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Lest the Colors Fade



The Chapel Hill Writers' Discussion Group


ISBN 978-0-9796209-5-9

Paperback-312 pages-$20.00



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This fourth book by the Writers' Discussion Group, who are sponsored by the Robert and Pearl Seymour Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is an eclectic collection of memoirs, stories, poems, articles and commentary.

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Members of the Writers' Discussion Group will present their new book, Lest the Colors Fade, at the December 8 Coffee Hour sponsored by The Robert and Pearl Seymour Center  in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


The first review is in!

Scroll down the page to read it.





Reviewed by Ariana Mangum


     Lest the Colors Fade is an interesting anthology of stories (both fiction and nonfiction), poems and memoirs. This is the Writers’ Discussion Group’s fourth publication.

     The cover, designed from two photographs of autumn leaves by Charles Reed and printed on a royal blue background, is especially striking. The interior of this book is beautifully arranged. It has good quality paper and dark, clear print. It also has photographs of the writers and quotations from famous authors.

     The authors of the stories, poems and memoirs are as diverse as their writing. They come from all over the United States and represent many different backgrounds. Some of them are Northerners who settled in the South, some are from the middle and the far west, some have European backgrounds. Some are Southerners by birth or by long time residency.

     Their stories and poems reflect the diversity of their authors. I had a great laugh at Sybil Skakle’s story of buying a new mattress. My own mattress was at least forty years old and the two mattresses in the guestroom were my children’s and just as elderly. Like Sybil in her story, I thought these would do me to the end. On my children’s urging, I bought two new mattresses to replace theirs and I was given a mattress and box springs as a gift from a cousin. It was so high I needed a stool to climb into bed. I lived in fear I would go crashing out on the floor. Finally we exchanged the high mattress for one of the lower ones in the guestroom. I no longer needed a stool and felt safer. Like Sybil, I struggled with ill-fitting sheets and a cumbersome bed pad. I found myself laughing out loud as I read her story.

     The most poignant memoir was Jane Blue’s, An Uninvited Guest, about a strange dog that may have carried the spirit of her dead husband. It’s an old Native American belief that the deceased person’s spirit will remain for a short time in a dog or another animal to make sure the surviving partner is all right. The story of PT and Jane Blue is such a tale. TP came unexpectedly and gave her comfort, but after a month he disappeared without a trace. Although Jane Blue seldom writes, she has a great gift for story-telling.

     Summer of 1940: New York World’s Fair, by Marie Spinner, revived memories of my own visit. She was fifteen and went with friends alone, with no adult to navigate the subways and shuttle buses. For her, the Fair was a rite of passage. I was eleven and I too was amazed by the new road system on display at the Transportation Building. I was also fascinated by the telephones that one could dial for long distance. A few lucky people were allowed to make phone calls all over America without the aid of an operator. We also saw the Aquacade at night with the lights and the synchronized swimming. That summer the world seemed to be idyllic. Yet war clouds gathered in Europe and by early September 1939, the world was again at war. Marie’s story captures this feeling of uncertainty.

     Lest the Colors Fade is a walk through those times of pain and happiness. It covers a wide spectrum of experiences from an immigrant’s tale to Patricia Condon’s escape from the World Trade Center on 9/11.

     I laughed at Eugene Alston’s attempt to fly like Alley Oop and I remember trying to set off fire crackers as did Charles Reed in Culver, Indiana. This anthology of stores, poems and memoirs by the Writers’ Discussion Group frames those memories. May the authors write more in the future of their unique experiences.



Ariana Mangum

Chapel Hill, NC

March 17, 2009