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A short slice of life - Uh-Oh, Spaghetti-Os!

©Shers Gallagher 2014 

I grew up in the midst of a big gaggle of kids, which is why a lot of my memories include several overnights with the grandparents who were kid-oriented and loved us to bits. Yet, in truth, I think that even they needed a break from us now and again. One of these times was when they left us to spend an afternoon at a neighbour’s house, who’d also had grandchildren to watch that day. And, I’ll never forget the memory, if only for the lunch menu item the grandmother had served.

I never thought that my little Irish-American mother spoilt us kids. In my mind, it was more like she indulged us with her own love of children and play. Yet, I can’t remember her ever serving us canned foods for a meal, except for maybe a cup of warm Campbell soup along with a sandwich. But that was it. So, when this neighbour of my grandparents’ served us all platefuls of canned Spaghetti-Os, I was appalled. I was also brought up to be polite, and did try to be as mannerly as a young girl could be, being raised in the midst of a ramshackle bunch of brothers. So, I sniffed and eyed and played around with all those red, soupy over-starched ‘O’s’ as long as I could without seeming rude. Then I thanked the lady and told her I really wasn’t that hungry after all. When I got home, I told my mother how the woman had taken several cans of these ‘O’s’, plopped them in a big pot, fired up the burner and blasted them all to a boil before serving. Mom agreed that this sounded disgusting, and that was that.

I had forgotten about my Spaghetti-O moment until something my Dutch husband had said about growing up in Holland and watching American TV series, wondering what that big bowl of white paste was about that American families always seemed to be plopping in the middle of the dinner table and serving their kids. He had never known what it was and thought it an odd dish for Americans to consume as a part of their daily diet, mostly because it looked to him like something one might apply to their walls before papering. Hahaha. When I told him it was simply potatoes mashed to a pulp and often served with a dollop of butter and gravy, his mouth began to water. He may have even served this as a side dish to the meal he was preparing that evening. Oh joy! 
Aisling Books


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The Call

©Shers Gallagher 2016
The days grow colder and my heart grows bolder
to hear the call of the totem wolf, 
though limbs begin to rattle like the branches of a tree
as leaves turn bright before they fade and quietly fall,
drifting down and crumbling into air 
that smells of crackling pine and roasting logs of cedar.
I missed you then as I miss you now. 
But most of all I miss my youth 
and the dance I used to be.
Not the dance of whirring bees,
because I never was a hostile takeover. 
I miss the playful shadows of light
and soft breezes on silken feathers.
I miss the easiness of then, 
though, in truth I’m more physically comfortable now. 
And yet I’d give it all up for only a few more 
playful shadows of twilight and silken days. 

Aisling Books

Shers on Irish FM radio - Murder On the Rocks!

What fun to be asked to do this radio interview with CRY 104 FM in County Cork while I plugged a murder mystery I'd written and set in Youghal, Ireland.

Murder On The Rocks!
 is the first of what has eventually turned into a 3-part series, entitled: A Felly van Vliet series, named after its protagonist.
Airtime with this County Cork DJ - Stan Notte - ended up with him not only asking about why I'd based this first work in the sleepy little Irish harbour town of Youghal, but also a bit about the writing process and my background as well.
Have a listen to this live broadcast. As the Irish say, it was great craic!

Concentration camp survivors found to live longer than peers

by Thijs Wolters [translated by Sherry Gallagher]
Jews who were in their puberty or young adulthood during the Second World War, and in a concentration camp or in hiding, appear to be living longer than their peers who fled the Holocaust. This comes from research done by two University of Leiden professors, Marinus van Ijzendoorn and Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg, with two Israeli colleagues who published their findings in ‘PLOS ONE’[an open access peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science since 2006]. In their research they investigated more than 55,000 Polish Jews: people who moved to the then British Mandate Territory of Palestine and survivors of the Holocaust immigrating to Israel between 1945-50. The survivors of especially males from the Holocaust appear to live longer on average than those having emigrated just before WWII. That was a total surprise. 
Professor van Ijzendoorn can only guess the causes of such life expansion: “Those who survived t…