Wipe That Smile Off Your Face

Steve Crabill has always loved a good story, and believes that when we hear or tell a story, especially a true one, it gives us a commonality and triggers something in our hearts. Steve has been telling stories since he was a kid. He has been writing stories for twelve years and has been published in “Thunder Run”, a quarterly magazine for his beloved 11th Armored Cavalry Association. As a member of Chesapeake Bay Writers, he recently won first place in their All Star Gala Writing Competition. He enjoys reading his creative non-fiction short stories with this writers group every month. His collection of stories have appeal for a wide range of ages. Baby boomers will relate to many of them, but older and younger generations will find enjoyment reading them as well. The reader is taken on a journey. This journey gives pictures of life in all its magic, mystery, and even the brutality of war. How about stepping in dog doo and having to ride home on the roof of the family car, for instance? Sound familiar? No? Okay then: you’re working in a veterinary hospital as a teenager, and you have to tell a beautiful young woman that her dog is dead! No problem, she shed not a tear! Just all in a day’s work, and weird work, too! On we go, right to edge of insanity in South East Asia. A twenty-two year old tank driver with nine lives. How does one mainstream back into the “flower child” community after this? It ain’t easy! Step right up folks, you are going to be pulled up, down, and sideways through Steve Crabill’s narrative . There will be situations where the reader will be asking (along with the author), ”Why the hell did this happen?” Usually there won’t be an answer. That is what makes life more interesting, isn’t it? Steve wants his writing to open the door to that part of our heart that reminds us we go through life only once. He believes we all have a wonderful commonality of sharing life’s experiences. As Steve says, “I’ll show you mine, if you’ll show me yours!”


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About the Author

What better place to begin one’s writing career than a big soft chair in a therapist’s office? The brutal murder of a seventeen year old coed from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2005 had left her remains in the tangled woods behind our one acre property. The murderer had dated our oldest daughter and even slept in our house. This whole twisted nightmare rudely kicked my PTSD back onto the front burner and was close to causing our family’s cohesiveness to implode. I had admitted to my wife, who sat next to me in another soft chair, that I had been silently leaving our bed on clear winter nights to regularly trek through the woods in an attempt to communicate with the dead girl! As I told the therapist, I was having Viet Nam flashbacks, suffered from sleeplessness, and had seen ghosts four times before in my adult life. I therefore thought it would be very possible for the girl’s spirit to confirm how and by whom she was killed. Everyone (including the police) had only one primary suspect in mind. I had a burning desire to help put the smirking perp on the gurney to hell. “So, obviously, you didn’t know that Steve was going into the woods at night. Julie, how does that make you feel?” Quietly, as she dabbed her eyes, Julie replied, “Scared!” “Steve, these traumatic events that you experienced in Viet Nam are recalled with such detail! Your mind has the remarkable ability to pull up memories that occurred over thirty years ago. Most people are not able to do that. I know you were not comfortable recalling these painful events, but I appreciate you opening up and feel that it will help you deal with this recent crisis.” “Steve can remember things that happened much further back than Viet Nam, can’t you Steve?” Julie asked. “Really? Are the earlier memories good ones?” “Pretty much. I probably repeat them too much, especially when I’ve had a few beers.” “Well, we have a little more time, so if Julie doesn’t mind perhaps you could share a good memory or two?” As they say at horse tracks: Aaand they’re off and running! I heard the old rusty hinges creak open, and let the mental film roll: meeting an ancient civil war veteran who had served with my great grandfather, then another about riding home on the roof of our family station wagon because I had dog poop on my shoe. I was almost finished explaining why, at seventeen, I asked my boss if he had a vagina. The faint voice of fiction called, and my story telling passion turned to writing.


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