Selective Focus: Holidays

Paul McIntyre

Paul McIntyre, untitled

As I have little to add to the vast literature surrounding this holiday, I can only recommend one of my favorites: Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory.” His own reading of this short story used to be a staple this time of year on Minnesota Public Radio. I have no idea why they’ve departed from playing it, but here is a link to a 2006 This American Life episode that includes a tear-defying excerpt: Episode 255

Next Friday will be the first day of 2016, and as U2 once said, “Nothing changes on New Year’s Day.” Let’s see images of things that remain, of people and places that endure (or ones we at least hope will). The theme will be “constant.” Send your unwatermarked, signature-less images by Wednesday at 11:59 p.m to tim @ — 1000px at their largest dimension — along with title (if any), and URL of your website, Facebook page, Tumblr, or Flickr stream, or Instagram.

Mandie Johnson

Mandie Johnson, “Cousins”

Lane R. Ellis

Julie Ahasay, “Lane and Bruce’s Annual Bentleyville Excursion, 2009”

Kate Fowler

Kate Fowler, “Scary Santa, Berlin”

holidays1 cheryl

Cheryl Reitan, untitled

Cheryl Reitan

Cheryl Reitan, “Rome, Lights”

Cheryl Reitan

Cheryl Reitan, untitled

Marie Zhuikov

Marie Zhuikov, untitled

Aaron Reichow

Aaron Reichow, untitled

Terry Gydesen

Terry Gydesen, untitled

Alison Aune

Alison Aune, “Pepperkakebyen”

Chuck Avery

Chuck Avery, untitled

Aaron Reichow

Aaron Reichow, “Reindeer Games”

Aaron Reichow

Aaron Reichow, “Christmas Eve”

1 Comment

Tony D.

about 8 years ago

Tim, you are relatively new to Duluth, so  I'm betting this is news to you: Until 2013, for decades UMD's Joseph Maiolo, who taught fiction writing and various literature classes at UMD (and was also a master of the short story, having learned the craft from Peter Taylor himself), read Capote's "A Christmas Memory" during the last week of classes before Christmas break, the last dozen or so of those years at the Weber. Joe was a native of West Virginia who grew up in Virginia's Cumberland Mountains. Despite moving to Duluth in 1976, Joe's voice maintained its smooth southern drawl throughout most of his life; consequently, his reading of Capote's story was to us Duluthians, ironically, a much more "authentic" reading of the story than Capote's own high-pitched, nasally version. Sadly, Joe developed ALS, and the first thing affected were the muscles in his throat.  Before he passed away a year ago this past autumn, he could no longer speak.

Luckily for us, KUMD recorded his reading of Capote's story a few years ago. They aren't airing it this year, but it is available online. And if anyone is interested in learning more about Joe, there is biographical info on the Overcoat Books website.

Tim, thanks for creating this opportunity to share Joe's reading with the PDD community. I highly recommend it to everyone. And thanks for providing the opportunity for me to remember a dear friend and mentor; you've given me an unexpected Christmas gift.

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