Archive - January 28, 2014

1
Pete Seeger and Tom Hebert (Nigeria 1962-64): A Short Memoir
2
Two RPCV Women Writers
3
Review of R J Huddy's (Morocco 1981-83) Big Charlene's Weight-Loss Supper Club and Taxi Dancing

Pete Seeger and Tom Hebert (Nigeria 1962-64): A Short Memoir

Before coffee early Tuesday morning on the Indian Reservation in Oregon where I live, I checked my email and from Boston, I heard from Murray Frank, my Peace Corps boss in Nigeria: Murray wrote: “Tom, Pete Seeger died yesterday. I thought of you when I read about it. Thanks to you, we got to know him a little.” Yes, Seeger and Hebert in Nigeria. Back in 1964 as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ibadan, Nigeria, because of my role as the business and tour manager of the University of Ibadan’s new School of Drama, I was asked by the American government to handle a non-sponsored tour Seeger was making to Nigeria. The U. S. Embassy knew that beyond working with Nigerian media, I was well-versed in its traditional and popular music and dance scene. So, for about a week in January, 1964, in a tiny rusty old Austin A40 Dorset 2-door, I banged around . . .

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Two RPCV Women Writers

[In April, 1989 Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 1962-64) and I published the first issue of RPCV Writers. In that short four page newsletter I wrote our Reasons for Being — “There isn’t really one good reason to publish this newsletter. Putting that aside, I’m going to do it anyway.” I was wrong. There are many good reasons for writing about Peace Corps writers. If for no other reason than to announce to the world the books being published about the Peace Corps experience, and to network all of us  together. In that first issue I wrote the following essay about two of the best Peace Corps writers, two women. Here again (for the sake of history, and to bring new PCVs up to date, is that short essay.] • Two Women Writers by John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962–64) THE NEXT TIME someone asks, “What was the Peace Corps like?” hand them . . .

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Review of R J Huddy's (Morocco 1981-83) Big Charlene's Weight-Loss Supper Club and Taxi Dancing

Big Charlene’s Weight-Loss Supper Club and Taxi Dancing: A Twisting Creek Mystery By R J Huddy (Morocco 1981-83) A Peace Corps Writers Book, $12.95; Kindle $ 2.99 254 pages 2014 Reviewed by Richard Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64) Here’s a charmer of a sort-of-mystery by a talented yarn-spinner who is a pleasure to spend 254 pages with.  I say “sort of” mystery because in the final chapters Huddy starts pulling characters out of thin air in order to duct-tape his narrative in place, and because one big question—was the Farley-parents botulism poisoning accidental or intentional?—is never really answered.  I don’t know what the plural of deus ex machina is, but Huddy could have used at least one more. Huddy’s considerable appeal is in his droll, companionable voice and his Preston Sturgess-like cast of small town odd and not-so-oddballs in Twisting Creek, Kentucky.  Accomplished chef Bradley Michaels lands in this remote burg after . . .

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