Essay up at The Common Online!

H. Ballard Harris (Sue Repko/2002)
H. Ballard Harris (Sue Repko/2002)

I am thrilled to report that my essay, “The Bodhisattva of Route 128” is now up at The Common Online. This essay was many years in the making, recalling my meeting H. Ballard Harris, a legendary figure who lived his life north of Moab, Utah, dispensing wisdom and small talk to travelers from his gas station and gift shop on scenic Route 128. I am very grateful to The Common and, especially, to Diana Babineau, Managing Editor, for her suggestions and support to bring this to publication. Further thanks to Liz Witte, Associate Editor, and Jen Acker, Editor In Chief, for giving this essay a home at The Common. Namaste.

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Summer Reading

I got off to a pretty fast start, reading Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston) and “Master Harold… and the boys (Athol Fugard) and re-reading A Separate Peace (John Knowles) by the end of June. Then I got stuck. With the move to Maine, there were days — long days — spent packing boxes and hustling up and down steps and in and out of closets and storage areas, and then the beginning of The Great Unpacking, which continues to the present day.

I have been struggling to get through Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld for at least a year, ever since borrowing it from my friend Suzanne. I spent the past two years teaching and living at The Hill School in Pottstown, and it seemed like a book I should read, especially as I myself was experiencing life at a boarding school for the first time. But it never really grabbed me – maybe because what I needed was an escape from boarding school stories at the time? In any event, I picked it up again a few days ago and I am now making some headway; perhaps I needed some distance from the life itself.

I am especially looking forward to reading So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came To Be and Why It Endures  by Maureen Corrigan. This has become one of my favorite books to teach; so much to talk about! I am going to start digging into my office and book boxes to try and locate it right now…

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