(This excerpt from Someone, a work of fiction, is set in the aftermath of World War II. In this chapter, author Alice McDermott ’75 writes about a returned airman telling his near-death story and explaining his miraculous reprieve. McDermott’s lyrical novel examines an ordinary woman’s life as it is lived day by day in an
Eli Fleurant ’76 is a poet, philosopher, lecturer, inventor and historian. He created Diaphanism, a philosophy of reason, harmonic social-interaction, positive emotion and well-being. He received a master’s at St. John’s University and has taught at CUNY and Hoftsra University. He lives on Long Island and teaches modern languages at SUNY Farmingdale.
He is working on two books: Toussaint Louverture and the Panorama of Haiti: Before and After the Quake and Diaphanism: The Formula of Happiness.
For more than 14 years, I walked the halls of the U.S. Capitol as the eyes and ears of the Watertown Daily Times, until the Northern New York newspaper became the latest to close its Washington bureau March 31. But my roots in journalism reach into the halls of SUNY Oswego, where I spent four years as a reporter and editor at The Oswegonian.
If the statue of Edward Austin Sheldon could suddenly come to life, the picture-perfect day of September 30, 2005, may have been a good time. If the joy of the day somehow brought the college’s founder back and he took a stroll from his chair, many details would have astounded him. The buildings, and the
Five years ago I visited for a few days in the summer. It was a very strange experience. I wandered over the campus in search of my youth. Everywhere I looked, most of it was the same as I remembered. But all my friends were long gone. Only the memories still fresh. Everywhere I looked, ghosts materialized. Events materialized. I drank it in as only an older middle-aged man can. Here had taken place the best years of my life. I grew up here. My mind roared here. Some of the best friendships I have ever known were initiated and cultivated here. Some remain today.
But reality and time intruded. The snack bar at the union did not have vanilla Cokes. Nunzi’s, the Warehouse, Buckland’s … all gone. The town looked a little depressed and worn. A number of buildings gone.
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, located in the central Brooks Range of northern Alaska, is one of the last places in North America that is still untrammeled by modern civilization.
It features countless jagged mountains that soar anywhere from 4,000 to 8,000 feet high, numerous wild and scenic rivers, and more than seven million acres of federally designated wilderness.