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Fran Moreland Johns's Blog

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Restoring wetlands... animal rescue... helping small children...  there are cool causes everywhere. Then there's mine. If you want un-cool and un-sexy, here it is: death and dying. COMPASSION & CHOICES. We suggest that even if most of us are like Woody Allen -- we're not afraid of dying, we...
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Sam, an aging and extraordinarily lovable golden retriever, went for a final Old Year walk on the beach recently, and pronounced life good. Even if it's been a less than wonderful year in many ways, to have Sam's assessment of the old year, right here as the New Year arrives, is somehow...
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You can haul yourself out of the south, but it will follow in your bones. Forever. Some little inner kudzu vine will twine itself around your tendons, work its way into your heart and plant a grain of, say, Chesapeake Bay sand or Okefenokee peat that forever tilts your compass south. If you turn...
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Given my choice of leaders, not to mention character names, I'm following Hazel. I mean, could YOU convince folks like Hawkbit and Buckthorn to leave the warren for greener, umm, warrens? Or understand the wisdom of Fiver, rescue the impetuous Bigwig, or outwit the evil General Woundwort (just to...
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One day in the early 1950s my childhood buddy Ann Webb fixed me up with a blind date -- mainly so I could meet her new and very serious boyfriend/soon-to-be husband, who turned out to be Charley McDowell. From then until he died last week, Charley was at the top of my favorite-people list. He is,...
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It's a BAG RAFFLE, for heavens sakes. One does not get exercised about a fifty-cent reusable bag. Of course not. And one does not go to the grocery store to win prizes. One goes to Trader Joe's because they have those great bananas for seventeen cents each... or all those nifty gluten-free choices...
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According to the news reports, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Commonwealth Club- sponsored speech last Friday was all about drug wars in Mexico, climate change, terrorism and how to fight it, State Department stuff of note. But I thought the more interesting thing -- I was among the 48...
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Professor Bullard should stick to his trellis roses, the town said. The garden was one thing, but there are rules that must not be broken. Rules about propriety, and decency, and, well, Family. The town held tight to its rules. Right now Avery Bullard is not thinking about rules. He is strolling...
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Dishes done, table set for tomorrow’s breakfast, Madeline O’Shea climbed heavily up the stairs to her room. “G’night, dear,” her father called from his study. She did not answer. She dressed in the dark, trying not to touch herself, fat thighs and growing belly hidden within a flowing jumper she...
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Disappearing from cyberspace is a little like being a tree that falls in the forest. A very small tree. Having disappeared from cyberspace myself for a couple of weeks, I am comforted by the fact that the forest is very large. It’s not that this space disappeared, or miscellaneous other blogspaces...
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What I remember was the heat rising from the old bricks, the saltwater air, the wobbly wheels of the tricycle and the utter delight of trolling behind my sister Mimi on her larger tricycle. Joy. Abandon. Warmth and wellbeing. Dimly, the surrounding walls of the U-shaped apartment building which had...
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A Deets Shanahan Mystery
There are detectives and detectives, but there's only one Dietrich (Deets) Shanahan. I met him quite by accident, because his friend, OK creator, Ron Tierney was coming to dinner one day, not long after I married my way into San Francisco from the east coast. "Well, you'd better read one of...
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Fresh out of college in the summer of 1953, I was visiting a friend in beautiful downtown Seneca, S.C., while on the outskirts of town the Oconee County Fair was in bloom. The banner-headlined story on the front page of the local paper led off with "Big girls, little girls, 35 of Oconee County...
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The industrious Sarah Palin, having thankfully receded somewhat from front pages everywhere, has been all over cyberspace and the airwaves recently with her Tea Party appearances and her new Fox News job. There is cause for alarm. Palin is a grand master -- or perhaps mistress -- of the art of Us v...
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We thought at first it was the Germans. Thunderous explosions across the fields and front yards that stretched from our house to the college campus, smaller crashes right outside our window. “But the Germans would have to come in planes,” my sister Mimi whispered. “There haven’t been any planes.”...
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