The Thirty-Eight Year Day (Repost)

I had written the following as the preface for my fictional crime novel The Pub on Trinity Street, and then decided to skip a preface and incorporate the material directly into chapter one. However, the former preface seems to be a short story unto itself. Thus we have:
The Thirty-Eight Year Day
January 30th, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy-Two, was a Sunday. The Pub on Trinity Street, in the southern port city of Baltimore, Maryland, was open for business; playing host to the normal Sunday in winter gathering. A few dart players in the back; one or two alcoholics sequestered at the far end of the downstairs bar, addressing the numb from the cold with the numbing of the soul; and five regulars seated at the middle of the downstairs bar, caring less about the drinks, than someone to talk to. The Milwaukee Bucks would top the Baltimore Bullets 116 to 112; which meant the after game crowd would be arguing the outcome at the smaller upstairs bar over pints and the smack-clang of the shuffleboard. Don McLean’s song American Pie was in its third week as Billboard magazine’s Hit 100 Number One. And the Sunday paper said Steve McQueen was dating Ali MacGraw.

At approximately four o’clock Greenwich Mean Time, 3,278.56 miles across the Atlantic from The Pub on Trinity Street, in a place referred to in the press as Londonderry, Northern Ireland, shots were fired, ending the quiet. Within 40 minutes, thirteen humans would be dead and fourteen would be injured; one to die later. The world would wait thirty-two years to hear that none of those killed were armed. However the Lord Widgery inquiry is future tense; as is the apology for the killings made by British Prime Minister David Cameron on June 15, 2010, “What happened should never have happened.”

The news of Bloody Sunday reached The Pub on Trinity Street one hour and fifteen minutes later. The lights would stay on long after Sam yelled ‘last call’; with a handful of patrons now lost in thought, silently contemplating their beers.

Just no one could have known how long before the glow from those lights would go out in the lives of some of the contemplators. Long after The Pub on Trinity Street shuttered its windows for the last time by burning to the ground, and then eventually becoming a mere speck of dust in the memory of those Sunday sports fans who had argued the outcome of the Milwaukee Bucks-Baltimore Bullets game at the upstairs bar on January 30th in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy-Two.
The Thirty-Eight Year Day and The Pub on Trinity Street are works of fiction; there was no establishment in Baltimore, Maryland called The Pub on Trinity Street.

The Thirty-Eight Year Day and The Pub on Trinity Street are copyrighted Steven S. Walsky, all rights reserved. Parts of these manuscripts have been adopted from Through a Strangers Eyes, copyright 2005 Steven S. Walsky.

Only 15 cents (Haiku)

Pictures from the past
Thus memories do survive
At just fifteen cents!

(only fifteen cents, © Steven S. Walsky, November 2018.)

Simplicity Lane Truism Haikus are snippets of the world around us that we should think about when developing characters, and the physical and mental atmospheres.

Building Blocks (vintage regional snacks)

A food choice is an iatrical part of both the character’s personality and the story environment. As writers, we need to use both regional and international foods to paint the picture. However, we must always keep in mind the regional and historical applicability of the item. For example, a person desiring a coddie would most likely indicate that Baltimore, Maryland figures into the character’s present or past environment. What are some vintage snacks that fit your story line?

Coddie: A snack food particularly popular in Baltimore, Maryland, since becoming available commercially there in1910. They used to be sold everywhere, from drugstores to bowling alleys, and they were very cheap; “the poor man’s crab cake”. A 5 ¢ coddie on a saltine cracker with mustard was a real treat. This Baltimore tradition can get sideways looks from people who ask if you mean cod cakes; nope, cod cakes are a different animal entirely.

Moon Pie: The snack is often associated with the cuisine of the American South. Since 1917 Moon Pies have been made by the Chattanooga Bakery, Inc. in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They are traditionally accompanied by an RC Cola.

RC Cola: Royal Crown Cola, is a cola-flavored soft drink developed in 1905 by Claud A. Hatcher, a pharmacist in Columbus, Georgia, and is known as the ‘campaign of the South’. In the 1950s, Royal Crown Cola and Moon Pies were a popular “working man’s lunch” in the American South.

S-shaped Soft Pretzel: The S-shaped soft pretzel, often served with brown mustard, became iconic in Philadelphia. It was established as a part of Philadelphia’s cuisine for snacking at school, work, or home, and considered by most to be a quick meal. In the late 18th century, southern German and Swiss German immigrants settling in Pennsylvania introduced the pretzel to North America. Many handmade pretzel bakeries populated the central Pennsylvania countryside, speeding the pretzel’s popularity.

Fried Cheese Curds: Cheese curds, a uniquely Wisconsin delicacy, are formed as a by-product of the cheese-making process.

Poutine: Quebec, Canada, has their own popular way of eating cheese curds called Poutine; a French-Canadian recipe in which French fries are topped with cheese curds and gravy.

Beignets: Beignets are commonly known in New Orleans as a breakfast served with powdered sugar on top. They were brought to New Orleans in the 18th century by French colonists, and were declared the official state doughnut of Louisiana in 1986.

Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.