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"Keys to the Cages" recounts the frightful story of a fire at the Ohio State Penitentiary in Columbus on Easter Monday 1930. First fire responders wait in open-air trucks outside a locked gate. Cries of men bolted behind steel bars are heard widely amidst creeping flames and black smoke, while individual cell door keys hang on guard room hooks, undisturbed. It is the change of shift. Guards debate the wisdom of releasing any keys to unlock the cells. The fire attracts thousands of Columbus people, who stand around prison gates while tragedies unfold inside. This is also an account of inmate Theophilus Kabel of Dayton, institutionalized at an early age into a life devoid of personal decision-making. He is emancipated into a world full of uncharted freedom, yet his attempt to fit into society fails; he is soon arrested and forced hopelessly into this deadly prison setting. His story gives voice to men logged only as statistics in the annals of America's deadliest prison fire. Three hundred and twenty-two die that night. None on death row.
A Peacock Speaks is a delightful collection of memoirs and short stories from the curious pen of Don Peacock. In 22 short tales of unexpected events, he captivates you with some very unusual observations. He explores subjects as wide as bird behavior, human nature, boating, male-female relationships, cats, and the fine art of "grandfathering." Ever the purveyor of the surprising ending, Peacock pulls you into speculative fiction from which you will need time to recover.
This anthology is a whimsical collection of short stories, memoirs and poems written by 16 seniors, nearly all in their 70s, spanning holidays from 1930-2011. The authors are from southwestern Ohio and meet at the University of Dayton's Lifelong Learning Institute. Stories are about "what it's really like to play Santa," how a child perceives the mysteries of Christmas, and the tortuous adult worries and last minute pressures of holidays. Memories of the Great Depression, World War II and the entanglements of recent years are woven into these tales. You'll read about a Santa who robs a bank, a boy in a monastery, adults having faith restored and the timelessness of love. Some of the stories are meant to be read aloud to children. There's even a great recipe. This book makes a memorable gift to be unpacked yearly with your Christmas decorations.
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