Friday, November 7, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pie as in Pye

I have been mildly obsessed with Fay Pye because I walk by her house often. On many walks, I contrive to walk near it, and then I find myself turning, to walk directly by it. And then I walk back in the other direction. (I think this is called stalking...) It never looks like anyone lives there. Once, I took the steps up to the porch.

I took photographs of her house in the winter.

I posted them on Facebook, and my neighbor, Anita, saw them, and sent me a quick message saying that Fay Pye was a character--she was in her 90s. I kept forgetting to follow up with Anita, find out if she knew anything more. I googled Fay Pye's Dance Studio. Endless anonymous listings of the name and address, but nothing more.

I googled her again. Finally, I found a video.

Fay Pye, Rock around the clock

And then an obituary.

Obituary for Helen Rose

West Bath- Helen Rose, 91, of Foster's Point Road died Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at Winship Green Nursing Center in Bath.
She was born in Rockland on December 9, 1917, a daughter of Alfred P. and Annie (Milne) Condon Sr.
She graduated from Rockland High School and was a member of the RHS 1935 state championship basketball team. On July 27, 1940 she married Stanley "Bub" E. Rose. She was employed at the Bowdoin and Brunswick Drive In Movie Theatres and was well known for sewing all the costumes and curtain back drops for the Fay Pye School of the Dance during the 50s, 60s and 70s.

I took photographs of her house in the summer.

I googled again; found this:

I thought about changing MY name to Fay Pye. Do you know how many Susan Landry's there are?

I had pretty much given up finding out anything more about Fay Pye. She would just have to live in my imagination. THEN...last weekend, I was waiting in the vestibule of our small, local market while James ran in for some mineral water.

I checked out the bulletin board:

and this caught my eye:

I called, wondering what on earth I would say when someone answered. No one did. I left a message giving my name and number and saying I was interested in the dance classes.

Today, I got a call back!
I think it was Tammy... it certainly wasn't Fay... and, I explained that I was curious about Fay Pye, that I walked by her house and had been intrigued with the idea of a dance studio here, and that my neighbor had told me that Fay Pye was in her 90s. I said, "Is that she still teaching? she still 'with us'?" I floundered a bit on that euphemism, but Tammy took it with grace and assured me that Fay is still alive, still teaching, but in her 70s. So we chatted a bit, and I said I was a writer and that I had a feeling there was a story here, and that I would like to come and watch a class, and perhaps interview Fay Pye.

Next Monday night, I am going to go to Fay's class for adults, which Fay not only teaches, said Tammy, but she participates in.

I am extremely excited. Stay tuned....

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Musical Chairs

hello friends,

a few quick notes, decisions I've made...some changes. For all further information about Run to the Roundhouse, Nellie, I am now using the Facebook page for Nellie, at
Last week, I finally posted the Spring/Summer issue, on the regular journal website:

re: the Facebook page for Nellie: I've had the page for awhile but have done nothing with it, but people seem to expect that it be a gathering place for the journal. People were 'liking' it with no content at all, which was kind of sweet, but embarrassing. I am at the same time taking a hiatus from my personal Facebook page, which has become a sinkhole of time wasting for me. I am not good at doing anything moderately, so FB needs to soldier on without me for awhile.

I do plan to return to blog writing and photographs. Whether it's here at PIE or elsewhere, I haven't decided. Please let me know if you want to be contacted as to where I land.

Thank you so much for your kind comments and loyal following on PIE.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Reading ideas for the endless Winter of 2014: how about a memoir?

Our Winter 2014 issue is perfect for cabin fever reading: in-depth interviews of some seriously accomplished writers of memoir. In a coup for a small literary journal, Joe Sacco, the well-respected cartoonist/political and social justice journalist is interviewed by Charlotte Hildebrand, about his memoir/ personal narrative reporting in Palestine.

Louise Steinman is interviewed about her memoir, The Crooked Mirror, a personal journey into Polish history and the Holocaust, by Melissa Cooper.

George How Colt is interviewed about his relationship with his own brothers, as well as several sets of other well-known brothers (the Marx brothers included) in Brothers, by Victoria Alexander

Miriam Levine, an admired and gifted poet, is interviewed by Melissa Shook about her growing up years and her colorful  and poignant family life, as depicted in Devotion.

Tsaurah Litsky, a true NYC original, has written a wonderful essay about her memoir, called Flasher, for the Writing a Memoir section--complete with a not-to-be-missed video, featuring her reading a portion of her book.

Finally, The Readers' House topic for this issue is LOST and FOUND, and as usual we have a wonderful array of responses, both in prose and poetry. SO: take a look...and perhaps you would like to submit your own short-memir piece for the Spring issue? The topic will be... MOTHER.

Monday, February 3, 2014

indiegogo....white patent leather/pleather go-go boots optional

Yes, I have finally--last week--posted the Indiegogo campaign I've been talking about for months, to raise money to pay wonderful Leo who helps me with all the IT problems in the behind-the-scenes world of hosting a website. "Helps me" is a euphemism, of course. I fold into myself in paroxysms of bad words, torrents of frustration, and then he fixes it. I'd hire him to follow me around all day fixing everything in my world if I could. Alas... he is only available virtually and for internet matters. He's from Brazil, originally, and utterly kind and charming. He has a beautiful wife and two beautiful children. And sometime he stays up until 4 AM figuring stuff out for me after his full-time job and after being a husband and and a father. I kiss the hem of his gown.

Here is the link to the Indiegogo campaign:

I am trying to raise $2000 so I will have a bit of a cushion to pay Leo for crisis control, for the next year of Run to the Roundhouse, Nellie, is the fervent hope.

People whose work has appeared in Run, Nellie or who have been interviewed have been incredibly generous, donating lots of cool perks for pledge levels. Please take a look at the campaign, please share on your Facebook page and via any other social media tools you are familiar with. Here are the wonderful premiums with the respective pledge amount. Thank you for looking, for sharing, and for cheering on the sidelines--it means everything!

$20 pledge: tote bag, designed by my son.                              

$25 pledge: signed books (non-memoir), by Run, Nellie-affiliated writers (Rosemarie Rotham aka Angella, Miriam Levine, Melissa Green, Mary-Ann Tirone Smith).

$35 pledge: signed memoirs, by Katherine Weber, Jessica Handler, Mary-Ann Tirone Smith, Miriam Levine, Scott Nadelson.

$35 pledge: signed art books (by Stacy Renee Morrison and Niki Berg), chapbooks (by Diane Kendig and Julie Marie Wade), 2 photography books by Elsa Dorfman, and an inkjet photograph (by Niki Berg, "The Winged Venus").

$40 pledge: set of 8 handmade books (Melissa Shook) or personalized mail art (13.5 H X 5 W, art on both sides; secret message in backpack and mailed to recipient of choice, by writer/artist Marylinn Kelly).


$40 pledge: signed over-sized books, by Elsa Dorfman and Niki Berg.

$45 signed, SPECIAL VALENTINE PROMOTION, $30.00: out of print postcard from original photograph by Elsa Dorfman: Dylan + Ginsberg (sorry: the color here is poor. These are a nice, crisp black and blue.)

$200 pledge, original archival print, text and photograph by Patt Blue, as featured in her memoir, Living On A Dream: A Marriage Tale.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Beach

I have a memoir piece in the magazine called Revolution House, available online at
My piece, called THE BEACH, starts on page 51.

Pictured above is the beach I wrote about, albeit as depicted in a postcard from probably the mid-1920s. I went to the beach every summer day starting in about 1954 through the 1960s. My family had a house on a quiet street in the woods in the part of town called Marshfield Hills, about 3 miles away. The whole coastline of that section of Massachusetts, about 30 miles south of Boston, toward Cape Cod, is riven with tidal rivers and sand bars and marshes and bogs. Some of the many beaches are rocky, built out with jetties that toss the sea back; before and after storms, that's where the surfers go. Other beaches are more pastoral, with rounded hummocks of sand dunes and marsh grass, providing sanctuary for shore birds and hollows where we kids used to play hide and seek.

It was not a bad place to grow up. When I left for college, however, I thought I'd never return. That the pain and sadness of my childhood would keep me away. But after my brother died and then my mother, too, and my son went off to college, I bought an old cottage and left NYC and I moved back, and lived for 12 years in a part of town called Brant Rock. It was a short walk from Blue Fish Rock, pictured below. I have a lot of memories from distinct segments of my life tied up in that town, those beaches.