Author Archives: Jean Carroll Nolan

Jean Carroll Nolan lives in Seaside, California,(just north of Monterey) with her husband of 50 years, half a dozen guitars, and too many books for the bookcases. She enjoys music, reading, writing poetry, talking with friends, and watching old films. She is cared for by two dogs, Sonny, a 90-pound bully dog, and Mojo, a 14- pound chihuahua mix. (The chihuahua, of course, believes himself to be larger than his enormous younger brother.) Nolan's reading tastes are eclectic, ranging from sociology to murder mysteries, royal biographies, and military history. She considers herself a liberal and a patriot, and sees no dichotomy there. She supports animal rescue projects and facilities (race horses and pit bulls, in particular), and believes courtesy and kindness have power to reshape the world. She adores her two adult children, her daughter- and son-in-law, and is desperately in love with her grandchildren, Brody and Sarah, and her grand dogs, Wayne and Jada. She enjoys finding and enjoying the miraculous in everyday life, a trait she first discovered in the subway stations of Chicago, observing former field mice who, amazingly, not only survived but thrived on the track bed below the trains. (Author Photos: John Nolan.)

The Devil’s Playground

“We have a clearly conflicted relationship with our less virtuous traits, and that confusion is evident in our portrayals of the Prince of Darkness. Much of it is Milton’s fault. The devil is far and away the most interesting character in “Paradise Lost,” angry, suffering, an angel in exile, beautiful, and tragic. That is the […]

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Baseball is Life

“I love this part of the season. The distortion in today’s schedule, a natural result of the league expansion, means that, often, crucial playoff series are played in weather better suited to football, and the death of a hope-and-dream-filled season occurs in bitter cold, a foretaste of winter instead of a culmination of summer glories. […]

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A Late Quatrain for Mr. Carroll

“Pop saw no reason that my youth and gender should prevent me from being interesting company for him. So, while other little girls learned decorum and how to curl their hair, I listened to baseball on the radio and, on Friday nights, to the Friday night fights, presented by Gillette. (‘To look sharp . . […]

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Tough Love

“The intensity inherent in such relationships is wearing, demanding in the extreme, and likely to produce missteps and strange, if not actually bad, judgment. But, it is glorious. Ashley Wilkes may be virtuous and upstanding, but it is Rhett Butler whose blood sings to Scarlett’s.”— Jean Carroll Nolan More Light By Jean Carroll Nolan SEASIDE California—(Weekly […]

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Stockholm Syndrome

“And before that, my mother singing ‘I’m a Poor Little Petunia in an Onion Patch,’ my father making up bedtime stories hilarious and delightful. The little Ling-Po, making his way through the Himalayas with his best friend, a little (of course) yak. I have a feeling that story followed the Chinese invasion of Tibet, as Pop tended […]

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“It was wonderful. I know. I get it. It shouldn’t have been wonderful, but it was. Somehow, the depression that had clouded my days lifted, and my spirits were full of laughter and silliness. I didn’t have to do a damned thing except behave with some dignity, and maintain a good attitude. After a lifetime […]

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Barbaro’s Flight

“I did the thing one should not do, and anthropomorphized them, but only until I understood that it was a rare human being who displayed the brand of determination, which we call ‘heart,’ common to the thoroughbred. At the age of eight, therefore, I had already decided it was much wiser to judge people as […]

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Light & Death (Best of WH)

“Autumn has been both cruel and kind to me, over the years. Events as disparate as horse races, baseball campaigns and the births of children have been disastrous and heartbreaking or wondrous and full of delight. Life just happens, you know, a personal drama in which one is at once the protagonist and the audience. […]

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The Hero Crosses the Threshold

“After all, you might postulate, Socrates himself/Was an infantryman, wearing leather with nameless stains,/On latrine duty, chewing olives, pursuing the elf/Called the soul as he chatted. Serene, undismayed/He lived and stayed sane . . .”— Jean Carroll Nolan More Light By Jean Carroll Nolan “. . . yet once, ages ago, they had been everywhere […]

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Autumn, Again

“Precautions had been taken, but had failed. I wasn’t sure how John, perfectly content with his baby girl, would handle the news, but he was accepting. I asked if I should terminate the pregnancy, and he looked me dead in the eye, and said it was my call. Which was awkward. I was terrified. I […]

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