To Tell The Truth – Episode 1

Many of us in OLLI-USF watched To Tell the Truth on television as we were growing up, and we (OLLI Connects ‘editors) recently invited our readers to participate in our own OLLI Connects “To Tell the Truth” contest. That is, we asked you to submit a story about something that you did or experienced and to tell it as a true story.  Whether it was or not. We hoped to get four entries, one for each issue this month.  We got even more, so most issues will have two tall (?) tales.

But, wait!  There’s more!  We want you–yes, you–to vote on the stories you’ll read here during November and tell us whether you think they’re true or false. Just keep scrolling down after the end of the story. You’ll see a “Comment” box.  Type in “I think Pete’s story is true!” (or false) and click on Post Comment.  We’ll see which of our writers fools the most readers and award them a “fabulous” prize.

We’ll begin with a piece by Bob Strozier who–while a young writer–interviewed the staff and stars of the show.

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The Inventor and The Collector: Yin and Yang

Marilyn Myerson

What in the world might induce a man to invent an instrument of torture? Might it be the lure of riches? Fame for innovative ingenuity? Deeply abiding bloodlust? Or might it be based on some kind of principle?

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We are officially in the "spooky season."  Tonight, little ghosts and ghouls will wander your neighborhoods on the hunt for candy and other treats. But Halloween's traditional roots belong to the observance of All Soul's Day, a remembrance of all those who have lived and passed on. Most recently this cultural rite was enshrined in Coco, an animated Disney opus focused on the "dia de los muertos." Today's blog features two stories featuring the inner human spirit with an emphasis on the contrast between good and evil. — Editor

The Hurricane

Mary Bowers

My job as a medical equipment sales representative took me to a new hospital in Port Charlotte, Florida.  It was late August, and the moment I stepped off the plane I was met with the smothering effects of the humid heat and tropical vegetation.  Before I had left home in Atlanta there had been a report of an impending hurricane in Florida, but no one had mentioned it, so I assumed it had moved on to another target, as hurricanes will do.

I planned to take advantage of the trip to southwestern Florida to visit my friend Amelia who had recently lost her husband.  She and he had retired to this area to raise horses, and it had been ages since I had seen her.  We planned to get in a good visit over the weekend before I returned to Atlanta on Sunday evening.   Read more

On Cloud Nine: The Calm Before the Storm

Marilyn Myerson

August ushers in the most active weeks of Florida’s annual hurricane season. Unstable tropical climate conditions triggered by warming seas have spiked record storm frequency and intensity over the last decade. We think it fitting to present a five-week series pertaining to weather and climate while you anxiously track the NOAA hurricane maps. A recent challenge issued to the members of the Imaginative Writing Crew yielded several stories on this topic, a new memoir marks the twentieth anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, and a mixed media report on the latest climate research will wrap things up at the end of the month.

We begin with Marilyn Myerson’s On Cloud Nine: The Calm Before the Storm –Editors 

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Three Odes to Women

Morrey Grymes
Bruce Zimmerman
Peter Terzian


Poetry has the unique capacity to capture our deepest thoughts, whether they be the experience of mounting grief, tender remembrance or even a flight of fancy. With economy, rhythm and the taste of language on the palate, our three contributors present an array of emotions in Three Odes to Women. –Editors

The Crafting of Mjollnir

Al Carlson

We all know about Thor, the Norse God of Thunder. Big guy. Very strong.  Ruggedly handsome.  More than a little vain.  Not always the sharpest knife in the drawer.  But good hearted. We also know that he wields a powerful hammer called Mjollnir. But few know how he acquired Mjollnir nor what Loki, God of Mischief, had to do with its coming into his hands.

I thought the story deserved telling, but it needed its own voice.  Fortunately, I found Bragi Varrenson, skald for a short time to Harald Hardrada, High King of Norway. So, fill your horn with mead, grab a steaming chunk of beef from the firepit, sit back on your bench, and let Bragi tell you how Loki’s mischief brought Thor his hammer.    Read more

Life in the Fast Lane: Sun City Center Style

Don Menzel

Three years ago, Kay and I, along with our family luv “Emmy dog,” left Tampa with a new 4-wheel drive Jeep and hit the trail to the Rocky Mountains, settling in Loveland, Colorado. (Yes, there is a Loveland in the U.S.A.—actually two with Ohio the home of another.)

Excited about living on the “Front Range” in Northern Colorado, we were certain we had found our “forever home.” Alas, three years later, we purchased a small house in Sun City Center, Florida, where sun & fun gush galore. Of course, getting there on I-75 heading south from Tampa is a challenge with 90 mph bumper-to-bumper traffic that turns into “How slow can you go?” when you get off the Interstate.

So, what’s it like living in the fast lane in Sun City? That’s the tale I am going to share with you.

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Gratitude

Marilyn Myerson

Xerploo and Zanyplex were relaxing in a secluded greenery bower. They were of the opinion that the gardens on planet P-56 were much more lush and the breezes sweeter but here they were, currently assigned as celestial guardians to Earth. Given the relatively immature character of this planet, their work was cut out for them and they dare not rest for long.

Their mission was to maintain the existence of this orb, which daily seemed under threat from secular and religious discord. Our guardians believed…   

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The Honeymoon

Linda Ho

Eva excitedly tore into the long awaited package that held the most innovative, must have, technologically advanced travel brochures. They were very expensive but considering the cost of the wedding it was a small price to pay and was definitely worth it.

In less than six months she would be married to her childhood sweetheart Leland, and all the details of the wedding had been carefully planned for months and arrangements completed except for the honeymoon. This was a matter of considerable concern, as they had very different ideas on where to spend their precious two weeks.

Most travel brochures and videos were old-fashioned, limited to sight and sound and lacked the ability to…

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The Case of the Time Traveling Amoeba

Marilyn Myerson

I am an amoeba.

You might think this makes me simple, but the truth is that I am a math whiz – spending my days dividing and multiplying. And no chalkboard or calculator for me – I just do it!

I am never lonely – my family is all around me; indeed, I create new family as often as I like. Life is good. I’m smart and I’m gregarious, and food and water are in plentiful supply.

As for my looks,  I may look like a blob but… View more

 

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