On January 27, eight residents of the Summit at First Hill celebrated the launch of their literary anthology with the community. “Stories from the Summit” consists of memoirs as well as two pieces of short fiction, and is the culmination of a writing course taught by community educators Carol Starin and Cindy Muscatel in 2012.
Muscatel, who has been teaching writing to seniors since 1991, was impressed with the group.
“There were good writers here,” she said.
“They have really wonderful and meaningful stories to tell,” Starin added. Both women agreed that the students turned out to be their teachers.
The stories capture experiences of bygone times, foreign worlds, and sweet romantic encounters that turned into lifelong partnerships. “My Two Lives,” by Ada Ash, 97, opens with her memory of marauding Cossacks and the sound of the bombs of the Russian Revolution and the First World War. In “The Life and Death of a Shabbos Chicken,” Ernie Mednick, who was born in 1918 in southern Utah, poignantly describes bringing a chicken to the butcher as a young boy. Adele Sharaga depicts her grandfather’s disobedience in spurning his arranged marriage for the girl of his dreams in the 1800s.
Sharaga gets the last word in the book: “My advice to those who are thinking about writing a memoir — don’t wait until you’re 91,” she said. “There’s too much to write and nobody to ask.”
Copies of “Stories from the Summit” are available by contacting Summit activities coordinator Beth Cordova at 206-652-4444.