21 August 2015

Published August 19, 2015 by rochellewisoff

Another Hightway

Blue Ceiling FF

FF copyright banner finalThe next photo is the PHOTO PROMPT. In a hundred words or less, what story does it tell?



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Genre Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


            “Papa, tell me about your crazy friend Joseph Kyselak.”

            “Not crazy, eccentric, Ilsa.” I squeeze my daughter’s hand as we walk down the street. “You’ve heard this story a hundred times.”

            “Tell me a hundred and one.”            

            “Very well. Joseph bet me that within three years he would be famous all over Austria.”

            “He is, isn’t he?”  

            I miss his easy laugh, sense of humor, and adventurous spirit. Cholera took him last year, but not before he won the wager. If you visit Austria you’ll see his name everywhere.  

            Ilsa traces the letters Joseph engraved on a nearby wall. “Kyselak”





Father of Graffiti

102 comments on “21 August 2015

  • Dear C.E.

    I’d never heard of him either. Although the story was a tug o war this week. 😉 I’m glad it worked.

    Your photo is stunning. There’s a lot to see in it. I hope it will inspire imaginations this week.



    Liked by 1 person

  • I just looked him up~couldn’t possibly have known of him otherwise. Should we really refer favorably to the father of graffiti & tagging? “Kilroy Was Here” is interesting but people have been taking it all to excess


    • Dear Larry,

      I’d never have known about him either until I started on the research trail. I think I’ve learned more over the past three years of writing for Friday Fictioneers than I ever learned in school. At least I’ve learned enough trivia to be somewhat interesting at a dinner party. 😉

      How one thinks of Kyselak is personal. I found it to be an interesting story of someone who made a name for himself.



      Liked by 2 people

  • I love it! I hadn’t heard of this guy until I googled him just then. I love how your story made no sense at all until I found out who Kyselak was, then it was like a light bulb. Beautifully told. Bravo 🙂


  • Once again, Rochelle, you’ve taught us! Like many others, I immediately Googled him (what would we have done pre-internet?)
    To think I used to doodle the “Kilroy was here” image without knowing what it was!!!


  • Dear Rochelle

    You are so very good at your pieces of history. I love the clever subtlety of your style.

    I finished reading your Please Say Kaddish For Me and have just reviewed it on Goodreads and Amazon.co.uk and awarded it 5 stars. I’ll check if the review automatically goes up on Amazon.com. If not, I’ll put it there, too.

    Sorry, I’ve not been participating in Friday Fictioneers since the beginning of July, but have had my nose to the grindstone with a writing project of my own. I had meant to return fully to all aspects of my blogging in August, but haven’t quite caught up with myself yet.

    Hopefully, I will get back into the routine of 100-word story-writing soon.

    All best wishes


    • Dear Sarah,

      I understand about having other things to deal with. I hope your writing project is going well.

      I so appreciate your stunning review. My agent posted it on her website as well with a link to it on Facebook. Sandra also posted a stellar review on Amazon.co.uk. However, neither of your reviews went to Amazon.com. I’m not sure how they do that. I also have a lovely review from the Canadian site. it also didn’t transfer. One would think they would but I’m not sure how exactly it all works. Nonetheless you get a hearty thank you from me.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my little story.



      PS Due to a life changing event I’ll have some more time to devote to FF and writing. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Rochelle,
        Thank you. Yes, my writing project is going very well. I’ve just finished my read-through of the novel from hard copy today. Nearly there, after countless drafts (being somewhat of a perfectionist). I’m both excited and nervous at the prospect of seeing it in print, hopefully at the beginning of December.
        Wow, fancy your agent posting my review on her website. I’m most honoured and hope that it results in many more sales of your wonderful novel. I’ll go to Amazon.com and post my review there. It’s possible, I know, as I’ve done it before in both places.
        I do hope your life changing event isn’t one of ill health or suchlike, but I’m glad that you are turning it to positive use.
        All best wishes


  • As always, beautiful and educational. I had never heard of the man either. People see a blank space, they want to write or paint on it, I think that’s in our genes if you think of the cave painting from 40K + years ago.
    And I love the picture, too.


    • Dear GAH,

      I had a teacher in high school who covered a bulletin board with a blank sheet of paper. Surprisingly no one wrote on it. His aim was to see how long it would take for students to take advantage.

      I’ve always been a doodler. A sheet of paper isn’t safe around me.

      Thank you for reading and commenting It is a great picture. I couldn’t resist choosing it.



      Liked by 2 people

      • I’ve heard from similar experiments, some successful, others not. With younger children who haven’t learned yet that they ‘can’t draw’ it would perhaps have been covered in rainbows. We have a horse sculpture in the city where I work. It’s redecorated regularly and illegally by naughty citicens. I don’t know of anyone who would have been arrested for it, though. I thought you might like to see it: http://www.holbein-pferd.de/ (no idea if you read german… not much text anyway.)

        Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve had a soft spot for graffiti ever since living in Bristol where Banksy left his mark. I love the idea of the father of grafitti … although I suspect these days tagging with one’s own name is a fast route to the criminal courts.


  • Interesting story Rochelle, always something new to learn when I come to your site. And this time your story spurred me to do a little research of my own. In the UK many motorway bridges have the word ‘Gouranga’ graffiti’d on them. II discovered it’s a Hare Krishna mantra meaning “Be Happy”. And there was I thinking it was only some lout spraying nonsense just because they could. 🙂 Good story!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Irene,

      The excitement of learning new things and then crafting them into stories is one of the things that keeps me with Friday Fictioneers. The other thing is the fascinating, global community it has created.

      Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Ok, great story as always, a fascinating little detail on the first ‘tagger’… but I followed that link & was delighted at the following:

    …”in fact, the people from Vienna were obviously well known for committing suicide in very unorthodox ways”.

    That is some awesome (and very bleak) history.


  • I really liked this story! Also enjoyed how you tied it into the Kilroy icon. At work, I would sometimes visit someone’s office and, if they weren’t there when I needed them, leave a note with that drawing, and write “JB was here” along with my phone extension. When I started at the company over thirty years ago, people knew that the origin of the drawing was Kilroy. As the years went by and my colleagues were increasingly younger, they just thought it was a cute drawing. Damn.


    • Dear Erin,

      If you go to Vienna be sure to take pictures. 😉

      I’ll be interested to get your feedback on my book. There was something incredible about reading it myself in a printed book form that was akin to holding my sons in my arms for the first time.

      Thank you.




  • What a brilliant story you have for the prompt. You never cease to amaze me, Rochelle, and I learn something new each week. Wonderful story. I look forward to reading your book, too. I’m planning on it!


    • Dear Margaret,

      We live in a blessed time when it comes to the availability of knowledge. It’s so much fun to find these little obscure nuggets. And even better when a story I’ve shared sparks interest. Thank you.




  • I love graffiti and take as many photos that I can to showcase the talent in our city…where I work it is interesting to see one wall of art within a few weeks has been tagged and there is a story..discourse I am not privy to but oh so very interesting.


  • I love how the original photo – which is amazing in itself – prompted something in you to search out “the father of graffiti” – and then to pen such a wonderfully crafted little tale. Fascinating and fun. 🙂


    • Dear Sasha,

      I take the Thoreau quote at the top of the page seriously. There are times I’ll use the prompt in a more literal manner but most of the time I don’t. There are so many ways to go with one picture. I don’t fault anyone for taking the literal route but I do encourage everyone to step outside the box.

      Often I’ll start a Google search with a word from the photo, in this case “wall.” Graffiti showed up immediately and I followed the trail.

      In any case, I’m pleased that you enjoyed my story and that you decided to join the fun this week.



      Liked by 1 person

      • I can so appreciate how you choose to work the prompts at times – sometimes I have to remind myself not to be so literal in my interpretations.


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