By

danamray
Meet Jerry, my new friend hanging above the couch in my living room. Jerry is a rooster. Roosters are the sign that the sun is rising, the night is over, a new day is here. Jerry is a gift. A gift for a new day. A wedding gift. My friend William Snyder III (goes by...
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  This is me at 18. I had just graduated from high school. This summer “in-between” was spent at my dad’s workplace as a summer intern, crunching data sets in excel sheets and drawing trace lines around the heart beat peaks and valleys in the ultrasound machine. There was not a lot to do and...
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“I don’t plan on getting political. But I need to say this: that was incredible. I don’t see three women dancing. I see three performance artists kicking ass and doing their thing.” –Robert Royston Hours after watching Triversity perform at DCSX (November 19th, 2017), I struggled to articulate my thoughts—mostly because my voice kept catching...
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“I want to be a part of telling the stories that are empowering to be told.” Megan Staub tells me this on a clear fall day, the kind where you can see the full length of the valley from my front porch. We’re on the phone and she’s at her home in Charleston, SC working...
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Spud Marshall’s latest endeavor will point the way toward innovation. It’s been 12 years since Spud Marshall came to State College as an undergraduate student. In that time, State College and Penn State saw pivotal and heartbreaking moments that changed the region forever. Before and during those moments, Marshall began telling a different story for...
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We stepped into Martine’s in Galway, Ireland, looking for a cozy place to have dinner. It was our fifth night of our honeymoon and we’d covered the width of the island, hiked the Cliffs of Moher, and begun our quest for the best Old Fashioned in the country. There weren’t any seats immediately available so...
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I love letters. I have collections of letters from over the years of my life. I keep childhood letters in a floral box in a deep closet in our house. Every few years I pull them out and enjoy the child script on such scarce and valuable American Girl Doll stationary. In high school, I...
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Last month, shortly after my return from Italy, Robbie and I took a spare Friday evening and wandered around State College’s First Friday events. Sauly Boy’s had their gelato in a stand on the street. I couldn’t decided between their unique flavors so I asked: What is the most unexpectedly delightful gelato? The woman knew...
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“I’m still waiting to hear about the neighbors talking about the madman who cut off the front of his house,” Benjamin Fehl laughs. We are sitting in his garage-converted studio in Milesburg, door propped open to let in the early spring day and the first blue sky, the kind of day where the bushes decided...
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The last two weeks, I’ve lived in Tufo, Italy, a tiny town with a castle about an hour east of Naples. I lived there with four other writers in a little pink house for the Backyard Writer’s Residency. It was my first experience with this type of residency, the only close experience being the following:...
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