Mother Courage expands the dream

Joining the growing feminist/lesbian network By Jeanne Arnold Barbara’s bookstore dream became a nightmare. At first our store succeeded and sold many books like Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle and Marilyn French’s The Woman’s Room. Then the Regency Mall opened with two big-chain bookstores that ruined our sales. When Barbara was a teenager, she imagined being a Christian missionary. “Now…

Mother Courage & the dream 

Proud of being “OUT” By Jeanne Arnold Madison’s book shoppers seemed quite blasé about Barbara’s eight life-sized but headless nude paintings hanging for her one-woman show at Room of One’s Own, the only thriving feminist bookstore in Wisconsin. The manager appreciated them. She smiled saying, “The girls certainly do warm up the room.”  To celebrate Barbara’s…

A day of self-indulgence        Part 2       

The horse knows the way By Jeanne Arnold Because of my extra time wrapped in a blanket hearing New Age music at the Osmosis Enzyme Bath and Massage spa, I was behind schedule more than I planned. The healing relaxation of my body and mind turned to stress when I jumped in my rented Neon,…

A day of self-indulgence Part 1 of 2

By Jeanne Arnold A day of self-indulgence awaited me, one so extremely nurturing that I wept at the start of it, my most extravagant day. And I needed it. I was delighted with my view on this August morning’s drive on Highway 1 to Freestone, California. The Pacific Ocean’s fog hung over the mountains with…

“Who do you sleep with?”

By Jeanne Arnold The April sun pokes—no, dimly casts a cool light through the midpoint branches of the evergreen tree. Except for that point of the sun, you’d think it was late November because of the snow cover around us, a orange-pink color on the whiteness to the west, From my window I noticed a…

Barbara said, “We’re not very good, but we’re funny.”

By Jeanne Arnold  After treating them to lunch, my gang moaned about their lost love of making music, a memory that has been sounding within us all. Barbara and Betty play together but Joanne’s accordion lives in her attic; Mary Lou remembers playing the piano; Sharon likes her bongo drum but is tempted to learn…

Am I opening Pandora’s box?

by Jeanne Arnold I’m not shy but I’m not rowdy. I’m a feminist but I’m not strident. I’m a Racine native, but I’ve been around. I lived a straight life for half of it and I chose to live as a lesbian life with my partner for the other half. I’m a happy mother, grandmother,…

Finishing the Hat

by Jessie Lynn McMains Since Stephen Sondheim died, I’ve had “Finishing the Hat” stuck in my head. “Finishing the Hat” is a song from Sondheim’s 1984 musical Sunday in the Park with George, and in some ways it is the consummate Sondheim song; one of the finest examples of the way he blended music and…

Favorite Music of 2021

by Jessie Lynn McMains My 12 Favorite Albums and EPs Released in 2021 Anna B Savage – A Common TurnSoaring vocals, music that is somehow both sparse and expansive, achingly beautiful lyrics. Favorite track: Corncrakes. Arab Strap – As Days Get DarkTake the existential dread of some of Nick Cave’s work and mix it with…