Archive - April 2015

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New Books by Peace Corps Writers — March 2015
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Stanley Meisler (HQ Staff 1964-67) publishes SHOCKING PARIS
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Writers from the Peace Corps
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Peace Corps Volunteers Out in the Cold in Tropical Panamà
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The Man Who Made the Masters, Part I
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The Man Who Made the Masters, Part II
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The Man Who Made the Masters, Part III
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The Man Who Made the Masters (Conclusion)
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Rwanda PCV David Ripley Died of Aneurysm While on Vacation in Tanzania
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A Writer Writes: “Hemingway in Africa” by Geri Critchley (Senegal)

New Books by Peace Corps Writers — March 2015

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com, click on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. • My Life as a Pencil by Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) Red Bird Chapbooks 2015 47 pages $12.00 (paperback) • Renewable: One Woman’s Search for Simplicity, Faithfulness, and Hope by Eileen Flanagan (Botswana 1984-86) She Writes Press March  2015 200 pages $16.95 (paperback), $9.95 (Kindle) • Of Mouse and Magic (Children) by Allan R. Gall (Turkey 1962–64) Two Harbors Press 278 pages 2011 $12.95 (paperback) • Fragments of the Corps: A Peace Corps Memoir by John Greven (Colombia 1964–68) CreateSpace 2014 258 pages $11.95 (paperback), $4.89 (Kindle) • One Degree South (Peace Corps novel) by Stephen L Snook (Gabon 1980–81; . . .

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Stanley Meisler (HQ Staff 1964-67) publishes SHOCKING PARIS

For a couple of decades before World War II, a group of immigrant painters and sculptors, including Amedeo Modigliani, Marc Chagall, Chaim Soutine and Jules Pascin dominated the new art scene of Montparnasse in Paris. Art critics gave them the name “the School of Paris” to set them apart from the French-born (and less talented) young artists of the period. Modigliani and Chagall eventually attained enormous worldwide popularity, but in those earlier days most School of Paris painters looked on Soutine as their most talented contemporary. Willem de Kooning proclaimed Soutine his favorite painter, and Jackson Pollack hailed him as a major influence. Soutine arrived in Paris while many painters were experimenting with cubism, but he had no time for trends and fashions; like his art, Soutine was intense, demonic, and fierce. After the defeat of France by Hitler’s Germany, the East European Jewish immigrants who had made their way . . .

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Writers from the Peace Corps

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) provides support, advocacy, resources, and community to nearly 50,000 writers, 500 college and university creative writing programs, and 130 writers’ conferences and centers. Their mission is to foster literary achievement, advance the art of writing as essential to a good education, and serve the makers, teachers, students, and readers of contemporary writing. This article on Peace Corps writers by John Coyne appears in their March 2015 on-line publication. Writers from the Peace Corps by John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64) Since 1961, Peace Corps writers have used their volunteer service as source material for their fiction and nonfiction. These writers have also found that the overseas experience has helped them find jobs once they returned home. Approximately 250,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps. Of these volunteers and staff, more than 1,500 have published memoirs, novels, and poetry inspired by their experience. Many former . . .

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Peace Corps Volunteers Out in the Cold in Tropical Panamà

The President arrived in Panamà City this Thursday evening for the Seventh Summit of the Americas. It is being held in Panamà City this 10th and 11th. Tonight, Thursday, the 9th, a Reception was held at the Westin Playa Bonita for the Embassy personnel and their families, but not the Embassy local hires or ‘low level’ US employees. The affair was also closed to the Press and all Peace Corps Volunteers. Currently there are approximately 209 PCVs working in Panamà, and since 1963 over 2,370 had served there as English teachers, environmental health, environmental conservation and in agriculture. My guess is that the Secret Service wanted to control the number of guests, therefore, no PCVs, but given the Secret Service agents behavior of late, I would have thought they might invite the Peace Corps just to ‘hit’ on some of the women. The Summits of the Americas are institutionalized gatherings . . .

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The Man Who Made the Masters, Part I

The Man Who Made the Masters This is the first in a series on Clifford Roberts, the co-founder of Augusta National Golf Club and the chairman of the Masters Tournament from 1934 to 1976. By John Coyne FROM THE HILLSIDE AT AUGUSTA NATIONAL one looks into a natural amphitheater and across a landscape of interlacing fairways and greens, golden sand and blue-green stately pines. The old Berckman’s nursery fills smooth valleys and soft hills to the far edges of Amen Corner with a maze of color: azalea, dogwood, and redbud. In so many ways, this ancient acreage and southern plantation club house still has the look, code and culture of those antebellum times. It is, also, a very modern golf course, as architect Robert Trent Jones defined it in The Complete Golfer. Jones wrote, “The Augusta National is the epitome of the type of course which appeals most keenly to the . . .

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The Man Who Made the Masters, Part II

The Man Who Made the Masters, Part II This is the second part of a series on Clifford Roberts, the co-founder of Augusta National Golf Club and the chairman of the Masters Tournament from 1934 to 1976. By John Coyne CLIFFORD ROBERTS WAS BORN IN MORNING SUN, Iowa, in 1894 and reared in small towns in Iowa and Texas. He never attended college and didn’t graduate from high school. He left in the ninth grade after a fight with the principal. His family life was troubled; his father couldn’t keep a job; his mother was suicidal. And yet Roberts became one of the most iconic figures in the world of golf. At the age of 19, Roberts, a traveling salesman of men’s suits, was on the road in the Midwest when he heard his mother had taken her own life. “It was a tragic event,” writes Steve Eubanks in his . . .

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The Man Who Made the Masters, Part III

The Man Who Made the Masters, Part III By John Coyne CLIFFORD ROBERTS IS OFTEN REMEMBERED (and quoted) for saying about Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, “As long as I’m alive, golfers will be white and caddies will be black.” Today, however, it is difficult to find an African-American caddie looping at the Masters as all the pros (and amateurs) bring their own caddies, and they are, almost exclusively, Caucasian. (The first full-time white Augusta National caddie, around 1986, was Tripp Bowden who writes about it in his book Freddie & Me, Augusta National Legendary Caddy Master). In a 1997 article in Sports Illustrated  Rick Reilly would write, “Someday Eldrick (Tiger) Woods, a mixed-race kid with a middle-class background who grew up on a municipal course in the sprawl of Los Angeles, may be hailed as the greatest golfer who ever lived, but it’s likely that his . . .

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The Man Who Made the Masters (Conclusion)

The Man Who Made the Masters (Conclusion) This is the final part of a series on Clifford Roberts, the co-founder of Augusta National Golf Club and the chairman of the Masters Tournament from 1934 to 1976. By John Coyne ONE MIGHT SAY SUICIDE RAN in Clifford Roberts’ family. His mother, suffering from back pains and depression, killed herself with a shotgun in 1913, and his father, who had health issues of his own, in 1921 walked in front of a train and was killed. No note was left, but it had the markings of another family suicide. Now how would Clifford end his life? Roberts’s final day is well told in David Owen’s book, The Making of the Masters, a history of Augusta National written with the help and cooperation of the club, to combat negative accounts of life at Augusta National. Owen, a New Yorker staff writer, gives a . . .

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Rwanda PCV David Ripley Died of Aneurysm While on Vacation in Tanzania

David Ripley, a PCV working in Rwanda, died Tuesday from an aneurysm, his father, Bruce Ripley, said Saturday. “It was a weak spot in his arteries,” he said. “It was out of clear blue.” The news came to a shock to the family, his father said. David had never demonstrated issues with his heart. The family and friends are now awaiting the arrival of David’s girlfriend, another PCV in Rwanda, and a representative from the Peace Corps from HQ in Washington, to make final memorial services. The service will be this coming Saturday. The family has been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support from family, friends and the Peace Corps Community. “He’s touched so many lives,” Bruce Ripley said of his son. “What he accomplished in five to seven months….he made all his friends dream bigger.” The Peace Corps has set up the David Ripley Memorial Fund. Bruce . . .

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A Writer Writes: “Hemingway in Africa” by Geri Critchley (Senegal)

Hemingway in Africa • By Geri Critchley (Senegal 1971-72) WHEN I EMBARKED on my travels to Africa, I had no intention of encountering Ernest Hemingway. However, while trying to get money out of a non-functioning ATM in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, I met a travel agent who offered to somehow use his agency as an ATM so I could pay a Mt Kilimanjaro guide. In the middle of the transaction, abruptly changing focus, he told me that he had attended St Ursula’s boarding school nearby in Moshi Village with Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter Edwina, daughter of Hemingway’s son Patrick. He continued to tell me he is still in touch with Edwina who used to live in Florida but moved to Montana and that she has the rights to Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea. Of course he now had my attention; I told him I was interested in learning more. He must have . . .

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