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This is a portrait of the much younger writer and artist Ricker Winsor by Austrian painter Alex Rutsch (RIP).

Gone with the Wind Revisited

“Your love is an hallucination.” My young student in China wanted to discuss Gone with the Wind, wanted to take months to read and understand it. I read this book when I was about twelve years old, about the same age as my student, Xinlin, in Shanghai. The story engaged me completely but I have…

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Goodbye Sebastiano, The Last Chapter

           The following summer I received a letter from Sebastiano. He was in New York and I called him, got his address, and was on my way into town, driving the family Mercedes at breakneck speed. In those days I prided myself in how fast I could get anywhere in Manhattan and back out to…

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Goodbye Madrid Hello Customs Chapter 27

          But that was later. Now, I was saying goodbye to Sebastiano, to Ruth, to my friends, and getting ready to be the big surprise at my mother’s fiftieth birthday party. Ted, (the highway patrol/ FBI man), warned me indirectly against bringing any kief back to the states. Sebastiano had most of it anyway but…

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It’s a Spark

It’s a spark, the spark of life, catching something, stopping time.That is what photography is, what it can do.I selected pictures for this book that caught something fleeting, important.Nobody did that better thanHenri Cartier-Bresson and so I humblydedicate my book to him. Take a look at my other books on my Author Page at Amazon.comhttps://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00GU143TWMy…

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Zionist

         We grew up as Zionists in New York in the years after WWII. Even though there were few Jews in our town, Pelham Manor, the few we knew were smart and decent. Micky Schwerner came from our town, went to high school with my oldest sister. He was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan…

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It’s All Bullshit

   The writer and activist, Grace Paley (RIP) was someone much admired by almost everyone in the progressive/left community. We knew her in Vermont and one day a group of us were rehashing the tribulations of the peace and freedom movements of the sixties. In response to something she said, I replied, “I am too…

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My Dove

          Auron’s nurse came into the house and said, “There is a bird in the garden. I don’t think it can fly.” Sure, enough there was a bird, a baby dove, walking around, not a new born, but not ready for the world either. Like Icarus he had fallen from the sky, from a nest…

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Raven’s Bread No 1

          Thomas Merton, in one of his many books, said something to the effect that,  “Monks are like tall trees in the forest, silently purifying the air.” The life of the contemplative centers on quiet purification through prayer.           Among the many Zen practitioners of China and Japan, the ones we know about wrote poems…

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Me and Malcolm (X)

This is a Story for You Hermano (for Luis Francia)           I have wanted to write this for so long but I get tired of my regrets and my shame of one kind or another. These days I try my best to find some shiny nuggets among the dross but mostly come up empty. I…

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The Day the Servants Left

from Ricker Winsor’s book Pakuwon City             Muslims fast during Ramadan. For a month between sun up and sun down, no water, no food. Caddies pass out on the golf course or quit after nine holes. Some don’t fast and pretend to do so. Some fast quietly. Some swoon dramatically. For the ruling class this Muslim…

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