Biography

All posts in the Biography category

18 December 2020

Published December 16, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

BEYOND THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD

“Here’s something you might enjoy, Raymond.” Annie handed her young son a book. “The Wizard of Oz. It teaches us that everyone has a brain, a heart and courage.”  

             “I love it, Mama.”

In his teens he discovered the theater. He idolized Fred Stone who originated the role of the scarecrow in the stage version of L. Frank Baum’s classic. Stone’s loose-limbed dance form intrigued Raymond.

            Against his father’s wishes, the courageous youth set his mind on a career in entertainment.

            As the scarecrow, with haphazard style, Ray Bolger danced across the screen in M-G-M’s classic The Wizard of Oz.

4 December 2020

Published December 2, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

WHITE SWAN

On their flight to Oslo, Sonja rested against Niels’ shoulder. “My hero, my big brother taught me to fall. Leif said, ‘You fall the way a length of rope drops.’

“Good advice.” She giggled. “I fell on my bum in my first Olympic competition. Finished last. Only injured my pride.”

“I remember,” said Niels. “You were only eleven. Four years later you won your first Olympic gold medal.

“Figure eights.” She yawned. “Leaps and spins. The world was mine.”

“Still is, my love.”

“I’m so tired.”

“Sleep now.”  

Fifty-seven-year-old Sonja Henie closed her eyes and skated to her final arena.

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Weekend Writing Prompt – Paradox

Published November 21, 2020 by rochellewisoff

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in Sammi’s Comment Section.

IT BEGAN IN 1971

(IN 71 WORDS)

“You’re not in love.” My mother fumed. “You’re in lust. Only eighteen. Too young to know your own mind.”

Nonetheless, I dug in my heels. My dad walked me down the aisle, a sorrowful expression on his face and tears in his eyes. “You can always come home if it doesn’t work out.”

“I give them six months,” said my aunt.

A paradox in progress.  

Forty-nine years later, we’re still married.

This photo is only 15 minutes old at this posting.

November 28, 1971

 

20 November 2020

Published November 18, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

AKA WEEGEE

              Adolescent Arthur Fellig rented a pony and took pictures of neighborhood kids with his secondhand View Camera.

            “I wipe their faces and give ‘em a ride.” He winked. “Then sell their folks the photos.”

            Years later, armed with a police-band radio, Speed Graphic camera and a makeshift darkroom in his trunk, he lurked in the shadows of New York. His black and whites captured the city’s seamier side like no others.  

            “You’re always on time.” Amazed reporters shook their heads. “You must have a Ouija board or something. What’s your secret?”   

            “Ain’t no secret.” Weegee shrugged. “F/8 and be there.”

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25 September 2020

Published September 23, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

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As fewer and fewer Holocaust survivors remain in our midst, it seems easier to forget. It’s not taught in schools and increasing numbers of misinformed believe the Holocaust never happened. 

INTERVIEW WITH PRISONER A5714

Remember Robert Clary as LeBeau of Stalag 13? Hogan’s shortest hero? The connoisseur of French cuisine.  

               He reminisces about the rabbi who helped him study for his Bar Mitzvah. “He smelled of schmaltz, herring, onion and garlic.”

             “Ah food.”

             He shrugs. “In Buchenwald we had little to eat. I sang for the prisoners and sometimes the chef in the kitchen gave me an extra piece of bread.”

             “What’s your greatest achievement? Performing?”

              “No.  I’m most proud to have spent twenty years keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive. Warning against man’s inhumanity. While I am living, I have to tell.”   

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt – Gallivant

Published June 20, 2020 by rochellewisoff

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in Sammi’s comment section.

ON TOP OF THE WORLD

A sharecropper’s son, Matthew Henson never lived in one place very long.

The twelve-year-old dropped out of school in Baltimore to go to sea.

With explorer Richard Peary, Matthew gallivanted from Nicaragua to the Arctic.  

In 1909 Henson planted the American flag on the North Pole.

****

27 March 2020

Published March 25, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

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Another installment to celebrate Women’s History Month. 😀 This week, a woman from my own tribe. Some of us remember her from the TV show in the 60’s called “I’ve Got a Secret.” 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

FOR SUCH A TIME

“I would’ve been taller.” Bella gaffed off her daughter’s complaints. “But we couldn’t afford it. Back to your homework.”

            At 5’10”, twelve-year-old Bess stood head and shoulders above her classmates, garnering her the role of Olive Oyl in the school play. An honor she didn’t want.

            As she matured, her awkwardness became statuesque grace.

            Bess’s sister entered her in the Miss New York beauty pageant. Although embarrassed, she competed, refusing to use a pseudonym that didn’t sound “so Jewish.”

            On August 15, 1945, in the shadow of the liberation of Auschwitz, Bess Myerson proudly wore the crown of Miss America.

*******

13 March 2020

Published March 11, 2020 by rochellewisoff

 

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

 

PHOTO PROMPT © Ceayr

The frog’s not blue, but will be if you don’t click her. 

Genre: Women’s History

Word Count: 100

FROSTED YELLOW WILLOW

“Wong Liu Tsong often played hooky from school to see movies at the Nickelodeon.” Lily Wu read her report aloud. “When she grew up, she changed her name to Anna May Wong and overcame many obstacles to become a famous film star.”  

            Tim Wu rolled his eyes. “If it’s a great Chinese actor you want, write about Jackie Chan.”

            “It’s Women’s History Month. Now—one of Anna’s biggest disappointments came in 1935 when Hollywood passed her over for the role a Chinese woman in The Good Earth.”

            “So?”

            “The role went to a Caucasian actress. What’s wrong with this picture?”

*Frosted Yellow Willow is the literal translation of Wong Tsiu Tsong. 

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21 February 2020

Published February 19, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

PHOTO PROMPT © Dawn Miller

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

 February is National Black History Month in the States. There are so many amazing people, history ignored. I enjoy meeting people I should’ve learned about in school. 

QUEEN BESSIE

             Bessie surveyed the Waxahachie, Texas Fairground. She never dreamed she’d be performing in her childhood town. Shielding her eyes, she gazed up into the sky. The only place she could truly be free.

            The entrance to the park read, “Whites Only.”

            Head held high, pounding with indignation, she stormed through the gate and barged into the manager’s office.

            “I didn’t go all the way to France to earn my license for this. Am I not the first colored pilot in America?”

            “Yes, Miss Coleman, but—”

            “If my people aren’t treated with respect, there’ll be no show. Understood?”

            “Yes, Ma’am.”

*Note: I call this fiction because, while I know the incident is fact, I don’t know the exact words Miss Coleman used to get her point across. 😉 

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15 November 2019

Published November 13, 2019 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Hop right up and Click the Frog

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

O MEIN PAPA

             Papa belted out prayers with off-key passion. A few small congregations who couldn’t afford real cantors hired him as a ba’al tefillah.

            Shabbos mornings, Natty Birnbaum stood close to him and sang. He’d bask in Papa’s approving smile. It was the only time he ever saw it. 

            When Natty was seven Papa passed away while reading prayers.

            Nearly 100 years later, Birnbaum, better known as George Burns, remembered with a wry smile, “After he sang in one little synagogue, the following synagogue, instead of hiring him, they kept it closed during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.” 

            Natty never forgave God.

 

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