Award-winning author Larry Day takes readers on a visit to the fictitious towns of La Mancha and Letongaloosa. In Day Dreaming: Tales from the Fourth Dementia, Day introduces the towns’ fascinating characters in a collection of short stories
As promised, I’ve decided to share some adventures of my time as a foreign corespondent.
1962 during Argentina’s experiment with a post-Peron elected president–Arturo Frondizi.
“Dark cobble stoned area of low end metro Buenos Aires. A 2nd rate radio station had been taken over by “rebels” who broadcast a proclamation calling for everyone to take to the streets and opposed the government.. A bus was jammed cross wise in the middle of the narrow street. As I slid around between the bus and the wall, I heard a voice above me, “No se mueve,” (“Don’t Move”) I froze and looked up. The nose of a stubby machine gun was 14 inches from my nose…
Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co
I came across the following. I’ve probably sent it to you before. But it’s a humorous bit of writing that fits into the GENERAL theme of how I got my start as a foreign correspondent and ended up an ol’ humor writer.
Miss Bunker (I can’t remember her first name) was principal of East Side School in Idaho Falls, Idaho, circa 1945, when I was in Miss Melton’s (I can’t remember her first name) fourth grade class. Dean Larsen, who sat in front of me in Miss Melton’s class, wrote a smart aleck note and passed it back, unnoticed, to me. I wrote “Screw You!” on another piece of paper and passed it back. Miss Melton saw me pass the note back to Dean, and told me to bring the note up and put it on her desk. She went on with the class. I forgot about the incident until the next day when Miss Melton told me to go see Miss Bunker. In the Principal’s Office, Miss Bunker had the note in herhand.
Miss Bunker: “What does this mean?”
Me: (scrubbing my foot on the floor and looking down) “I don’t know.”
Miss Bunker: “What does this mean?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
Miss Bunker: “I’m going to call your mother on the phone.”
Me: (in desperation) “It’s the title of a story.”
Miss Bunker: “A story?”
Me: “Yes. I’m writing a story about a boy who gets a tool box for Christmas.”
Miss Bunker: “I want to read that story. Bring it to my office by the end of the school day or I’m going to call your mother.”
That’s how I became a writer. From that time to the present I’ve written a lot of fiction. Some of it was written for newspapers and international new services. I’ve reported for the Idaho Falls Post Register, The Deseret News (Salt Lake City) The United Press International (from Buenos Aires), the Minneapolis Star and Tribune, The Miami Herald, the Kansas City Star, Universal Press Syndicate. Everyone knows that newspaper stories aren’t supposed to be fiction. But with tight deadlines, and because journalism is more art than science, a lot of creativity is involved in covering the news.
I’ve written news stories from the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean (including Cuba), the Sudan (Africa) Botswana (Africa) (the old) Yugoslavia, England, Hong Kong, and Letongaloosa (a fictional town in the U.S. Midwest). Many news stories, carrying my byline, were actually published by newspapers or by news services.
For the past dozen years I have been writing humorous fiction for the Kaw Valley Senior Monthly of Lawrence, Kansas. Do I notice a difference between the fiction writing I do now and the news writing I did as a journalist? Yes, I do. Fact checking is more rigorous on the Kaw Valley Senior Monthly than fact checking was during the days when I covered coups and earthquakes in Latin America.
-30- (that means “the end” in journalese)