My Brick #CBF16

Dan Antion sent me a notice about The Cherished Blogfest, saying post were requested to be limited to 500 characters. I wrote back and said, “500 CHARACTERS? Are you kidding me?” He wrote back and ‘splained they needed to keep ’em short so participants could visit as many blogs as possible.

So then I get an email about how Somebody Else pointed out that he had said 500 CHARACTERS when he really meant 500 WORDS, and thanks, Somebody Else, for pointing this out. Guess I must be chopped liver, eh?

No, I kid Dan. I’m kidding him because I love him. Not, you know, in any way that would make His Editor unhappy, of course.

ANYWAY, in 1968, between high school and college, I interned as a runner with The Carriage House Players, who, at that time, performed Shakespeare In the Park in Louisville, Kentucky. I carried messages and stuff back and forth between the stage in Central Park and The Carriage House, where the props, costumes, stage dressing, and what-not resided.

I also ran errands for the cast and crew during the day and during the performances in the evenings. It was great! Never had so much fun!

I went away to college, and one day I heard from one of my high school friends, the wonderful Eddie Collins, telling me that The Carriage House was being torn down, and did I want a brick from it.

Well, yeah!

So he got me a brick and memorialized it.


nostalgicNaturally, I still have it. And, thanks to Facebook, I’m back in touch with Eddie. Thanks again, my friend!

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: What is a cherished object of your main character?


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I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “My Brick #CBF16

  1. Joey

    July 29, 2016 at 8:41am

    Haha! I also love Dan in a way his editor would find appropriate. I think I love her, too, and I don’t even read her, lol!
    I saw that 500 character thing and assumed it was an error, but I’m the sort of person who lets people like you take care of these matters.
    I love the tale with the brick, that sounds like a pretty fun job, Marian the theatre runner πŸ™‚
    Nice Cherishing! πŸ™‚

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 29, 2016 at 10:50am

      Oh, it was SO MUCH FUN! “Caliban wants a Diet Coke and get Ariel a hot dog while you’re there.” lol

  2. Dan Antion

    July 29, 2016 at 10:28am

    I think I once wrote that I have, at best, a casual relationship with the obvious. Of course, working behind the scenes at the Cherished Blogfest, I didn’t bother to have my editor review anything I wrote. She would have said “500 characters, did you mean to say words?” and I would have said “huh? I don’t get it.” ‘cuz, it takes more than a few attempts. She would have tried again and she would have kept trying until the bulb flickered to life. I’m sure everyone noticed this error except me.

    You are NOT chopped Liver! I’m just a dope sometimes.

    I think the brick is a pretty cool way to remember a fun place and piece of your personal history. I love you guys in that same kind of way. I look forward to your posts and I am so glad you joined us for #CBF16

    AND – I am NOT a spammer…sheesh

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 29, 2016 at 11:03am

      Of COURSE you’re not a spammer! Did my anti-spam filter accuse you of that? The dirty bastard!

  3. Jane

    July 29, 2016 at 10:43am

    I remember when the downtown bank of the Ohio River was paved with heavy granite? stones. Turns out they were ballast stones from various transports going up and down the river. When they replaced them with a riverside fancy park, they “gave” them to donators to the waterfront park. I can remember when the Ohio froze over, and one could step off the bank and walk out on the river. Sheesh, am I old!

    I’ve given some thought to what might be a vampire’s favorite possession. And I’m not quite sure they would hang on to physical things after a while. Memories, though….that’s the ticket.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 29, 2016 at 11:07am

      I remember those stones! And the freezing. And people trying to drive out there and losing their cars, at the very least.

      But what object HAS Callie (or Grigori) held onto for all these decades?

      • Jane

        July 30, 2016 at 9:41am

        SO…it would be a memory trigger, wouldn’t it?
        Or a beautiful piece of art. Any kind, a carving maybe. Jewelry?

        Photos? A letter?

        I’m just going to have to ask them, eh?

        • Author

          Marian Allen

          July 31, 2016 at 7:51am

          Yeah! Ask them! After all those years knocking about, it could also be an anchor to a time past.

  4. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    July 29, 2016 at 11:16am

    My dad made ‘bricks.’ Special hollowed out ones from a special clay which he designed ovens to bake and turn into ceramics. They were cooling-tower fill, highly efficient, and reduced the cost of cooling water by increasing the cooling efficiency of existing towers by replacing their fill.

    I kept nagging him to patent his ideas, and he dithered until he was dying, and then, though we tried, the process took too long, and we didn’t manage to do it.

    My sisters never got it, but I’m an engineer/physicist, and I did. He was always tinkering with the bricks – and I will have the last existing ones to remember him by.

    It’s never ‘just a brick.’ It’s a brick with a story, a tangible reminder of your days having fun bringing Ariel a sandwich.

    We humans are like that.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 29, 2016 at 12:23pm

      Alicia, I love your story about your father and his bricks. It constantly amazes me — or I should say “repeatedly” amazes me — how many worlds there are in the world. Look at anything; touch anything; there are worlds within in, each world filled with stories. And non-writers ask us where we get our ideas!

  5. Ellen

    July 29, 2016 at 11:18am

    How funny – I’m the somebody else! When I saw that email I started to panic about how I was going to shorten up my blog post considerable. Thankfully, it was words, not characters πŸ™‚

    Love your brick – what a great memento. Also, that’s a great writing prompt – I’m going to have to ponder that one and work it into my draft novel.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 29, 2016 at 12:25pm

      I know you are, Ellen, but I wasn’t going to finger you for it. LOL!

      I post a prompt every day, based on whatever I’ve been rambling on about. πŸ™‚

  6. Paul

    July 29, 2016 at 3:15pm

    Good post, Marian. I’ve had a little theater experience myself, and it was great fun for me, too. Nice to have a reminder of a special memory — especially that would be so hard to lose!

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 29, 2016 at 3:39pm

      Thanks, Paul, and thanks for dropping by. I loved The Twilight Zone and The Night Gallery! Rod Serling was genius!

  7. Wendy

    July 29, 2016 at 5:02pm

    What a perfect keepsake, Marian! If something stirs up memories, then it doesn’t matter how “ordinary” the object is, does it? I still have a little piece of glass from a broken window at my public school. It’s just a piece of glass and would mean nothing to anyone else. But I’m still glad I have it!

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 29, 2016 at 5:48pm

      Exactly, Wendy! And that brick is doubly special, since it was saved for me by a friend. πŸ™‚

  8. Alana

    July 29, 2016 at 5:56pm

    That brick is so cool! I wish they would sell bricks of the local BAE plant being torn down in my neighborhood – that sounds kind of weird but that building has been in my life (sort of) for nearly 30 years. And, ha ha, I was really wondering about how I would have to write a 500 character blog post. You aren’t chopped liver. Maybe chopped liver with onions, yes.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      August 4, 2016 at 3:17pm

      Sell bricks? You can’t just slip in there and steal one? –Oh, did I say that out loud?

  9. Mary Giese

    July 29, 2016 at 7:47pm

    I bet you were ready to throw your brick at Dan…until he clarified the 500 word rule. That’s a great memento to have from a fun internship as a runner, Marian. Glad you were able to procure it as a keepsake. Thanks for participating in the blogfest this year, Marian. Maybe in 2017, Dan will let was write 501 words.

    Mary J
    CBF Cohost

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 30, 2016 at 6:49am

      Hahahaha! I seldom write as many as 500 words, Mary, except on #SampleSunday or #amwriting Monday, or when I do a book review.

      The internship was magical. Back and forth between the Carriage House of the Mysteries and the stage where a bit of fabric becomes a king’s throne (covering the spot where an incontinent chipmunk had been at it, perhaps)…. Watching queens and shipwrecked sailors come off-stage and turn into regular folks…. Best summer ever!

  10. Peter Nena

    July 30, 2016 at 8:58am

    Your most cherished object is unique.
    Thanks again for participating in the Cherished Blogfest 2016.

  11. Sharukh Bamboat

    July 30, 2016 at 11:19am

    I never thought a brick would ever make its place in the list of cherished objects, but I’m glad you proved me wrong. I think it is a great way to remember certain places where you have spent some time. I loved the way you have written this post. Absolutely heart-touching. As a co-host, I thank you for sharing your story in the Cherished Blogfest.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 31, 2016 at 7:53am

      Thank you. πŸ™‚ That summer’s memories are almost magical for me. Writing the post brought back so many details — I’m so glad Dan Antion encouraged me to join the Blog Fest!

  12. Debbie D.

    August 6, 2016 at 11:24am

    I too assumed that “characters” was a mistake and should have read “words”. πŸ™‚ Theatre runner sounds like a fun job. The brick is a lovely memento.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      August 6, 2016 at 12:17pm

      I suppose Twitter has primed me to accept a submission requirement measured in characters rather than words. πŸ˜‰

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