Peace Corps Writers: Front page — May 2005

    And then Sarge said to me . . .
    We begin our recounting of “Shriver Stories” with one from Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965–67), the first Peace Corps Volunteer to publish a novel about her experiences in the Peace Corps, that is entitled Lament For A Silver-Eyed Woman:

    In 1971, my husband and I were walking along Park Avenue toward Grand Central Station late at night after enjoying a Manhattan Transfer concert. We passed a couple standing in the shadows of a building and my husband stopped short. He grabbed me and hissed into my ear, “That’s Sargent Shriver and Eunice!” He couldn’t help himself — he called out, “Hi Sarge, I used to work for you.”
         Shriver came right over and we told him we were former Volunteers (my husband, Uruguay, me, Cameroon). He turned to his wife and then Sarge said, “Eunice. Come meet some Volunteers.” She was shy at first until I thanked her for the work she was doing for mentally disabled children.
         Then we all chatted, Shriver very excited to tell us that Teddy had won the Michigan primary that day. Then their car pulled up and we told them to please not let us disrupt their plans but they would have none of it. We talked for another twenty minutes before parting company — Sarge was truly reluctant to leave us. His Volunteers were very important to him, as much as he was to us.

    Send an account of an encounter you had with Sarge to: jpcoyne@peacecorpswriters.org

    Think Xerox, Think Fiction
    Xerox is working with Lulu.com to promote their DocuTech POD machines to the creators of what they estimate as 450,000 manuscripts annually. Their Xerox Aspiring Authors fiction contest is pitched as “designed to stop the cycle of rejection letters that keep so many from seeing their work in print.”
         The winner will get 100 copies of their book and $5,000, but entrants are enticed with the promise that every entrant will get a single copy of their work for free. (Fine print indicates that they may only consider the first 1,000 submissions as “qualifying entries” though. Go to the Xerox site and look it over. www.XeroxAspiringAuthors.com