The Only Thing I’ve Ever Won by sean dietrich

When I was in sixth grade, Mrs. Doerkson, my teacher, submitted my work to the Regional Creative Writing Contest. They accepted me. And, I took first place in age-eleven category. It was the only thing I’d ever won, and Mrs. Doerkson was as proud as anyone on this planet. She took me out for ice […]

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Grandad’s Buick by sean dietrich

My grandfather liked to give bits of quirky advice. While driving his Buick, he’d fling out nonsensical folk-sayings and leave me scratching my head. He’d say things like, “Don’t go to sleep with your hair wet, you’ll get a neck-ache.” Another: “Blood is thicker than water, but molasses is thicker than blood, and peanut butter […]

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People by sean dietrich

I love people. Big ones, small ones, young ones, and elderly ones. Especially the elderly ones. Also: tall people, short folk, skinny, normal-sized, smart, and mentally slow people. I think I like slow people best. If you’re simple enough to notice their wisdom, you’ll find they’re brilliant. I also enjoy outdoorsmen – but I like outdoorswomen […]

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Tarheel by sean dietrich

It was two in the morning on Highway 301 when mother totaled our car. We were bound for Sumter, South Carolina, when I saw a buck wander into the road. A Conway Twitty song played on the radio, and mother’s speedometer was clocking eighty-five when she hit him. I don’t remember much after that, but […]

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Nintey-One Years by sean dietrich

I have an elderly friend who lives at The Magnolia House, in Quincy, Florida. She’s ninety-one years old, and she’s adopted me as her surrogate grandson. I go visit her from time to time. But not as often as either of us would like. “You know,” she said once. “It takes twenty years to figure out […]

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My Friend’s Mom by sean dietrich

As a young boy, my friend had a beautiful mother. Us neighborhood boys thought she was the best thing since canned peaches. It might’ve been her long blonde hair, or her brown cow eyes. Either way, any of us would’ve gladly filled in for her husband. My friend’s mother was famous for more than just […]

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One-Upmanship by sean Dietrich

I have a friend who’s a terrible conversationalist, because of a certain bad habit. You might know the kind of person I’m talking about. My friend is a one-upper. Here’s how it goes: If you wake up at six. He got up at four. If you exercise. He took second place in the Ironman. If it’s […]

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Think Before You Speak by sean dietrich

You need to think before you speak,” my friend’s mother once told me. That’s code for: you’re a bigmouth. She was right. I had a bad habit of saying things. I used too many words, at too high of volume. Too often. I’ve always had a big mouth. I inherited it biologically from my mother. […]

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Annual Exam by sean dietrich

One of my friends is a vet. We were good friends as young men. We rooted for the same teams and even liked the same kinds of girls. Which was a big problem. Because as it turns out, he was the attractive one. And I was his opening act. My buddy has more money than […]

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Mary by sean dietrich

Growing up in Brewton was marvelous,” said my mother-in-law, Mary. “We had wonderful childhoods before technology came along.” Miss Mary talks like an Alabaman, drawing out her vowels. To me, Mary sounds like a Vivien Leigh recording. Played at half-speed. “Our town was very rural,” Miss Mary said. “And uppity at the same time. That’s […]

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