A tale of an old building downtown

The smell of rubber and transmission oil radiates as the rumbles and roars of roadsters and coupes echo through the garage; they are here to get a fresh set of Good Year tires. Fresh grease stains trickle over cuffed sleeves, and the hands that extend from them grasp heavy wrenches to tackle the next tire rotation. Outside, a bell rings at the gas pumps and … Continue reading A tale of an old building downtown

Someone get this lady a pickle: How one transgender woman is breaking down gender standards with comedy

Her right hand alternates between a half-full can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a lined notebook that contains her newest stand-up material. Her left hand clutches the microphone in front of her as her soft voice delivers a joke that projects to the audience’s funny bones. Her bright purple bobbed hair in contrast with her white lace-collared black ensemble adds a bit of spunk to … Continue reading Someone get this lady a pickle: How one transgender woman is breaking down gender standards with comedy

Honey, you’re a funny girl

Flick. The humming stage lights go up and the pre-show music fades out. The full audience hoots and hollers as the group, waving their hands and smiling, runs out onto the stage. She runs with them, wearing nude heels and a Dreamsicle-colored dress that might have belonged to a prom queen in 1957. But she isn’t here to dance or host American Bandstand. Michelle Benton … Continue reading Honey, you’re a funny girl

U.S. Lacks Paid Parental Leave, Companies Provide Alternatives for New Parents

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A baby’s firsts are moments no parent wants to miss. But some American parents do not have a choice because the United States is one of 41 countries that does not offer mandatory paid parental leave, according to a 2016 Pew Research Center study. Parental leave is an employment-protected leave of absence that typically comes as a supplementary benefit to maternal and paternal … Continue reading U.S. Lacks Paid Parental Leave, Companies Provide Alternatives for New Parents

Character sketch #2: Women in comedy enterprise

Flick. The humming stage lights go up and the pre-show music slowly fades out. The full audience hoots and hollers as the group, waving their hands and smiling, runs out onto the stage. She runs with them, wearing nude heels and a Dreamsicle-colored dress that might have belonged to a prom queen in 1957. But she isn’t here to dance or host a revived American … Continue reading Character sketch #2: Women in comedy enterprise

Silencing the Monsters Within

 You won’t survive the night. We are here to help you end it all. We are the creatures from under your bed, but we’ve chosen a better place to live: your head. His chest tense with the sensation of hot iron running through it, Christopher had no idea if he would make it through the night. He experienced suicidal depression, anxiety that altered his memory … Continue reading Silencing the Monsters Within

Hey, Mr. Wiiiilson! I’m back from Vietnam. Let’s play.

Small pouches and long strands of beads line the end of the sand-colored folding table in the garage after being tossed out of the pockets of jeans that are held up by suspenders. A measuring tablet is laid out, cradling red and tan wooden beads for a forthcoming rosary. The white-haired, blue-eyed crafter, sifting through his collection that lives inside a retired Styrofoam to-go box, … Continue reading Hey, Mr. Wiiiilson! I’m back from Vietnam. Let’s play.

Feature profile character sketch #1

You wouldn’t guess that the earrings you got as a Christmas present came from a class clown who loved pulling  innocent pranks on his friends in high school. You might not imagine that the twisted silver wire around the half-inch turquoise Swarowski crystal was meticulously crafted by that same class clown who grew up to be a Vietnam War veteran and needed a hobby when he came home. And … Continue reading Feature profile character sketch #1

Tracing the steps of Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of Other Suns”

Pulitzer Prize-winning Isabel Wilkerson not only traced the steps of those affected by the Great Migration; she traced the words, attitudes, emotions and memories of the event to create her narrative-nonfiction “The Warmth of Other Suns.” The 640-page book is filled with the stories of three characters – three out of the 1,200 Wilkerson interviewed during her 10-year long project. We meet Ida-Mae, Dr. Foster … Continue reading Tracing the steps of Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of Other Suns”