree wholeheartedly 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

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Och, aye. That's a wee cracker, laddy.

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Awfa kind

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T'would bring a tear to a glass eye.

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The Telecaster, CNF

It stands in the corner, always in view, always at the ready. "Play me!"

And it happens. The dust cloth dusts, the strapping on, the plugging in, the flip of the power switch, and the standby.

And my Tele sings like there was no yesterday and there is no tomorrow.

---

(That's a Stratocaster guitar in the picture. An old one. Very nice!)

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author

The moment you’ve captured is pure magic, James. Love this. My daughter’s been taking guitar lessons, and I’m learning to play alongside her. I just bought my first guitar: an acoustic Fender CC-60S. I’m in love!

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Thank you, Justin! That's a nice guitar. I'm sure you and your daughter enjoy it very much. Be patient, acoustic guitar strings are hard on beginner fingers. : )

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author

The calluses are developing already, ha!

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Apr 7·edited Apr 7Liked by Justin Deming

That sweet anticipation and the even better experience of making music. Nothing like it, as you know.

I was never a Telecaster guy until I joined a large cover band with horns. I needed a clean tone that would cut through so I got a Tele. I grew to love it. I no longer play in that band but I kept the Tele. 🤓

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Hi, Mark! - Yes, music is a joy, and has been a challenge. "Nothing like it, as you know." - As you know as well. 👍!

The Tele sounds so good by itself. Little need for effects or pedals. It's my favorite, for sure. Thanks, Mark!

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A fine last line, James Ron

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Thank you, Sharron! : )

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Stay Tune

Baby-sitter frets.

"He yelled all evening."

"Oh?"

"You said music calms him."

'I said 'Jazz ."

"I put on Raffi. Willowby Wallaby.He hated it. He cried.He vomited."

"No!"

"YEAH,I MEAN YES.

"Wow!'

" He kept screaming 'ROACH!! ROACH! crawling to the system,

Christ, nearly knockit over!"

calmscalms him"."

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author

Haha! Thanks for the chuckle, Ernie. Not even “Baby Beluga” calmed him? 🤣

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author

This is excellent! Those final two lines capture the opposing viewpoints perfectly. (If this is true, did you ever settle on a music school, or did you change course entirely? No need to answer if you don’t want to…I’m simply curious!) 😄

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Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

Oh thank you! 😊 Yes, I majored in piano at CCM (college-conservatory of music) at University of Cincinnati for two years, then transferred and changed my major to English, which wasn’t a very practical major either. Now in my dotage, I’m seriously thinking of going back to school to do what I secretly wanted to do all along, social work. Sometimes I think some people find that it’s hard to say outloud and pursue what they really deeply want to do, for some reason, and like me, can waste a lifetime. 😘

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author

What a wonderful experience and adventure it would be. I think you should go for it if it compels you! Very true. And many of us can never quite figure out what it is we truly want to do! Well, it’s a pleasure having you “by the fire”, Karen. Thanks for sharing. 😊

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Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

Am loving the warmth of the fire! 🤗

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I'm proud of you for saying here what you are thinking for your future. It sounds wonderful.

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Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

Thanks so much, Heather! It’s finally easier to say, when there’s “nothing left to lose”, so to speak. I hope you found your true passion and path in life and were confident to pursue it 👍🤗

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Oh good heavens, no! I was also an English major. I taught school. I worked in the corporate sector. I ran a few companies and started a few. I got fired (now that was fun!). I consulted. I' made money. But passion? Nope. I might add, I'm an introvert, in case that resonates with you. I'm not totally focused on 'passion'....more on enjoying each day and living in the present moment. Works for me....probably not for everyone!

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Thanks Heather! Very impressive though!!! What would you have done if you’d done your absolute passion? 😍

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I would have written music and been a singer. I play the piano and this past December I got my first stringed instrument, a ukulele. I'm teaching myself to play and fiddling around with writing. Since there are no expectations, I'm really enjoying it.

Thanks for asking.

What is it about social work that is pulling you in that direction?

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It’s so heart-filled to have those memories of my dad, in the last years before he died. Thank you for the conversation ♥️🙏🏻

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It was so wonderful, Heather, because my whole family got involved up there. This is the little girl who became my Goddaughter and is now doing well, and her friend, with my dad and husband 🤗

file:///var/mobile/Library/SMS/Attachments/11/01/C00CA1D4-4199-4D2B-B76D-59442E4FC801/IMG_8570.jpeg

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Oops, the photo isn’t posting 🤦‍♀️😅

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Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

Pushed into majoring in music by my mother (who had always wanted to be an opera singer), mom flew me around the country for piano auditions at music schools. At almost every campus, some older male student flirted with ME!?! I heard grand crescendos! Mom heard only the ‘deceptive cadence’.

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Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

Oh, these moms! Such spoil sports.

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Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

I love you! 😂😅 You are so funny and so kind! I was just regretting posting this, it’s not enough about music!!! 🤦‍♀️😂

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Poem/CNF Music in the Night

as a teen under the blankets

hugging a transistor radio

playing a Canadian station

near Detroit very late at night

so exciting, a new world beckoned

such bigger world than my little town

felt so excited to be part of this boogie

endless musicians to be added to my dreams

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Hey! I grew up in Ypsilanti Michigan and listened to CKLW, the Canadian Top 40 station, back in the 70s. Such great music!

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Yesterday the fact you grew up in Ypsilanti meant nothing personal, today ironically it does:

Phyllis M. Gigante, 76, of Brattleboro, Vermont, and formerly of Ypsilanti, Michigan, passed away, Saturday, March 9, 2024. ... Prior, she was the Librarian for the Lincoln Consolidated Schools in Ypsilanti, Michigan for 30 years, where she was affectionally known as "Mom". Phyllis was known to be one of the kindest, giving, and generous people you could know. She delivered food and medicine in Brattleboro, Vermont during COVID. Phyllis has been chosen to be the 1st recipient of the "Heros of West Brattleboro" to be awarded this summer.

She was the #1 welcomer for me to my present community. Thanks Phyllis and Ypsilanti.

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Small world.

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author

What wonderful memories—so vividly and perfectly captured! Thank you for sharing, Sharon.

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Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

Young Love, Fiction

The 8-year-old playing the recorder directed his full attention to the music he was performing. The repetition of the notes that represented “we will, we will rock you” were punctuated by the resolute expression on his young face. Today a recorder, tomorrow a trumpet. The love of music is born.

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author

Those final two lines are so powerful! Thank you for sharing this excellent story with us, Zoe!

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Apr 7Liked by Justin Deming

Thank you for the compliment. I must confess I'm a bit intimidated by the wonderful material I read here. I appreciate your allowing me to join you.

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author

You are always welcome here, Zoe! There are many great fiction writers on the platform. We’re in good company! Thanks again for taking a brave step by sharing your work. It gets easier from here. 😊

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A Lucky Breakdown • Fiction

Jimmy’s Chevy Loadmaster overheated.

Not again, he thought and pulled over.

Two hours later, a car stopped.

“Hey, man. You need a lift?”

“Sure do.”

“I see your drums. You in a band”

“Probably not anymore.”

“We ain’t got a drummer. Wanna play?”

“Why not? I’m Jimmy.”

“Hi. I'm Elvis.”

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author

Great story, Mark!

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Thanks, Justin.

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Apr 7Liked by Justin Deming

"Probably not any more." Great line.

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Miss one too many gigs and you're out!

Thanks, Sharron.

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Apr 7Liked by Justin Deming

Oooo, good one Mark!

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Thanks, Jim. It was a challenge to get it down to 50 words. 🤣

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Apr 6·edited Apr 7Liked by Justin Deming

Ode to My Drummer, Poetry

drummers

beautiful noise

a heartbeat

controlling, each

movement

loud, soft

yin and yang

humming.

In time

with the universe

the rhythm of my heart

my life.

Pulsating through my arteries like

the rush of a carnival ride as it's swoops to earth and takes my breath away.

Energies

converging

Quiet.

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author

So many beautiful lines embedded here. My favorites: “In time / with the universe / the rhythm of my heart / my life. Lovely poem, Deb!

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Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

Thank you so much! I was so inspired by your prompt today, I had to give it a try.

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Apr 6Liked by Justin Deming

Thanks Justin!

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"Love...Love me Do" --Fiction. Psy-fi.

The times when the Beatles played gigs in the Liverpool cellar is where I want to go when we time travel.

Cellars have the perfect acoustic, darkness and mood. They create the right atmosphere and the cosy comfort needed for a successful show. I close my eyes, turn on a CD, and I'm there.

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