Thursday, March 21, 2024

There, He's Crying


Memoir / Terrorism

Publication Date: November 6, 2023

Publisher: Mindstir Media

Ken Magill grew up in a time where kids played "guns" all day and no one batted an eye. They had crab-apple wars and shot tennis-ball cannons at each other. In summer, they went out in the morning and their mostly stay-at-home moms had no idea where they went or what they were doing.

Magill's mercurial, violent, loving, and hilarious father was a vicious debater and a take-no-prisoners competitor who helped him develop the strength to overcome challenges as an adult.

"There, He's Crying" is alternately laugh-out-loud funny, heart-warming and disturbing.

A gripping, first-hand account of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center will make you feel like you're there.

Magill, a cigar-smoking, martini-drinking, gun-enthusiast, demonstrates love and sacrifice for a son who has declared himself a transgender woman. The email exchange between the two who clearly love one another but are 180-degrees apart will make this book worth your time.

Ultimately, "There, He's Crying" is about knowing when to make life-altering decisions and dive into the unknown.

Read an excerpt below...

About the Author

Ken Magill’s 30-year, mostly New-York-based writing career featured ground-breaking work for marketing-trade publishers such as DM News, Direct and Multichannel Merchant Magazines and ClickZ. His work has also appeared in the New York Sun, Buffalo News, AdWeek, Target Marketing Magazine and West Virginia Executive.

He lives with his wife, one offspring, two dogs, a cat and a dozen chickens just outside Charleston, W. Va.


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Excerpt from "There, He's Crying"

One day during guns, I ended up in our field hospital, a picnic table with a blanket over it secured by bricks on the benches. The wind blew a brick off one of the benches and onto my forehead. The blood ran into my eyes so profusely, I couldn’t see. My friends led me to my house where my mother cleaned me up and made a butterfly bandage to hold the edges of the cut together. Then she sent me back out to play.

If you look closely, you can still see the dent on my forehead where the brick hit it.

Our lawn darts, called Jarts, were tipped with metal spikes. We walked to and from school alone. Moms smoked and drank while pregnant. We rode bikes without helmets. We drank water from garden hoses. We had water-balloon fights. We rode in the back beds of our parents’ station wagons. We rode in truck beds. Cracker Jacks boxes came with plastic toys in them that were choking hazards. We pretend smoked candy cigarettes.

We were in a cold war with the Soviet Union. The Viet Nam war was broadcast into our homes on television during dinner. We did so-called duck-and-cover drills in school, preparing for a possible nuclear attack. In the mornings, we often ate cold cereal for breakfast and argued over who got to read the back of the box.

On Saturdays, we watched cartoons where the characters routinely dropped anvils on one another’s heads, smacked each other with cast-iron skillets and shot each other.

In winter when roads were icy, we would do what was known in Western New York as pogying, pronounced pogeeing. We would stand on a corner of a residential street. When a car would slow in front of us, we would rush out, grab the back bumper of the car, crouch, lean back and ski down the street behind the car. Until we hit a dry patch.

We threw snow balls at moving cars and ran away if a driver stopped and got out.

We had had three crab apple trees in my parents’ back yard. In summer, we would pick the apples by the bag full, divide into two teams, stand across the street, and zing them at each other.

We shot each other with b-b guns. The only rule was no headshots.

 We played a game called “Smear the Queer” using a football where whoever had the guts to do so would pick up the ball and everyone else in the game would rush him to try and tackle him. There was no goal line. The goal for the kid carrying the ball was to try and avoid getting tackled for as long as possible, which was always well under a minute.

Things were different then.

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