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Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 14:40

I’m sorry, but what else can I write about today? Not drawn by the fantastical, no, not an imaginary letter to the bloat king who degrades our White House either, nor a whisper coming from the phone, not even the kindness which does come in abundance to my doorway, but me, shroud in a torn, gray sheet of helplessness, naked and invisible. I cannot fathom how many children must be gunned down before we all throw our mistempered weapons to the ground.

As I pack my lunch, gather my papers, and head to the school building, as I have done for 25 years, the morning breaks with a new woe. I don’t want to practice escaping out of my classroom due to a shooter but I don’t want to huddle in the corner either. I don’t want to practice barricading the door and ask students to find things to throw at an intruder. I don’t want to fill them with false fear, pretend they can outrun outsmart outlive 100 rounds a minute, yet I don’t want them to feel invisible in this epidemic. I can tell you anxiety in teens is a mounting concern, and the reality that schools are easy targets only worsens this predicament.

Are we all blind to the power of the N.R.A.? Do you doubt their overreaching intent? The money they stand to make each time fear pushes us back to the gun dealer? Every new assassin is crafted by this misguided organization, into one who responds to the challenges of life with murder. These lost souls seem determined to rip apart the innocence still pocketed in our classrooms, on our dance floors, movie theaters, churches, shopping malls, even our baseball fields. And yet, Senators stand in line eagerly awaiting their rating. How many will earn their high marks as we fall, bloodied, burying our little ones, time and time again? Senators quake, but not in response to these massacres, instead, they are chided by the manufacturers of the AR-15 to hold the line. You know the line. The one that insists guns don’t kill people, people do. Politicians stand shoulder to shoulder on that. All the while gun sales just go up, realizing more lobbying power. Over 3 million spent last year alone to lobby the sale of silencers and bump stocks, to ensure the passing of the conceal carry reciprocity act, and to keep mental health records out of background checks. 2017 was a banner year for those who would halt any progress toward creating a safer America. Those who should not hold a small handgun are handed an assault weapon by our politicians. Although the NRA infiltrates across party lines, it is Trump’s full endorsement and his GOP coterie who earn the A rating.  Doubt not the flow of cash to continue making guns a solution. These manufacturers intend to continue on and make all of us invisible to their directive.

Oh jeez, this is a post of dread and despair. Perhaps the whisper in the phone, turn around, would have been a better choice. Even in a whisper, I’d know that voice anywhere. Why it is my love, my life, my hope...



Turn Around..

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 14:23

"Ring.." you hear the distinct sound of a ring tone coming from your pocket. "Ring.." it comes more violently now as you reach in to your pocket. Who was it now?  You pick up the call an unkown number, its from the area code though so you decide to pick up anyways. You press it to the side of your face but, all you hear is the sound of a breeze and suttle breathing. As your about to hang up a car passes by on the phone then two muddled works were coughed out of the phone. 

"Turn around."

The caller had hung up. You look down at your phone not quite sure how to react. 

You look to the left and suddenly, as if on que, a car serves by just missing you as it crashes into a cluster of trees. The same noise you had heard over the phone. You turn you attention to behind you but, nothings there. Just more street. You stand in an odd position before you feel a jab in yout gut and you fall to the ground blackness coming in from all sides. You fall to your feet and you swear you here something in your left ear, in the same muffled voice that had come over the phone.

"You should have done it quicker..."



Two Little Words

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 14:18

Dear Mr. President,

I wish you could fix so many things, no, I wish you would fix so many things. I wish you would lower taxes for the lower and middle class, make it safer in schools for LGBT students, and I wish you would accept America's fate at this point. But, there's one thing that I shouldn’t have to ask you to fix. You should already be aware and working on mitigating this issue, but you aren’t...its climate change. Are you surprised? Just two little words that mean so much in today's world, yet you throw them out the window like trash. You laugh when respected scientists talk about it, saying how cold it is. There can't possibly be climate change when its this cold, right? But do you even know what it means. Do you fully understand that climate doesn’t just mean the rising of temperatures, but also, the melting of ice caps, rising sea levels, more extreme storms and weather, loss of habitats, and so many other things. Do you understand why its been so cold? Because of climate change and greenhouse gasses, the jet stream has been weakening, allowing the cool air from up at the north pole to travel down to your penthouse in New York and cause extreme low temperatures. Climate change doesn’t just mean global warming, so please, put on your fake tan and your overpriced suit, and get to work, because this isn't going away anytime soon. Also, we shouldn’t have to worry about how are future is going to be impacted by the decisions, or should I say, lack of decisions, that you make to help combat climate change. We shouldn't have to protest for something that almost every single scientist says exists and is a real issue. It would be so easy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and switch to renewable energy, and yet you don't, why? I mean, it's true, our world is changing, but that doesn’t mean that there's nothing you can do about. So, Mr. President, what are you going to do next?




Thank you

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 14:13

The kindest thing a stranger did for me, was save my life.
It was a long time ago, in Montreal, Canada. We were visiting the city, when a complete stranger saved my life. My five-year-old dream was to run around, and see everything. My reality was that I had to stay with my family, holding someone’s hand at all times. I wanted to feel what it was like to live in the city. To join into the hustle, and the feeling that made everyone want to run wherever they went. I wanted to explore the big buildings that reached out and touched the sky, the fast cars, the loud sounds of traffic, making me want to cover my ears. My small hands outreached, trying to feel the energy. What I felt instead was the raindrops falling from the sky, and hitting my tiny hands. I was walking with my family, when I saw this woman across the street. She was waiting to cross in my direction, with her dog, small enough to fit in her purse. I wanted to play with that dog so badly, that for a moment, I forgot that I was supposed to stay with my family, and I started to run. I ran until I got to the busy intersection, and then I ran out into the road. In my enthusiasm to reach the dog, I failed to see the giant truck headed my way. This truck was so big, and so close to me, that there was no way the driver could see a tiny little girl, dashing across the street. I was almost in front of the truck, I had almost made it into the large street, when a kind Canadian woman, swooped down, and picked me up out of the street. At the time I was furious. How could she have been so awful, to take me away from my new friend, my dog? 
But now I realize how big of an impact your actions had. You saved my life. And every time I go to Montreal, I walk into the city, and keep my eyes out for the woman who saved my life. I have no idea what she looks like. But I have always wanted to say thank you. 
So, thank you. Thank you for protecting me, when you had no idea who I was. When you pulled me out from in front of that truck, you saved my life. Thank you.



Black and White

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:58

Donald J. Trump,


You’re aiming for a black and white world.

Boys will stay boys, girls will stay girls.

You’re aiming for straight love.

A campaign to end us.

You’re aiming for a black and white world.


You sit in your tower,

Surrounded by power,

And you dictate our lives.

You tweet us the bad news,

“Military won’t have you.”

Doesn’t mean we won’t fight.


You feel free to tell us whatever you want,

When you are hidden behind a font.

With 280 characters,

you can certainly do a lot of hurt.


So you have won,

But you didn’t win our hearts.

You have won because of all the people that can get up and start,

Their day,

And feel okay.

They don’t have to worry about what all the people in their life will say.

They don’t feel dysphoria.

They feel a straight kind of love,

And they are the reason you have won.


You pull our protection.

Then you make a correction,

To the bathroom we choose.

You won’t guarantee fair pay.

Endanger us in the workplace.

Backwards in rights we’ve moved.


You feel free to hire whoever you want.

When their bad history with us is long.

With America at your feet,

you can easily spread your bigotry.


It’s insane how you can take away everything from us.

It’s a shame that you made promises and no one called your bluff.

Who’s to blame when in America we have no faith or trust?

Cause no one stopped you when naming June our month was no longer a must.


So you have won,

But you didn’t win our hearts.

You have won because of all the people that can get up and start,

Their day,

And feel okay.

They don’t have to worry about what all the people in their life will say.

They don’t feel dysphoria.

They feel a straight kind of love,

And they are the reason you have won.


You’re aiming for a black and white world.

Boys will stay boys, girls will stay girls.

You’re aiming for straight love.

A campaign to end us.

You’re aiming for a black and white world.

You’re aiming for a black and white world.


The LGBT Community




Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:38


Your mind is…  


Looking, and


Searching for something…

Familiar, and


The weather is…

Perfect for a game of catch.

Keep moving towards your goal.

Passing the traffic.

Passing pedestrians.

Passing time.

As you stop to take a breath.

A gunshot sirens through town.

People run

People scream

People panic.

Fires arise

Glass shatters.

You seek an exit…

Out of this madness.

You find a path away from the chaos…

And stat running.

Wait. A crowd is stopping you.

“Don’t go any further”.

“It’s not a known path”.

“You could get hurt”.

“They could find you easier”.

“Just stay put, and everything will be okay”.

You head back.

And try to call for help.


You feel your heart pierce

Into a million pieces.

Faster than the speed of light.


You decided to remain anonymous.

You decided to be like everyone else

You decided to be untitled.

And now you lay motionless like everyone else

With a stone on your head.



Social Media Is Dead

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:26

If all social media was shut down I think it would be a good thing people having to talk to each other instead of texting each other it would be normal. there could be people around that actually talking and being human for once. Imagine if for just one day if social media was not a thing the world wouldn't have so much cyberbullying I mean most of the people that get bullied on the internet it comes from social media just like catfishing there is more of that happening on social media. If it was shut down maybe there would be fewer suicides from people bullying a kid online have you ever wondered why there are so many suicides. I mean yes bullying still happens during school or something but cyberbullying can be way worse than regular bullying. If social media would just go away maybe teens would realize that bullying happens more then they think and more suicides happen. Maybe it would make the bullies or the people who told those kids to "go kill themselves" that it's not ok. If social media went away my life and I'm pretty sure everyone's life would be better off if it went away. Around 3 million kids are absent from school a month imagine how many of those students are absent because of social media or catfishing or cyberbullying that's a lot of kids. I honestly think that the world would be a better place if social media went away.



Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:23


Dear Mr. Trump,

Have you ever stopped to think about the people who aren’t as well off as you, the people who aren’t as wealthy, as famous, as you? The people who have to carefully plan out their month’s income to buy food and necessities. The people who crammed into tiny one bedroom apartments with five other people.  Do you realize that they are people too? One does not have to have money to be a person worth thinking about or talking to. You put yourself so high up on a pedestal and expect others to do things for you. You are so high up, that you can’t even see the people who are attending to you. In your mind, these people aren’t even people. Please, just stop and think about others who may not be as fortunate as you are when you make decisions about our country. Let the little voice in your head tell you to right decision. Think about all the lives you can change, for better or worse, Please, just take a second.



Pounding at the glass

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:14

I am turning,


I am trapped.

Tears tumble 

from red eyes.


What do you mean,

we can't go back?


Trying to contain myself

as I explode inside,

people telling me 

to keep quiet,

people have heard enough.


In an airport,

finally safe and then

she turns around 

and says that 

greencards are yesterdays problem.


I look at her, 

unable to say anything.


I have struggled and 

fought and cried 

for you to tell me 

that i am yesterdays 



I pound on the glass,

hoping to be heard,

but in that moment 

i was invisible,

one more face 

in a tragedy.



"You'll See the Dark"

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:09

"You'll See the Dark"


A trembling figure in the dark,

Falling, drowning, can't see the light; 

Final death extinguishes life's spark

Eternal blindness, lack of sight.


I'm plummeting, swiftly moving on,

To hell I go no matter how;

I know that when I am gone,

You'll see the dark that's in me now.


By Benton Cesanek

Crossroads Academy 

8th grade 


Dear Mr. President

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:09

Dear Mr. President,

You turned my world around

and upside down,

but I do not hate you.


You pulled me away from

all I loved,

but I do not hate you.


You tried to make me register

because of my religion

but I do not hate you.


You insult me to my face

every day,

but I do not hate you.


You try to tell me that 

I do not belong in this country

of "true Americans"

but I do not hate you.


You tell me that I do not 

deserve to be here,

because I could hurt 

and kill,

and still I do not hate you.


because I know what love is.

love is my friends,

my family,

my country,

my world.


I have learned to love.

And I am asking you,

Please. Learn to love.


Because the planet

will not heal itself.


Equality will not

appear out of thin air.


Because the Dreamers

deserve a home here.


Because I have rights

that apparently are not



So I am asking you,

Please. Learn to love.




I am lost

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:00

I am the one who wanders

in the galaxies 

that do their best 

to guide her.


I am the girl who 

reached out 

at the exact moment

when her country 

turned its back on her.


I am the girl 

who sings day and night,

because she knows 

that she might not 

ever get to sing 

as an adult.


I am the girl

who reads and draws,

the ink and graphite 

stains her hands like 

lifeblood for her veins.


I am the girl 

who knows and laughs,

who tries her best to please,

who wants so badly 

to be considered.


I am the girl

who wanders,

but is not lost.



I am the one who...

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 12:17

I am the one who...

I am the one who chooses my own decisions.

I am the one who knows what is right from wrong.

I am the one who has empathy for others.

I am the one who gets help to be my best.

I am the one who has dreams.

I am the one who wants to be a professional basketball player.

I am the one who takes care of others.

I am the one who is hard working.

I am the one who...

- Jakson Meffert



I am the one who has a dream.

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 11:39

I am the one who loves the outdoors,Country music,Fourwheeling,Hunting, and singing. One of my dreams are to meet Kane brownin person so I have one memory I will never forget in life,Also my biggest dream is to stop hate and racism I wanna be someone who goes to schools and talks to kids and teens about life and even though there's hate I wanna tell them it will get better I wanna be someone a little kid or teen looks back at in the future and I wanna hear them say "shes the reason I pushed through this". I just want to inspire people and kids in this world. I want to make the world a better place where people feel loved for being themselfs and i want them to say I am beautiful in every way possible. Also lastly, a nother dream of mine is to be a singer I want to go on stage with a professional singer so I can show my talent to the world,I have always wanted to join americas got talent. I am the one who has a dream. -anonomous


There's a timing for everything

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 11:31

The thoughts that run through your head every day:

Why's she staring at me?

Why do they hate me? I hardly even know them. 

Why would someone like me?

Why did my life turn out this way? 

After losing someone all those thoughts go to waste, because the only 

thoughts you're thinking is what your next step is gonna be whether if 

you take that step alone or with someone you love. Who's gonna be 

there in her/his spot. Can I even do this anymore? 

I always wanted to be that kid who has perfect grades, and still 

manages to have friends. All that time I was thinking about my future 

the present wasn't in my mind. The one I loved the most left me while I

I was so concerned with the future I didn't even know I would have. 

You take chances you don't even know you can risk. 

The things I tell/ask my self every day now:

Is this worth it? Make good choices.

I'm loved as much as I need to be filled!

Care for those that care about you too. Make sure it's real.

The things that have happened to me in life no one ever deserves, but 

since I got brought this difficult road, I'm not gonna give up because 

life is here for the journies. 




Mr. President

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 10:54

Dear Mr. President,


I am a person, so are you. I make people smile, so do you, I can be a leader, so can you. I can be a leader that makes people smile, laugh and be organized. Can you Donald Trump, make everyone happy, laughing and smiling, making everyone feel welcome. Right now you are not. Syrians are risking their lives, losing their children to the sea. All their belongings, gone. The United States is beautiful. I love it. I love the freedom and the happiness. One thing I don't love. All around us people are fighting. Physically, emotionally. Nobody can end it. If I start a GoFundMe for a child in Syria who lost their parents to disease and is sick themselves, I can make a difference. A small, small difference. But you Mr. President, you can make a big difference. A 7th grader who lives in a small Vermont town can too, not as big, but I can make one too. Right now you are not making a difference. You could make people happy, everyone can. You could give millions of people a home. But you don't. Don't build a wall. Let them into America. We all have a home, give yours to the people who don't, make them know that you love them. I know you can hear them, it's in the news everyday, knock your mental wall down and open your doors. Be a leader Mr. President. I will too.


I am the one who wants to succeed

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 10:53

I am the one who wants to succeed,

To never follow in footsteps but create my own path,

Wear my own shoes, and even tie them too.

The treads leave a lasting mark on the earth

An imprint of where I’ve been

And a telling of where I’ll go.


I am the one who wants to succeed

My journey into the world will be perilous

I anticipate how my breath will run thin.

As I hike up the hills toward each goal  

And my shoes will slip and trip my legs

On the way to the invisible but powerful finale.


I am the one who wants to succeed

Though at times I’ll beg for the strength to quit,

These shoes have tough treads to navigate,

They guide me as I venture on

Even giving a soft kick when necessary

To be inspired by everything.


I am the one who wants to succeed.

In boots, in sneakers, even heels

With buckles and straps

And velcro on those lazy days.

I put on the shoes, they direct me,

But I am the one who wants to succeed.    



Seen, Not Heard.

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 10:52

I am the one who is seen but not heard. Step by step I walk through the halls of this high school. Step by step I walk through this town I call my home. Step by step I make my way to the top of the hill every morning just to be seen but not heard. A feeling of urge rushes through me to say all the words this world needs to hear. Stop focusing on the screens, stop manipulating each other, use the kind words that were brought here for a reason. Day after day we grow to hate ourselves more. This world is filled with people who spend all day staring at a screen in their own agony sending messages to each other to spread hate instead of looking at each other making one another feel loved and protected. We replace beautiful with ugly. We say attention craver instead of brave soul. We never express enough gratitude for one another because everyone is now envious instead of proud. This world has changed so much in ways we don’t even understand because all we know is the hate we have for one another and the jealousy we got along the way. I am the one who sits at a table writing about the world and how much it needs to change but in all reality I can’t do anything about it because I am only seen, not heard.


Nothing is ever over.

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 10:28

The room was cold, dark, and...I think...lonely? Yes, there was loneliness in this room. It wasn't something I could see or touch, but I knew that what had been here before me had never left here. 

Blood. There was so much blood. The floor was stained with it, almost glowing crimson. How did I know there was blood? The room is completely dark. I suppose that, just like the loneliness, I just knew. I could feel it. 

My phone began to ring. Why do I have my phone? Then, it came back to me. I had been on the bench in Greenwood Park, when suddenly, I felt a hand over my mouth, followed by a stinging pain in my neck. I know I had turned around. I know I had seen him, but...I can't remeber, god dammit I can't remember! The phone was still ringing. I picked it up. A voice on the other end was whispering to me. It was the voice of a man, old, likely sick by the sound of his cough. "Turn around," the voice said. I slowly turned. A door that must have been there the whole time unlatched and opened. A bright light entered the 4 ft by 4 ft room. Once my eyes adjusted, I saw him, and I remebered why I was here. 



Dear Mr. President

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 10:27

Dear Mr. President,

Listen to the voices.  Listen to your people whose lives are in your hands.  Do not be rash, do not let your anger carry our voices away.  Listen to the protests, do not build a wall.  Do not separate us from the world, connections are the solution, not the problem.  Mr. President, do not take our people away.  The America we live in was built by immigrants; would you have us undo our history?  Do not use foul language to describe our people; every person deserves the same respect as yourself, no matter their gender or ethnicity.  Do not wage war, use compromise and trust.  Dear Mr. President, please remember: without the people's agreement, walls will crumble.  No one person, no matter how important, can tame the public.  Listen to the voices.  Let them guide you.






Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 10:26

I walk out twenty minutes early, the cold wind pushed against my hair, in front of my eyes, the lights of Main street destracted me from some of the nervousness creeping up on me.  I couldn't see the traffic only the lights coming near me, even white cars were black, I crossed the street skipping some of the white lines.  The stone of the old building was rough and sharp to the touch, but that wasn't what I was thinking about.  I couldn't stop thinking about the beautiful girl meeting me there, I couldn't tell if she made her hair more beautiful than usual for me or not, but if it was for me it worked.  about ten minutes of waiting I saw her walk up to the door of the movie theatre, that moment was one of the scariest in my life, butterflies flew wildly in my chest.  My first date.



The Phone Call

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 10:10

I was walking home through town when it happened. It was 8:30 at night, already getting dark. I was at Taylor park and my phone rang. I took it out of my pocket to look who was calling. It said no caller ID. Confused I answered, "Hello," The voice on the other end was scratchy and deep. "Turn around." It said. I slowly turn around. I don't see anyone. I Walk a little faster now. My phone rings again. No caller ID. "What do you want." I say through the phone. "You shouldn't be walking alone. There are some dangerous people out there." Replied the voice. I hung up again. I dialed my mom's number and called. There was no ring, I look at my phone. No service. How was there no service in the middle of town, I always had service here. I start to run down to a store so there are others to protect me, but then I see him. There was a man sprinting towards me about 50 yards back. I didn't need any confirmation, I knew it was the man on the phone. I turned and ran, not towards the stores but towards home, a whole mile away. I get about halfway and have to stop to catch my breath. Turning around my phone rings a third time. My shaking hands bring the phone up to my ear. "Your faster than I thought, but that doesn't matter. I'll be right there. You won't escape me." The voice was worse now that I knew it wasn't a prank call. Every word sending shivers up my spine. I turned to run again. But on the road coming towards me was a white van. As it was getting closer I realized the driver was the man on the phone. He flashed his ugly, toothy grin. I ran the other way, away from the safety of my house. The van was catching up. I turned and cut through someones lawn. Then cutting back a was on track again for my house. I got home safely and called the police. They said it was probably the armed robber that had just robbed the bank and I was lucky to be alive. A day later they caught him and I was safe.




Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 09:59

I walk.

All around me there is silence.

I feel alone.

What have I done, so horrible, I cannot attone?

All around they talk.

I try and join, but am greeted by silence.

I am a ghost.

I am not here.

I am as a thought upon the air,

Invisible but everywhere.

My world is black and white.

A fact I cannot fight.

I see a light. Floating in the mist.

It flickers gently, a beacon.




I walk towards it.






The Masked man

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 09:27

It was a normal day, I was in the kitchen making breakfast and my dad was in the garage doing chores. My mom was out of town on business travel and all the sudden my phone started to ring. I just figured it was my mom calling or my dad wanted some help in the garage. So I answered the phone and a voice was saying

“Get out now before it’s too late” the mysterious voice said

Just then when the voice said that I heard somebody behind me saying

“turn around little girl”

So I turned around and nothing was their but in the corner of my eye I saw a figure wearing a mask. So I turned back around thinking it was just my imagination playing tricks on me, or my dad was trying to pull a prank on me. But then my phone rang again and to be honest I was scared to answer it but I did anyways, and this time it was a different person saying

“Whatever you do don’t turn around and don’t go into the basement.”

Then once again I heard the sound saying

“Turn around little girl,” but this time I turned around and saw the door to the basement wide open and I know that I wasn’t open before, so I went to the basement not thinking about what the person on the phone said. I just wanted to figure out what was going on. When I went into the basement I was thinking that my dad needed something

“Dad, Dad?” I yelled

Then I heard a loud BANG I quickly turned around then in the corner of my eye I saw something standing there, looking at me. It was floating like a ghost. I didn’t know what it was I started to walk over to it and when I got close enough I could see that the figure was wearing a mask and that was the last thing that I saw.  



To the president

Submitted by Writer on Thu, 02/15/2018 - 08:10

Dear Mr. Trump,

Do not go to war. At all. War is stupid. I know that's how grown adults handle things: if we want something, we blow each other up. But don't. No war. We are all on the same rock.




The Fisherman

Submitted by Writer on Wed, 02/07/2018 - 14:04

When I was eight years old, I got my first fishing rod and reel. Since my birthday was in September, and fishing season was essentially over, I had to wait through fall and winter before I got a chance to try it out. For real. 

On opening day, my mom fixed my brothers and I egg salad sandwiches and carrot sticks and, the treat, an individually wrapped Hostess cupcake. She drove us down to the lake and let us loose and said to call when we'd had enough. Since it was a small town and everyone knew us, it was never hard to knock on someone's door and ask to use a phone. Yes, no cell phones back then.

I remember that it was unusually warm, that there were bugs out, and that I was spending most of my time trying to unravel my rod from the tree branches near the edge of the lake. I don't remember, but can imagine, that my brothers didn't have a lot of patience for that and left me be while they, successfully, pulled several trout out of the lake.

At lunch time we sat on an open rock in the sunshine and enjoyed our food, particularly the cup cake, and then talked about where we would go next. We decided to walk along the shore, through the woods, to a small stream that spilled out into the east side of the lake and when we got there we found several other fishermen. My brothers dispersed and I, well, I launched my lure into the trees.

I was, at this point, getting pretty frustrated and a kindly man, decked out in a fishing hat and vest and a nice looking fancy fishing rod came over to me as I was sitting, on an old log, trying to untangle the line. 

He suggested that I just cut the line and save the lure. He then helped me rethread the line through the eyelits and he put on the end a hook. He then told me to look away.

"I've got some magic bait here and I don't want you to see what I'm using," he said, with a smile. By this time, my brothers, ever protective, had returned and then told me to look away. 

"I'll go ahead and cast it for you," the man said, and when he was done, he told me to turn around. He handed me the rod. "Now I bet you'll have a fish on there in no time."

And I did.

In a matter of seconds. I still remember the sense of my heart leaping into my throat, the excitement as he guided me on how to pull the fish in, "keep the line taut, that's it, that's it" and I walked along the shore a bit, down to a flat part by the stream and a rock and by then the fish was close. It was big. At least to me.

And the man handed me a net and I reached in the water real close and pulled out my fish, my first ever fish, and I was beaming as I looked at my brothers and the man who said, "I told you my bait was magic," he said, "but I've never seen anyone catch one as fast as you did!"

From then on I was, well, hooked on fishing. 

And it was many years later that my brothers told me what the real magic of the bait was -- a fish he had just caught and put on my line. 

I still thank him for it in my mind, though to this day I have no idea who he was. He was a stranger.