Archive - April 2011

1
RPCV Paul Violi, a Poet Both Wry and Sly, Dies at 66
2
Remembering Sarge Shriver from Debre Markos, Ethiopia
3
Well known (little known) RPCV writer
4
Shriver's Last Great Peace Corps Speech
5
Review of Gloryland by Shelton Johnson (Liberia 1982-84)
6
The Caddie Who Won The Masters, A New Novel by John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64)
7
An RPCV'S Version of the Peace Corps Sit-In
8
RPCVs Sit-In at the Peace Corps
9
Making Peace with the World is Published
10
March 2011 Peace Corps Books

RPCV Paul Violi, a Poet Both Wry and Sly, Dies at 66

RPCV Poet Paul Violi (Nigeria 1966-67) died of cancer on April 2, 2011, writes William Grimes in an obituary published on April 15 in The New York Times. Grimes says: “Violi was a poet with an easy, conversational style and satiric bent who reworked arcane historical verse forms and invented his own in poems that mimicked glossaries, errata slips, travel brochures and cover letters.” In a Peace Corps Writers.org review written by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65) of Violi’s collection, Selected Accidents, Pointless Anecdotes published by Hanging Loose Press in 2002, Mueller wrote, “If you need to laugh at the absurdity of life during these dark days, I recommend that you run out and purchase this edgy, hilarious book by Paul Violi. But be forewarned: don’t expect frivolous humor. The unnamed narrator of each story has the sensibility of a twisted, paranoid imp. His is the deadpan voice of a jaundiced observer whose life is . . .

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Remembering Sarge Shriver from Debre Markos, Ethiopia

[I got this email the other night from Jon Ebeling. Jon and I served together in Ethiopia (1962-64) and Jon wanted me to post it, as being an academic type, trying to post something on this blog is a little too complex for him. However, since I still owe Jon a few beers from the old days in Addis, I am including his great story about Sarge. As for Jon, well, after our tour in Ethiopia, Jon finished his Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburg, and later returned to Ethiopia as an APCD. He taught Political Science at California State University Chico until he retired a few years ago, and now he writes and publishes articles and books in his field of political science. Here is Jon’s story of meeting Sarge in a remote southern town in Ethiopia where he taught as a PCV.] “During the Cuban missile crisis in October of 1962, I was . . .

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Well known (little known) RPCV writer

I went to see Anything Goes on Broadway last night which is not a great musical, but has one great dance number, and during the intermission, reading the program I spotted Timothy Crouse’s name. Now who is Timothy Crouse? Well, first of all he is the brother of actress Lindsay Crouse, and secondly, he is the son of Russel Crouse, who with Howard Lindsay, wrote Anything Goes. Reading the program I saw that Tim, who was an RPCV in Morocco 1968-69, co-authored the New Book for the play. In other words, attempted to bring the ‘story’ up to date. Tim’s background is interesting and impressive. After the Peace Corps he wrote for Boston Herald, then the Rolling Stone. At the Rolling Stone, in 1971, he was writing music stories but got interested in covering the 1972 presidential election and the only other writer in the room sharing his interest was Hunter Thompson. Together, they went off ‘on the bus’ to . . .

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Shriver's Last Great Peace Corps Speech

On the afternoon of Saturday, June 20, 1981, Sarge Shriver spoke at the second National Conference of former Peace Corps Volunteers and Staff at Howard University in Washington, D.C. It was the 20th anniversary of the Peace Corps and it was a wonderful weekend, mostly because of Sarge. He bought the house down late in the afternoon in one terrific speech delivered at the close of the long weekend. When Shriver rose to speak so did the packed house of RPCVs who rose to cheer him. These were mostly “his Volunteers,” and they loved him. They were also cheering themselves, cheering the memory of who they were and what they once had done in the development world. Some say the applause went on for twenty minutes. No, it was closer to ten minutes, but it was warm and rich with memory. It brought tears to many eyes as Shriver tried . . .

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Review of Gloryland by Shelton Johnson (Liberia 1982-84)

Gloryland: A Novel by Shelton Johnson (Liberia 1982-83) Sierra Club/Counterpoint $15.95 288 pages 2010 Reviewed by Andy Trincia (Romania 2002-04) I REMEMBER SHELTON JOHNSON from the Ken Burns film “The National Parks:  America’s Best Idea” on PBS a couple years ago. Johnson, a park ranger at Yosemite, was featured prominently in the acclaimed documentary series, speaking eloquently and passionately about our great parks. What I didn’t know was that he was a Peace Corps Volunteer and wrote a book, Gloryland. Indeed, it was a pleasure to dive into this man’s debut novel. In the fictional but historically based memoir Gloryland, Johnson takes us on the life journey of Elijah Yancy, a sharecropper’s son from Spartanburg, South Carolina, born on Emancipation Day in 1863. Elijah is a feisty kid whose African and Seminole blood — and poor but close-knit family — give him a fierce pride despite the difficult post-Civil War . . .

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The Caddie Who Won The Masters, A New Novel by John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64)

For those who wish to prolong the pleasure of the recent Masters, here’s a book for you. (If I can suggest my own novel, The Caddie Who Won the Masters, published on April 7, 2011, the opening day of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Course.) Briefly, here’s what the book is all about, as described by a “golf blogger” on her site today: “After watching the dramatic finish of The Masters, I couldn’t help but feel a longing for more visions of Augusta National Golf Course. The azaleas in bloom, the walk through Amen Corner, the history that surrounds this golf mecca has me wishing the first major of the season was just beginning and not at an end. “For book lovers who also wish to prolong the magic of The Masters golf tournament, John Coyne has written The Caddie Who Won The Masters a suspenseful novel about a middle-aged amateur’s seemingly impossible . . .

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An RPCV'S Version of the Peace Corps Sit-In

[Yesterday, April 11,  I posted a blog by a right-winger Thomas F. Roeser, “An RPCV Sit-In at the Peace Corps” about RPCVs taking over the Peace Corps HQ back in 1970 to protest the Vietnam War. Elaine Fuller (Colombia 1963-65) was one of those RPCVs. At the time she was co-chair of the Committee of Returned Volunteers (CRV) – the first group formed by RPCVs, and their object was to protest the war. For several years -beginning in the ’60s – Elaine was in the anti-war movement, mostly working with the Quakers. Then in the 1980s she went to work for an investment firm (who said Volunteers aren’t flexible?) and worked for Drexel Burnham Lambert (it later went bankrupt in a very spectacular way thanks to Mike Miken – he wasn’t in the Peace Corps!) After that she started teaching economics part-time, spent several years working on a Ph.D. in . . .

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RPCVs Sit-In at the Peace Corps

[Thomas F. Roeser is (or was) a radio talk show host in Chicago, a right winger, and he has (or had) a blog: www.tomroeser.com. A couple years ago he wrote about the Peace Corps as he was the agency’s PR person in 1970 when a band of RPCVs took over the building. I’ve heard and read various accounts of this happening, and have friends who were part of it, but here’s Tom’s take from his blog of the day and night the RPCVs sat in at the Peace Corps. I’ve edit it down some for length. – j.c.] IN MAY, 1970, a week after the Kent State shootings in Ohio, more than 100,000 anti-war demonstrators converged on Washington to protest the shooting of the students as well as the Nixon administration’s incursion into Cambodia. Police ringed the White House with buses to block the demonstrators from getting too close to the mansion. Early in . . .

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Making Peace with the World is Published

[Richard Sitler has been working on this photo project for years and he has produced a wonderful  book. It is a great way to celebrate the 50th, giving his book as a gift, or keeping it yourself for your coffee table.]  Order Making Peace with the World, a commemorative book celebrating the 50th anniversary of Peace Corps, at Other Places Publishing: http://www.otherplacespublishing.com/mpwtw.html The book is also available at Amazon.com – A portion of publisher proceeds from this title will go to Peace Corps projects around the globe. In June 2009, Richard Sitler embarked on an epic journey to document Peace Corps Volunteers serving communities around the world. Over the next two years, Richard would find himself traversing the planet while staying with Peace Corps Volunteers, experiencing their communities and work sites, and documenting what it’s like to be a Volunteer in the modern Peace Corps. Richard discovered that the values President Kennedy had imagined . . .

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March 2011 Peace Corps Books

Answering Kennedy’s Call: Pioneering the Peace Corps in the Philippines Edited by Parker W. Borg, Maureen J. Carroll, Patricia MacDermot Kasdan, Stephen W. Wells (all Philippines (1961–63) A Peace Corps Writers Book $25.00 498 pages March 2011 • One Hand Does Not Catch A Buffalo: 50 Years of Amazing Peace Corps Stories — Africa Edited by Aaron Barlow (Togo 1988–90) Series Editor Jane Albrition (India 1967–69) Travelers’ Tales/Solas House $18.95 March 2011 • Fiesta of Sunset: The Peace Corps, Guatemala and a Search for Truth Taylor Mills Dibbert (Guatemala 2006–08) iUniverse $17.95 paperback, $27.95 hardback 208 pages February 2011 • Through Our Eyes: Peace Corps in Korea, 1966–1981 edited by William Harwood (Korea 1976–78) Korea: COMA, the Artist Company $50.00 + $6.00 shipping 2009 • Out in the All of It by Chris Honoré (Colombia 1967–69) iUniverse $9.95 45 pages March 2011 • Revere Beach Elegy: A Memoir of Home . . .

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