Short Stories

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Short Stories2018-12-02T10:37:25+00:00

Calabasitas

By Chas McNamara Riding the train back to my hometown, I’m holding a photo of my friends and me with my uncle Mando standing behind us. How carefree we were back then, close-knit and full of love for one another. Mando is happy and bursting with life in the photo. This is how I want to remember him. I’ll place this photo on the altar at his grave for our Day of the Dead picnic. In August he succumbed to old age and the unmerciful heat of the Chihuahuan Desert. He was seventy. November third will be the first Dia De Los Muertos when my family will remember and honor his spirit. The celebration of his life has drawn me back to the place I grew up wanting to leave. I hold the photo to my chest, watching the desert streak by, recalling how I dreaded becoming a copper miner like everyone else and how I wanted to escape the desert heat. It was intolerable. After high school I left Arizona hopping freight trains heading east toward Las Cruces, working in fields and sleeping outdoors. I ended up in Santa Fe working as a waiter. It’s been eight years. When [...]

By |October 6th, 2018|0 Comments

The Secret Hedge School

A hedge school (Irish names include scoil chois claí, scoil ghairid and scoil scairte) were small informal illegal schools, particularly in 18th- and 19th-century Ireland designed to secretly provide the rudiment of primary education to Catholic children. Under the penal codes imposed by the British, the Catholic Church in Ireland was not allowed to have schools. Instead Catholics set up highly informal secret operations that met in private homes. Historians generally agree that they provided a kind of schooling, occasionally at a high level, for up to 400,000 students by the mid-1820s. J. R. R. Adams says the hedge schools testified “to the strong desire of ordinary Irish people to see their children receive some sort of education.” Antonia McManus argues that there “can be little doubt that Irish parents set a high value on a hedge school education and made enormous sacrifices to secure it for their children....[the hedge schoolteacher was] one of their own”. The Hedge School Magazine    

By |December 4th, 2017|0 Comments

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