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Posts Tagged ‘Sherry Wachter’


…and we’ve made it as easy as possible to do so. Presenting The Mac-Hi Pioneers 2013 Football Team Roster and Cookbook (with Cheerleaders!) Buy one for yourself. Buy a couple for the grandparents. Don’t forget the aunts and uncles. The neighbors. The nice people at your church. This is your chance to score a great keepsake and support the football and cheerleading programs at McLoughlin High School, all in one easy step. Jam-packed with stunning photos of the Pioneers and cheerleaders in action as well as tasty recipes donated by the team, this beautiful, fun little book makes a perfect keepsake for your very own Pioneer—and anyone who loves him (or her). 

bookfaceThis is probably one of the less expected fundraising ideas you’ll see for a football team.  And yet it should really be a no-brainer. Anyone who has ever watched a football player power through a meal after a hard practice will understand exactly how the idea for this book happened. Football players:  Food. They just go together.

So that’s one part of the reason behind this book. Here’s the second: Helmets. Football players wear helmets, which is where those big numbers come in that you’ll find on each player’s page. Those numbers allow us proud parents in the stands to know when our precious child, the child who (as I frequently remind my own precious child) we mothers labored for hours to bring into the world, is being Badly Done By by boys who are far, far too large to be playing against our sons. Opposing teams are, by definition, Too Big. Always. Helmets make it both easier and harder because while we depend on the numbers to tell us which boys are ours, we all know that the boys on the field are far more than numbers. They are our sons. And they have faces.

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Which is why, for each player for whom it was humanly possible, we included a close-up as well as an action image based on as one of Sharon Herndon Harwood’s fabulous game photographs. These are our sons. Here are their faces. These are the foods they like. And these are their friends, the boys with whom they train, and then, on game days, walk onto the field, and then, win or lose, the boys with whom they walk off the field.

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By now you’re probably wondering why a mother who has such very mixed feelings about football would go to the trouble of putting together a book like this, particularly since my son isn’t even playing football this year (he’s in band, where the competitions take place in music halls rather than on muddy fields). I’ll be honest: when my son came home in middle school and said he was going to go out for football I came very, very close to telling him ‘no.’ But I didn’t, and now I’m glad.

Over the years, I’ve come to see that football is about a lot more than just what happens on game days. It’s about learning to adopt and keep a regimen. It’s about training, training, training. It’s about honing a skill, about pushing yourself beyond where you think you can go. It’s about learning to lose–and win–with grace, honor, dignity, and honesty. Not that it always happens that way; football is a discipline, and football players are works in progress. But when I watch the games I see that that’s the key: they do progress. They get better.

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But football is more than just a regimen; it’s also a brotherhood (our team is all boys, so I can use that term without fear of political incorrectness). And that brotherhood survives. Though my son doesn’t play this year, he wanted to keep the annual Birthday Pizza Party we’ve had each October because though he’s not playing, football is still an important part of his life.

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And that right there is why this book happened–because though my son isn’t on the field this year, boys he has played beside for the last few years are. Football is important–sports in general are important. They’re worth supporting. Because those are our children out there.

And so this book, to give us parents a chance to gloat over our beautiful children, to marvel at the pageantry of a game–and it is a pageant–and to try out a whole teamful of recipes. Books are available from CreateSpace now, and will be available locally after October 16 (Lord willing and the creek don’t rise), and on Amazon. This makes a great gift for grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends–and since the book can be purchased online delivery is simple. Christmas is coming, folks–get a book…feed the team…

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Little Mountain, by Bob Sanchez, is a deceptively simple book. On the face of it, it’s a detective story–Cambodian-born policeman Sambeth Long is tasked with solving a murder in the Cambodian-American community in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the last decade of the twentieth century.

At first glance this would seem like a simple task; Long is himself a transplanted Cambodian. He speaks the language. Moreover, he understands the culture and values of his primary witnesses and suspects. To make things even simpler there are multiple witnesses, and Detective Long has a very good idea who did the killing.

And that’s where things start getting complicated. The witnesses won’t talk. The murdered man appears to have ties to the prison camp in which Sam Long was held as a child.  Detective Long must unravel a mystery that forces him to confront his childhood imprisonment and the loss of his family, even as it endangers the new family he has created in America.

Little Mountain is a tale of two Sambeth Long’s–Cambodian child, and American policeman. In writing this book Sanchez does more than just write a pretty darned good detective story that continues to surprise to the last page: He evokes a Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, as well as the complexity of integrating its refugees into American culture.

This book challenges easy assumptions, and reminds us that we all come with a history, and understanding each others’ separate pasts is vital to understanding our shared present.

Little Mountain is available from Amazon in both Kindle and paperback.

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Big changes around here. After an absence of going on twenty years, I find myself back in the classroom teaching writing courses. It’s been several weeks now, and I’m remembering what I loved about teaching. I have the opportunity to meet with a diverse, fascinating group of people each week and talk about thinking logically and persuasively–and then putting those thoughts down in concrete form. Each time I start a class, I find myself awed by the effort people put into showing up for night school each week–and I remember again how important it is to make each class worth their time and money. I do love teaching.

The other thing I love about it is the boost it gives to my own writing. The first assignment students usually get in a class like this is a descriptive essay. My classes are no different. I asked them to write about “Home,” and what it meant to them. I had meant it to be a fairly straightforward, simple exercise. It turned into a fabulous “getting acquainted” experience. Suddenly people all over the room were thinking of what “home” was to them–and what it wasn’t.

It got me thinking about my own “home,” and what it means–and how my concept of what a “home” is has shaped my decision to stay in a house that isn’t my dream house, in a town that isn’t my dream town, simply because to my son, it’s home. He has roots here. And when he’s grown up with kids of his own, I want him to be able to bring them ‘home.’ He can’t do that if I keep searching for the house I’ve always longed for. For me, the time to find the dream house in which to make my home seems to have passed. Too much living has happened here. Too much laughter, too much tears. Home has happened while I wasn’t looking.

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I’m so very pleased. The Story Circle Network, a wonderful writing organization for  women writers, chose to review The Very Good Dog. The original Very Good Dog, of course, has become The Magic Dog (see? There’s his picture both in the masthead, and in the book illustration.) I’ll be posting the review on my “Reviews” page shortly, but for now, here’s the link to Story Circle Network’s review. If you don’t know about this organization, you should. It’s one of the best online writers’ organizations in which I’ve ever participated. If you’re a woman who likes to write (or if you know a woman who likes to write, and you’re scrambling for a great way to say “I love you,” consider a membership at SCN. You could do far worse.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to purchase a Very Good Dog of your own, you can buy it here, on amazon.

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