By David Myles RobinsonOne of my favorite movie lines of all time was spoken by Walter Brennan’s character Eddie in To Have and Have Not: “Say, was you ever bit by a dead bee?” I can’t say exactly why that line resonated with me, especially since I’m not one of those guys who make a practice of remembering movie lines. Perhaps it was the wonderful characterizations of Brennan, Humphrey Bogart, and Lauren Bacall. Or perhaps it was the various meanings one could read into the line. One of those meanings might be this: just when you think everything is fine and you see no danger ahead, you might step on an innocuous-looking dead bee and still get stung.
By Kevin Dimetres
He was seeking a new level of travel.The reflection in the mirror was virtually unrecognizable; the spelling of my name remained obscure; what might happen next had become a perpetual mystery. Before I could make sense of it all, Burgundy-robed monks whisked me away, up a dusty spiral staircase, to their secluded 5th floor rooftop. With endearing fervor, the monks excitedly pulled out their smartphones, gathered around me as a group, and began snapping selfies, with me, against the backdrop of the Yangon skyline. Had I stumbled down the rabbit hole, only to arrive in Myanmar? I peered over the ledge to the chaos of once-familiar city life below; I became as dizzy as the moment was surreal.
By Steve Gardiner
A drowning in Yosemite National ParkA park ranger on a horse rode up behind Terry Rypkema and me and pleaded for our help. “You have a climbing rope,” she said. “Bring it up to the bridge, please. We have a possible drowning.”
By Bill Zarchy
Stuck on a hot day.“I’ve gotta get out of here!” shrieked the voice from the corner. “You don’t understand. I’m claustrophobic!” It was a warm summer day. Susan and I had boarded an elevator in a poorly air-conditioned archaeological museum in Rome, along with a dozen people from our tour group, and Rachel, our English guide.
By Sarah Enelow
An American woman makes a pilgrimage to Mississippi, where her black family lived during slavery and segregation, then retraces their 1941 exodus to Detroit by train.I stared up at a concrete obelisk streaked with black dirt. It bore an etching of a confederate flag and read, “The men were right who wore the gray and right can never die.” A dozen people, black and white, milled around on a sunny, 60-degree afternoon in January. This tiny town consisted of a central square, a few roads leading away from it, and not much else.