Storymania Logo




Buenos Dias, Colombia (Not S Carolina!) by Randall Barfield First-hand comments/observations of the country today and other days (w... [18,298 words]
Tijuana Trolley by Robert Guskind This is an excerpt from a work that is currently in progress. This passage details events in th... [973 words]
The Way I Am by Peter Izdebski The title of my story is The Way I Am. It's something I sat down and wrote over a few days. I to... [4,592 words]
Addicted To Eve Garner by Jonathan Christian Soriano - [2,968 words]
The Enigma Of Woman by Norman A Rubin Love and Women are the brightest solution to all enigmas. [1,683 words]
Pissed--Or, We Did It To Ourselves(Yes, Read Fucked) by Randall Barfield Periodical rant. [492 words]
Hiding From The Truth by Jessica J A true story about what I went through with my bestfriend. Hoping that writting will hael... [3,345 words]
An Interview With New York Times Best Selling Author Steve Alten by Owen Hollifield New York Times Best selling author Steve Alten... [1,332 words]
Confession by Dorra Della An journal entry from March 2002 about me and a guy I loved and am not dating. [1,353 words]
The Conductors Of The Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Frank Dunsmore For over one hundred and eight years the CSO has created beaut... [2,217 words]
Miniviews From Colombia by Randall Barfield No special description. Basically, getting an idea of what different people think at p... [3,555 words]
See The Light? by Jenn Thomas-Orr Random memories about a father from a daughter who loved him. [1,807 words]
Nothing New by Jenn Thomas-Orr One woman's experience with surviving domestic abuse and moving on with life. [2,352 words]
Letters From Afghanistan by Ben Overby A picture of the sacrifices that are being made daily by thousands of US troops and th... [4,333 words]
Didgeridoo by Jenn Thomas-Orr A review of a short performance I had the privilege of attending in Australia in 2001. [378 words]
Can You See It? by James A McGee Troubled young man learns a lasting lesson from his grandfather. [1,553 words]
Life, Love And The Pursuit Of Un-Intoxication by Rob Baked The short story of a piece of my experience traveling to Bomoseen... [1,826 words]
The Arm by Robert W Carlomagno The Misadventures of an Army Brat. [3,756 words]
Memories Of Cawood by Cylis Lapedimore This a short about a legendary sports broadcaster in the state of Ky, It was an attempt of... [874 words]
A Georgia Crossroads by Randall Barfield Where does it lie? [325 words]
Psycho Jack Turns 44 by S A Robinson Psycho Jack Turns 44 (Part 1 of 2)Aprox. 2100 words (4200 total) (My best friend Jack has... [1,895 words]
Greenlife by Frank L Martin Are plants aware? Perhaps. Read an experience that really happened and draw your own conclusion. [1,162 words]
Southern Comfort by Robert W Carlomagno The Misadventures of an Army Brat. Third in a series. [2,029 words]
A Picture's Wirth A Thousand Words by Frank Dunsmore I had the privilege of interviewing Cliff Wirth, Chicago Sun-Times newspaper... [1,701 words]
Night Lights Shine On by Frank Dunsmore Night Lights Shine On is a brief history of lighthouses. From ancient times on, lighthous... [1,553 words]
Radio Days Of Yesteryear by Frank Dunsmore I was in bed listening to my radio while the wind whistled and howled outside the wind... [3,001 words]
Connect The Stars In The Night Sky by Frank Dunsmore The ancient Greek and Roman stargazers connected stars with imaginary lines ... [1,912 words]
The Beach by Robert W Carlomagno The Misadventures of an Army Brat. Second in a series. [1,233 words]
Vietnam Notes by Robert Flynn Memories of war. [11,032 words]
The Mail's On The Saddle by Frank Dunsmore The Pony Express is a true spirit of America. On April 3, 1860 the Pony Express began ... [2,209 words]
The Truth by Amit Gupta A non-fiction story. [1,033 words]
Trading The Metal by Steven R. Kravsow "Today was a good day for me, or so I thought. I had traded in my aged 4-door Taurus, after b... [1,234 words]
Before I Exceed To Glory by Renee Zeno - [850 words]
Tippy by Kathleen McCarthy A true story about a pet ground squirrel and a childhood learning experience. [1,040 words]
Half Marathon Man by Peter Perkins True account of author Peter Perkins attempt to run a half marathon and the subsequent near d... [2,001 words]
Her World Of Darkness by Shenielle Aloysis The power of sight is something we take for granted. But what would you do if it were to ... [872 words]
Dungeons Of Darkness by Marvin V Arnett A visit to the African slave forts at Cape Coast, Ghana in West Africa raises ghosts and q... [1,396 words]
Celebration Of Life by Shenielle Aloysis After tragedy strikes, a period of healing follows. This story tells us of how a woman over... [926 words]
Mushi Mushi by Rachel Thian Yeng About my experience in Japan. [2,230 words]
A Blessing In Disguise by S Burkhead A story about my son, who I had at the young age of 15. [342 words]
Waking Up The Village by B. P. Skinner A concerned professional working in the inner city tackles the child protection system to... [1,760 words]
Childhood Memories by Rita Myers This Christmas story is based on one of the many stories that my late father shared with me ... [485 words]
The Gaspe Peninsula by Jock Pichette The story is about a beautiful part of Quebec. Whether its reaching a peak and only seeing ... [5,878 words]
Oscar Costin D-Day by Jock Pichette Oscar is special, a wireless operator during WWII with a mission to come back home in one pi... [1,843 words]
Medical Officer With A Mission by Jock Pichette A young soldier joins WWII from University, drives a jeep with all his medical t... [4,451 words]
A Story Of One Man, His Universal Carrier And The Unknown by Jock Pichette They did not ask Bert to join the War, he signed up, ... [3,486 words]
Reliving Another Senseless Death by Greg Stephens - [645 words]
Photo Man by Steven R. Kravsow I stood at the airport fence looking at a vintageB-24 Liberator. And then I saw the tiny little man. ... [2,560 words]
On Death And The Spirit World by Lissa N Metz-Gomez An essay discussing various elements of the 4th dimension. [1,446 words]
A Blemish In My Life - A Memoir by Deb Meyer This is true story about me dealing with my acne troubles as a teen and the des... [2,524 words]
The Battle With The Bat by Michael Wolfe The true story of a terrifying encounter I had at my girlfriend's lake home with a vamp... [2,012 words]
The Man With The Golden Tooth by Natalia Pedroza Slaves story from when the slaves came to America. [2,364 words]
My Not So Called Life by Natalia Pedroza A story about a boy who passe throw tough stuff at a very young age. [2,234 words]
As Long Lives This...Then This Gives Life To You. by Sorcha Colleran My aunt died of cancer,and since this piece could belong to a... [571 words]
My Second Identity by Pegi Handley It all began with such innocense, a feverent desire to better her life-start fresh again. I... [2,120 words]
The Final Analysis by Pegi Handley This is a story of women and madness. In 1955, at seventeen years old, I'm thrown into a psy... [2,061 words]
Bi And Buy -- Sex Self-Help by Victoria King Chapter 1. Covers some topics that a still touchy. For example - Women are bi-sexu... [1,881 words]
The South Finally Surrenders by Melody This is an essay about the civil war. It is based on a very important figure call... [2,577 words]
Lee At Chancellorsville by Mauricio Esquenazi This is an essay about General Robert E Lee at the battle of Chancellorsvile, during th... [1,748 words]
The Family Executioner by Steven R. Kravsow In the early hours of December 11, something terrible happened. William Beadle, known t... [4,795 words]
Stars & Stripers
Overcoming Anguish by Sandra Lee Larsen This article began as information concerning child kidnapping, specifically parental kidnapp... [863 words]
Tree Hives by Simple Man The story of my impression of my grandmother and events that took place that reminded me that family... [2,076 words]
Free To A Good Home by David Roberts The story of our experience with a special dog over a period of years; from our acquisition... [4,832 words]
A Cry For Help by Sondra Collard Home alone during the day? A warning from a daytime TV addict... [666 words]
The Little Glass Pitcher by Edith Talmason Biography, personal incident which may be enlarged to become a book. [809 words]
Bass Blood Runs Deep by Linda Marie Brainard This book pertains to the life of Samuel Bass. [16,000 words] [16,000 words]
The Drink!!!
The Lake
Leaving Home
When Dolls Talk
Modern Fables
Clara Barton

Go to page: 1 2 3 4 [5]
Stars & Stripers
He was a tiny man with a scrapbook. He'd served as a reporter for Stars & Stripes during World War II. And he was one of the first inside Buchanwald. He carried his scrapbook under his arm and his story inside his head; a story that tormented his soul.
[1,081 words]
Steven R. Kravsow
I have been writing for the past 10 years. I have written short stories, essays, Op-Ed pieces, magazine length articles, and 3 novels entitled, "The Acorn Academy," "Boneman," and "Puppet Boy." I am presently at work on my 4th novel entitled, "Square Pegs."
[February 2000]
A Better Place To Be (Short Stories) Bennie Dean is a tiny little man with a crooked little smile who marks the passage of his day following the rituals of breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a Continuing Care Center. But do not be sad for B... [788 words]
A Place To Stay (Short Stories) Arnie Westin was a con man-- a nickle and dimer always looking for the quick score. Arnie had a plan-- genious really. But Arnie is about to discover that you don't always get what you want. [5,217 words]
American Tale (Essays) "I stood behind the old man in the check-out line at the local convenience store. A navy blue Yankees hat covered a head of sparse gray hair. He carried an old framed photo which he proudly laid on to... [629 words]
Loonies (Short Stories) A car slowly gained on him. Soon it was even with Daniel's. It was a black sports model, low slung and powerful looking with black tinted glass and black sidewall tires. He looked over at the black ca... [4,959 words]
Photo Man (Non-fiction) I stood at the airport fence looking at a vintageB-24 Liberator. And then I saw the tiny little man. He wore his old Army Air Force fatigues, perfectly laundered and looking like it was still 1944. Hi... [2,560 words]
Play Ball: The Real Rite Of Spring (Essays) I love the spring. Wanna know why? Because spring is the time of year when good things begin to happen. And like anyone else, I like good things to happen. And if they happen to me, then so much the b... [917 words]
Riding The Line (Short Stories) Rosie McClusky loved to ride the bus, losing herself in the tapestry of the city. She loved the way it wound its way through the sleepy city early in the morning and she loved the way it meandered bac... [918 words]
Songs From My Attic (Essays) While rummaging through my attic, I discovered a box of old sheet music from the turn of the century. It painted a rich tapestry of who we were in the early 1900's, what we believed, and portrayed the... [1,878 words]
The Debunking The Dreaded Shopping Spree (Essays) The English language has approximately 500,000 words, and these words, in and of themselves, are quite benign.The other day that dreaded combination was uttered to me, and my life changed. I was heade... [1,715 words]
The Family Executioner (Non-fiction) In the early hours of December 11, something terrible happened. William Beadle, known to his friends and neighbors as an honest and forthright man, took an ax and hacked his wife and four children to... [4,795 words]
The Left Arm Of The Law (Short Stories) Charlie Underwood was a good cop. But sometimes even the best laid plans and a lifetime's work can disappear in the bl;inlk of an eye. And when that happens, a guy like Charlie Underwoord has to have ... [5,317 words]
The Tree House (Short Stories) When you're a kid growing up, there are always three rules you need to remember-- look both ways before crossing the road, keep your bike oiled and the tires filled, and watch out for the Shoots! Ever... [3,691 words]
Trading The Metal (Non-Fiction) "Today was a good day for me, or so I thought. I had traded in my aged 4-door Taurus, after bleeding it as dry as turnip blood on a stone. In its place stood a bright red beauty that was not only econ... [1,234 words]
Stars & Stripers
Steven R. Kravsow

I can still remember him. He was a tiny man, at least a head shorter than me and I stand well under six feet tall. He had a shock of snow white hair that reminded me of the flowing mane of Robert Frost. Liver spots covered arthritic hands that shook ever so slightly, and there was the persistent smell of alcohol on his breath. He wore a soft flannel shirt and a wrinkled pair of Khaki pants. Clinched carefully against his side was an old musty scrapbook.

"I'd really enjoy speaking to your class," he said.

I had met him a few years ago when he came to my school to do an article for the local newspaper. He had retired a few years before and he did this to keep his hand in the business, he'd said.

My class had just completed a unit on World War II and he had seen some of their reports on a bulletin board. It was then he told me about his scrapbook. He wanted to share it with my 8th graders; a piece of oral history.

He seemed a shy man. Quite different from what I would have expected an old newsman to be. He spoke haltingly and self consciously, no Walter Winchell type here, as he spoke of his background to the children. He had been a reporter with Stars & Stripes during the war, attached to Patton's 3rd Army.

He passed his scrapbook around the room and answered questions. He told a few stories and explained that the army newspaper worked much like a regular newspaper. He tried to tell them what it was like gathering stories and fighting in a war. They listened politely. Soon he finished and my students applauded.

When the class ended, he motioned for me to come closer.

"I want to thank you for letting me talk to the kids. I think they enjoyed it," he'd said, but it sounded more like a plea.

"I'm sure they did. That's a nice scrapbook you brought with you."

He waved a hand as if swatting at a fly.

"Yeah, it's what I did and I'm proud of it. But I have another story to tell and I didn't think I should tell it to a bunch of eighth graders."

He was breathing harder now; agitated. The smell of alcohol clung to his breath.

The death camps. Hitler's demented handiwork. The Final Solution. 'By Your Work You Shall Be Set Free.'

"You know, I was one of the first ones into Buchenwald. Went in on the third day," he panted. "We'd heard rumors you know-- about the camps. But we weren't prepared for what we found. I can still see it-- taste it..." He wiped a gnarled hand over his nose. "I can still smell it. Those bastards," he hissed.

I took him by the arm. "Do you want to sit down for a moment?" I asked. His complexion had turned ashen. I was afraid the frail little man might faint.

He shook his head, dismissing my question, unable to stop the memories flooding back.

"We went into the camp. It was horrible. The place was still crowded with inmates. Bodies were stacked everywhere. Our doctors and medics were working round the clock."

He grimaced. His bony knuckles shone through his mottled skin as he gripped his beloved scrapbook.

"They brought a few of us in. The locals had already been through the place by the time we'd gotten there. Said they didn't know anything about it. Jesus Christ, how could they miss it?" he hissed. "The smell was something awful. Never smelled anything like it! Don't ever want to again."

"Some of the locals committed suicide after they visited the camps, didn't they?" I asked.

"Yeah, they did, the good mayor and his wife, some townspeople, too. And it was too good for them, I tell you. I had all I could do to keep from killing a few of them myself."

His hands were trembling more now.

"They took us through the camp. The barracks. You should have seen them. They were these thin, drafty, rickety, wooden buildings with dirt floors and no insulation. Bunks on both walls, three high. They say that the barracks were originally designed to hold about 200 men. They said more like 500 men lived in each one."

The old man's eyes had taken on a far away look. He was back at Buchenwald again.

"Anyway, they took us into one building. It was like all the others except this one had a cellar. They brought us down there. The smell was terrible. The army'd cleared it out but our captain said the damned Nazis had stacked the dead down there because they were dying faster than they could get rid of them. We walked over to one of the end walls. It was lined with stones and a thin layer of cement had been applied to it." He waved his arms as if he was a laborer. "You know, almost like a plaster. I remember it was still white."

A shiver suddenly wracked the old man's body.

"I walked over to the wall and noticed that there were regular marks on it-- in pairs-- that went right up the wall until they reached the ceiling. They were more like discolorations than marks. They seemed so familiar yet I couldn't place them. I asked the captain what they were."

The was a long silence. He swallowed repeatedly before he could go on. When he did, his voice sounded strangled as it came out. Tears rolled slowly down his cheeks. He wiped at them with the backs of his hands.

"You know what'd made those marks? The captain said those were oil marks-- from the soles of the feet of the corpses that had been stacked up so tight that they'd left stains against the walls." He sighed. "They went all the way up to the ceiling. Must have been close to ten feet high."

"I see why you didn't want to tell that story to the students," I mumbled.

"I know. They're not ready to hear that. And I wasn't ready to see that."

He turned and started down the hallway, scrapbook under his arm. Suddenly he turned back.

"You know," he said in a voice barely a whisper. "That's why I drink."

He turned on his heel and shuffled out the door, into the daylight, into the clean air beyond.



"Wow! ...and that's an understatement! It's written with such feeling. I truly enjoyed the history lesson it gave. Great work, Steven! " -- Tammy, VA.
"Totally riveting....it left me breathless. Wonderfully written." -- JT.


Submit Your Review for Stars & Stripers
Required fields are marked with (*).
Your e-mail address will not be displayed.

Your Name*     E-mail*

City     State/Province     Country

Your Review (please be constructive!)*

Please Enter Code*:

Submit Your Rating for Stars & Stripers

Worst     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10     Best

© 1995 Steven R. Kravsow
March 2000

Copyright © 1998-2001 Storymania Technologies Limited. All Rights Reserved.