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Black Lamb

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Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.

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Archive for the 'Albright' Category

It’s in their bones

May 1st, 2007

BY ALAN ALBRIGHT

godzilla-copy.jpg“How do you explain these things?” I asked my neighbor, a nine-year-old creationist. Dinosaurs, for instance.

“Easy,” he answered. “God created them with all the rest, three thousand years ago.”

Curiosities for our entertainment, doubtless, judging by the enthusiastic way folks poke through the sands of the Peace River, looking for the teeth of alleged gigantic sharks of yore. Up the way, in Mulberry, tourists can admire quite a variety of old bones at the little Phosphate Museum.

“A joke,” Joe commented with a chuckle. “I could take you to a place where there are mastodon tusks as long as this house.”

Joe had retired from a long career in the phosphate industry and knows “Bone Valley” as well as the proverbial back of his hand. He told me all about it over beer at his daughter’s birthday party, a cook-out.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Albright | Link to this Entry

A good chuckle

April 1st, 2007

BY ALAN ALBRIGHT

weddingcake.jpgMy friend Alan appeared, sleepy-eyed, at the door. I’d just rousted him out of bed.

“Doing anything today?” I asked.

“Well…” he said.

“Could you make me a ring?”

I knew he could, and would — his jeweler’s equipment being right there — so in I walked, invited by now of course, and watched him cut a piece of brass wire, bend it around a mandril, and braze it into the conventional form. It took about three minutes.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Albright, All Marriage Issue | Link to this Entry

Sunset

March 1st, 2007

BY ALAN ALBRIGHT

sunset.jpg“With a kid,” my brother said, “you know it’s going to get better, but….”

That was during Dad’s last years with Alzheimer’s — although my brother might as well have been talking about all of us old fogeys down here in Florida, where the theme song is “What’s next?”

While our friends up north get all excited about the latest symptoms of global warming, we listen to ambulances race by, wondering where, exactly, they are going to stop. Florida may well submerge again, but we’re not worried about it.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Albright | Link to this Entry

The hardest thing

November 1st, 2006

BY ALAN ALBRIGHT

The sun filters through those tall, coastal redwoods whose scale makes you feel as though you were a kid again, living amongst giants. Matilda and I pulled into Big Sur, found a campsite amidst the redwoods. Followed our rituals. The facilities were in good order, although out back there was a passle of young teenagers smoking up a storm. Didn’t need to hear them to know where they came from. But I asked anyway… in French.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Albright, All Smoking & Drinking Issue | Link to this Entry

Dancing electrons

March 1st, 2006

BY ALAN ALBRIGHT

My father’s hobby was photography, his college major was art — and the next thing you know Dad found himself behind the camera filming commercials for the new postwar television industry. We grew up on Kookla, Fran and Ollie, Hopalong Cassidy, and the rest, with winks at Ipana toothpaste, Noxema, and Cover Girl. My sister and I sat in the Peanut Gallery, Dad got me a few jobs in the industry — and that was television for us.

“Stay away from it,” Zollie Vidor recommended. He was one of the star cameramen for MPO, the summer I spent working on set as a go-fer. “There’s too much money and it’ll wreck your life. Mine is a mess!”

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Albright, All Television Issue | Link to this Entry

The boys are getting rowdy

December 1st, 2004

BY ALAN ALBRIGHT

Graves Kaserne, Aschaffenburg, Germany
Christmas, 1967

The Russians, we were told, had 55 armored tank divisions, ready to roll over the Czech border into Germany and flatten us like pancakes.

It was at the end of a long day and I was in the midst of a nice hot shower when I heard all the shouting: “Alert! Alert!”

So it was back into uniform and off to the motor pool to rev up the ambulance and follow the others out into the middle of the woods somewhere. Then the long wait in the dark and cold until the higher-ups gave us the word that we could stop pretending.

This was a game we’d play about once a month, with variations. For me, that eventually meant driving a deuce-and-a-half truck and making coffee for the officers, instead of snoozing in the back of an ambulance.

We weren’t really worried, because the real thing was happening far, far away in Vietnam, where we definitely didn’t want to be.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Albright, All Christmas Issue | Link to this Entry

On location

September 1st, 2003

BY ALAN ALBRIGHT

We were sitting around the table, someone said something stupid, and we all chuckled nervously. After all, we were on camera. But later, the editor made the most of it and turned our discomfort into quite something else in an episode in which, after all, truth is in the mind of the beholder.

Making movies was my father’s profession — commercials, to be exact — and so this rewriting of reality was more than familiar to me, the importance of appearances in our Midwestern culture. “If you want to be successful in life," Dad would say, "comb your hair a hundred strokes a day.”

“What’s going on here?” I asked the man suited, head to toe, in thick rubber. He was standing, out of sight, behind the sink where we’d just recorded the cheer of a simulated housewife, washing dishes with some product or other. I suddenly remembered she’d been wearing rubber gloves, too.

“You probably thought,” the man told me, “that it was water pouring into that sink where all those cruddy dishes became miraculously clean.” He paused for effect.

“Well?” I asked.

“Sulfuric acid,” he said with a smile.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Albright, All Movie Issue | Link to this Entry

Remarkable flutes

June 1st, 2003

fluteplayerBY ALAN ALBRIGHT

“What are we going to do about this?”

Steve was an old family friend, sick of driving a cab around New York, and rarin’ to go. I’d loaned him a copy of George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff’s Meetings with Remarkable Men and he was referring to its last chapter: “The Material Question.”

What to do in late 1969? In the midst of the Vietnam War, the wake of the civil rights agitation… and a sometimes chemically tinged New Age.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Albright, All Book Issue, Books and Authors | Link to this Entry

Author profile

December 1st, 2002

Alan Albright retired from a checkered career ranging from teaching English to young gangmembers in Chinatown to selling bamboo flutes on the streets of Greenwich Village. After a nomadic existence, including ten years in France and seven years exploring the U.S. in an RV, he has become a “snowbird,” dividing his time between a little Canadian island in the Bay of Fundy and an RV park in the Florida swamp. His website is http://www.win.net/~pelerin. His Black Lamb column is called Wayfarin’ Stranger.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Albright | Link to this Entry

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