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Stories on other venues…

There are a few short stories and articles I’ve written, out there on various sites.   I’ll provide excerpts and links on this page, for those of you who might like to read them.

Coecles Harbor Anchorage, Shelter Island, LI, NY

Coecles Harbor Anchorage, Shelter Island, LI, NY Author’s Photograph (c) Richard Sutton, 2013

One Particular Harbor… (Ran in Sea Magic, an online magazine in 2013)

…but there’s this one particular harbor,
so far and yet so near,
I can see the day, when my hair’s gone grey
and I finally disappear.

(From the song lyric by Jimmy Buffett, One Particular Harbor)

I suppose all of us whose veins run with salt water, have one of these. It’s a sheltered spot, not too hard to get to, where you just feel right. At home. The image was taken last Summer from our deck, anchored in our special spot near sundown. Coecles Harbor is an almost land-locked salt pond within the Eastern shore of Shelter Island, NY, USA. The depths don’t go much above 20 feet anywhere, and mostly under six feet. There is a narrow cut that runs hard with tide current that’s a favorite hunting spot for Bluefish and Striped Bass, so when we enter during the late summer, hugging the starboard bank, we could almost shake hands with the fishermen lining up along the channel. There is no real commercial development along its shore, although a small fishing fleet survives along a side creek. Their early morning departures usually set up a roll of waves that serves as an alarm clock for early risers.

Protected in the embrace of Long Island’s Eastern arms, Shelter Island lies just a bit more than 100 miles from Manhattan Island, yet even passing water skiers can’t break it’s peaceful spell when you lie at anchor. The Eastern end of Long Island is still primarily agrarian, so despite its proximity to the rush and insanity of major urban areas, you can still buy vegetables from a farm stand and look down the furrows to a sparkling harbor, where sailboats lie on their moorings.

Due South of the spot we anchor in is a huge tract of virgin forest preserved since the 1700s. It’s the Mashomack Preserve and it’s one of those rare spots where you can lose yourself completely in nature. We regularly used to watch deer and raccoons competing for the seaweed tossed ashore by the tide from the comfort of our boat’s cockpit. We’ve heard the odd, night-time call of the Woodcock, which sounds like a slide whistle. We’ve seen Ospreys, even Bald Eagles, and all within a single hour’s trip from our home dock. Add in the combination of the smells of the tide-line, the forest, and the tilled soil and it creates, for us at least, a place unique in all the world.

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Remember the first guitar you paid for?  This is the story of one such instrument, the events surrounding it’s acquisition, and how it changed the life of a young man in the late 1960s.

The sales guy was clearly waiting for some kind of sign. Anything at all. He stood off a bit, his hands safely tucked into his jeans back pockets, but his eyes bored holes into the back of my head. He knew I wanted it. I knew I wanted it. It was really shiny, and the neck was as fast and clean as anything I’d picked up before, including the really expensive Martins and Guilds!  I wasn’t too keen on the cherry-red sunburst top finish, but I could live with it.

I’d played it probably four times this week alone.  It sounded really good for the money.  Warm, with shimmering highs all the way up the neck. The inside was clean.  No signs of sloppy construction like glue blobs or repaired laminates.  In fact, the wood looked solid throughout.  It had one other neat thing I liked. The neck was bolted on like an electric’s neck. Though uneducated (at that point in time) in the fine points of guitar building, it looked like a smart idea.

Now I was faced with having to explain that while I wanted to buy it, I just couldn’t afford it.  I was embarrassed by my lack of means, but I knew I had to tell him. There was $40.00 in my pocket.  The guitar was $120.00.  I turned to him, ready to apologize for taking his time, but before my mouth opened, he’d already offered me an out.  Read the Full Story on WeBook…


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