Seán Malone and John Sweetman

I Can See Now … the Pane is Gone
Island Voices, June 2024

I Can See Now … the Pane is Gone

By Seán Malone and John Sweetman “Hey! That Western gray squirrel is back!” And sure enough, that troublemaker was back pestering the Douglas squirrel, and we had a protective obligation to the native rodent versus the invasive Western gray bully type, that ate a lot of Seán’s birdseed for his wild birds, which the squirrels…

Mortise and Tenon
April 2024, Island Voices, Literary

Mortise and Tenon

By Seán C. Malone and John Sweetman “How many of these joints have you done?”  “Well, only one today, but it’s not even lunchtime yet.” That refers to the “Mortise and Tenon” joints we were making to assemble a “picnic cover” for our friend Bill who had a property on Indian Point. It has been…

Island Voices, Literary, March 2024

Twinkies and a 1977 Ford Pickup

By Seán Malone and John Sweetman We were poking around the old Ford F-250 four-wheel drive three-quarter-ton pickup that Seán acquired from me about 30 years ago. It seemed to have a problem with steering. This truck still is a formidable beast, with an 8,000-pound winch and oversized custom bumpers and guards, but it was…

There’s Still Onions in the Stew
February 2024, Island Voices

There’s Still Onions in the Stew

By Seán Malone and John Sweetman One day, overlooking the outer harbor, Seán and I shared between us some “bean-hole beans” and some “smoked ham hock green pea soup.” Naturally, tasting these dishes brought up the usual conversation. Seán still makes those old “Boy Scout” bean-hole beans without an actual bean-hole fire dug into the…

Good Santa vs Bad Santa
Island Voices, January 2024, Literary

Good Santa vs Bad Santa

By Seán Malone and John Sweetman As we passed by Mikey’s Fish Stand … now selling Christmas trees, naturally our conversation turned to Christmas seasons long past. Never to argue with John, but there is no “bad Santa Claus,” as he is modeled after a saint and always produces positive thoughts. Seán always argues with…

Chautauqua
Island Voices, November 2023

Chautauqua

Above photo by Dawn Stief By Seán Malone and John Sweetman We all have distinct memories of our early school days, and some memories stand out long after the “bell.” Seán had an unusual opportunity to “go back” to the third grade. Thankfully, he did not have to pass his mathematics exam again, but was…

Crabbing
Island Voices, October 2023

Crabbing

By Seán Malone and John Sweetman “Hey Mike, he’s hiding under that patch of seaweed.”  We were hunting crab with a pitchfork down at Manzanita on the south end of Maury Island. Crabs can move as fast as a person walks on dry land. Mike poked the pitchfork into the seaweed and scared the ten-inch…

An Ode to Mom, an Early Fashion Queen
Literary, September 2023

An Ode to Mom, an Early Fashion Queen

By Seán Malone and John Sweetman As Seán remembers, Mom formed hats out of buckram, using the forms to glue Chinese pheasant feathers in, making a unique women’s hat. A full-grown male Chinese pheasant has a chest of iridescent, electric blue and brown feathers. Mom loved the colors, and would badger Dad and I to…

Literary, September 2023

The Supreme Court of Mom

By Seán Malone and John Sweetman As John remembers: “He hit me!”   “She was making faces at me!”  “I was not!”  “He was making fart noises with his armpit!”   And so convened the daily district court of summary justice where the prosecutor, defense council, and detective agency was all in one. MOM! Mom interrupted her…

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