10 October 2014

Published October 8, 2014 by rochellewisoff

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Below is the photo prompt for the week. What do you see? What do you hear? Tell me in one hundred words or less, then click the blue froggy fella and link your story. My story follows the linkz and prompt. I appreciate honest comments and constructive criticism. 

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

            The boy stared out the window beside his bed and listened to his Alyn Ainsworth record. He tapped his fingers on the night stand in time to the music.

            Sentenced to the ‘greenhouse,’ a children’s sanitarium, he’d celebrated his fourteenth birthday with tea, boredom and Streptomycin. Yet, after a year of incarceration, the doctors still considered Ritchie too ill to go home.  

            “Join our band,” said a nurse. “Bring your new banjo.”

            “I’d rather play drums.”

            Ten years later Ritchie smiled over his drum set at a sea of screaming teenagers as Ed Sullivan cried, “Ladies and gentleman, the Beatles!”

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102 comments on “10 October 2014

    • Dear Jessie,

      I delved back into the passion of my youth—the Beatles! They were all interesting people as well. Glad you like the story and the photo. I always love seeing where people’s minds will go with each photo.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • This resonates strongly with me.. humanity has been those diseases and yet the music will bring forth a will to live.. Hopefully every disease finds its end.. My father had tuberculosis at the age of 11 and should have died I guess — but he made it through, even if there were no medicines in the 20’s …

    Like

    • Dear Björn,

      I’m glad your father survived or I’d never have met you. 😉

      As I shared in my previous story, music is powerful. Although I’m not a musician myself, I have three sons and a husband who are. I like to listen to it.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Caerynn,

      I remember reading in the fan magazines when I was a teenager that poor Ringo had a sickly childhood. I also remember that he missed part of a tour because he had to be hospitalized to have his tonsils removed. Happy to enlighten. 😉

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Ah! Now you’re entering my territory! Nice work on this, and a great little biographical piece. Short, but sweet, and utterly complete in it’s 100 words. I like it a lot, this is quite good! ^_^

    Like

    • Dear Miles,

      I think it’s fun that we both inserted clips from the Ed Sullivan show. I do remember seeing this broadcast live. I was in love with Paul McCartney from that moment on.

      Glad to hear that things are settling down for your. Thank you for such nice comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • You are always amazing me with your stories and the references. You often see things in a different way than others, but your research and meticulous search for the facts are rare. Even though we have lived together all these years, I don’t understand how you do it. Wonderful story and, of course, very interesting subject. You go girl.

    Like

    • Dear Jan,

      Too bad I didn’t figure out this research thing in high school, eh? But then there was no internet. 😉
      Your constant support is what keeps me going. Thank you for the years, the space to write and the encouragement.

      Love,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Stephanie,

      I do a little digging, sometimes a lot of digging and then imagine what it was like for the person I’m writing about. Glad it worked. 😉 I’m always pleased to see you here.

      Thank you.

      shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Subroto,

      What else did you have to do at midnight? Sleep? Feh. You can always sleep. 😉 Can you guess that I was and still am a Beatles fan?

      I just read The Busker. Very nice. How much of that is fiction? Well done. I can see why it was picked up for publication.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

      • Thanks Rochelle I so glad that you liked it. The core story is fictional but most of the incidents, locations and dates regarding Gibbs brothers are true. I too did my research for it 😉

        Like

    • Dear Helena,

      Such a nice compliment! Ah, but you really are better off with the encyclopedia. I’m a mere mistress of trivia. 😉
      Of course, when it comes to the Beatles…

      Thank you and welcome back, darling.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Veronika,

      It’s amazing how many words aren’t needed to tell a complete story, isn’t it? This exercise has done a lot for my longer pieces.

      Glad you liked my story. Thank you for commenting.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Paul,

      It was fun digging into Ritchie’s past. I knew he’d had a sickly childhood and considered himself the luckiest man alive. So on that note I started the research trail. Glad you came along for the ride.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle,
    I love the snippets of history you share with us in so many of your flashes. I’m a bit young to have followed the Beatles, but I love a good story about a musician who makes good.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    Like

  • Love how you took such a familiar figure — Ringo! — and turned his story into something poignant, something we didn’t know about him. And — can I give this post a double-thumbs-up for featuring the Beatles? 😉

    Like

    • Dear Nan,

      Most of my knowledge is trivia, a Reader’s Digest version of the encyclopedia if you will. I’m a good Googler.

      We of a certain age are bound to share this memory. I remember it well.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle,
    Great story. Commenting is a bit tricky however – are we going to become segregated into those who are old enough to have been around during the Beatles heyday and those who aren’t? Guess I’ll have to declare myself as one who saw them live in Sydney in 1964. I’ll never forget it. Thanks for bringing back some memories.
    Cheers
    Marg

    Like

    • Dear Marg,

      It was a great time to be coming of age. There’ll never be another phenomenon like the four lads from Liverpool and I don’t apologize for being old enough to remember. In fact I envy the fact that you got to see them live. But isn’t that when Ringo was out for his tonsillectomy?

      If this segregates us, so be it. 😉 Besides we have more life experiences. More grist for the writing mill.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear K.Z.

      It seems to me that Ringo is a bit of an unsung hero. I imagine him as a rather gentle boy. I’ve heard him say in an interview that he was also damn lucky. Right place. Right time. Can you imagine?

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Few people know that following that show, Ringo gave his banjo to Steve Martin, who later played it while portraying the young, squint-eyed Appalachian boy in the movie, Deliverance. I think he even wrote Dueling Banjos, too. Ilona Lauraine Youngtree won the Oscar for best makeup artist that year for her work on that film and when she won that award I was inspired to become a writer. I’m still inspired to this day….

    So, from one makeup artist to another, great story this week.

    Aloha,

    Douglishka

    Like

    • Dear Douglishka,

      It’s always nice to learn little historical factoids. I will file this one away for future reference and inspiration. I’m grateful to Ilona Lauraine Youngtree for her influence as I think you’re a much better writer than you are a clock watching wok washer.

      Thank you for such a wonderful comment. My mouth hurts from smiling.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Rochelle,
    now I’m trying to picture the Beatles if Ringo had played the banjo instead of the drums in the band. 🙂 Thanks for the history lesson. Is this picture from your house, perhaps? Do you play any (or all) of them?

    Like

    • Dear David,

      According to the accounts I read, young Ritchie’s grandfather gave him a banjo and a mandolin. But the boy had eyes only for the drums. I daresay if he’d chosen either of the others we’d never have heard of him.

      The room is in my son’s house in upstate NY. You should see the line of guitars just to the right of the records. I play none of them. The only musical things I play are things like radios and iPods. I used to play the cassette and the 8-track before that until they both became obsolete. 😉

      Here’s a clip of my son just for the record. (get it…he he)

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Liz,

      I studied Beatles 101. 😉 All those little things that were in fan magazines back in the day can be found on the interweb and then some. And the things I don’t know could fill the ocean. .

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dearest Olive,
    How I’ve pined for the days to hear such a tale. My ears, stretching forth from the side of my moose-shaped head, straining to pick up the tribal drumbeats of a young Richard Starkey. Tis been a great pleasure to read. I shall inform my colleagues so that they too may enjoy the richness of your writing.
    Good day, Madam
    Bill Snakeshit

    Like

  • A great little history cameo. Very well executed, Rochelle.
    I remember them well, those four boys with their funny haircuts from Liverpool. It was so exciting to be around–albeit as a youngish child–to see their rise to fame. Sad that only two of them are alive today: namely, Paul and Ringo.

    Like

    • Dear Sarah,

      I was ten when I first saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. I was hooked from that moment. And then came what the “British Invasion.” It was a great time to be coming of age.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Another remarkable story that I didn’t know about. I loved it, Rochelle. I love that clip from the Beatles, too. Every time I hear it, I get chills. That was such an era, never to be repeated.

    Like

  • Dear Sarah,

    One story of what happened to the banjo can be found by scrolling up and finding Doug’s comment which could feasibly be referred to as his flash fiction for the week. 😉
    What probably happened was more like this, the boy spurned it and it was either sold or donated to a second hand shop.

    Thank you.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

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