Author Archives: Sterling Eisiminger

Sterling (Skip) Eisiminger was born in Washington D.C. in 1941. The son of an Army officer, he traveled widely but often reluctantly with his family in the United States and Europe. After he finished a master’s degree at Auburn and took a job at Clemson University in 1968, he promised himself that he would put down some deep roots. These roots now reach back through 40 years of red Carolina clay. In 1974, Eisiminger received a Ph. D. from the University of South Carolina, where poet James Dickey “guided” his creative dissertation. His publications include Non-Prescription Medicine (poems), Felix Academicus (personal essays), Omi and the Christmas Candles (a children’s book), and Wordspinner (word games). He is married to the former Ingrid (“Omi”) Barmwater, a native of Germany, and is the proud father of a son, Shane, a daughter, Anja, and grandfather to four grandchildren, Edgar, Sterling, Spencer, and Lena. Author Photo: Ingrid Eisiminger

It Wasn’t the Theft of Fire but the Promethean Boast: Hubris

“In 1910, many in this country would have lynched heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson for not ‘knowing his place.’ When ‘the Big Smoke’ was stopped for speeding in rural Georgia, he told the officer who presented him with a $50. fine, ‘Here’s a hundred—keep the change ‘cause I’m comin’ back the same way.’” —Skip Eisiminger […]

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Black & White Zebras in Lion-Colored Grass: The Absurd (Redux)

“In 2013, the visual absurd seems to be losing its impact since its origins in Europe during World War II. Perhaps the best known work by the Belgian surrealist René Magritte is his self-portrait with a Granny Smith apple suspended before his face. The Everyman of the cartoon universe typically greets ‘Grandpa Smith’ wherever he […]

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From Soot to Diamonds: The Search for Design

  “I was born in 1941, so I cannot blame my ‘rage for order’ on the Depression. I’m a clean-desk man, certifiably neat, who orders the same thing every time he enters McDonald’s. Unlike my grandchildren, I enjoy stacking up blocks more than knocking them over. I line up my coins by value as I […]

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Foxholes & Deathbeds: Agnosticism (Revisited)

“One night, when I was still in the army, I was driving the mid-shift out to our intercept site on the West German border to relieve the swing shift. On a remote but straight stretch of rural road, the fellow riding shotgun,who’d been drinking, reached over and turned off my headlights. I froze at the […]

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Miming Emotion: Dance

“Though I carried a can of dance wax to the high-school prom, I was ‘timber toes,’ ‘terminally Caucasian,’ and ‘a dog with four left feet.’ After the first slow dance, my date asked me how I’d made the box step a triangle. It was all part of a plan, I said, to make it a […]

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Nano Lit: Concision

“Though Teddy Roosevelt’s life was spared when an assassin’s bullet was slowed by the 50-page speech tucked inside his vest pocket, 500 words saw Moses through the creation. As a writer, I harken to the Mosaic example and, in this, I am assisted by my mother tongue: English by every test that I have applied […]

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Born Merry & Approaching the Age When Happy Hour Is a Nap: Alcohol

“There’s a fair chance I was born with a slight buzz because no one ever warned Mother not to smoke or drink while she was pregnant. Indeed, many of my generation are here or were here because of alcohol and other parental escapes. Mother died thirsting for a glass of wine, which I would have […]

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Levitating the Pentagon: Rebellion

“In 1967, Abbie Hoffman and hundreds of fellow anti-war protesters encircled the Pentagon in a mock-ceremonious exorcism. Hoffman’s plan was to lift that squat office building 300 feet, give it a whirl, and toss out the demons but, after he was arrested for littering, the GSO administrator told Hoffman he was only authorized to lift […]

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Casting Bones Under the Table: Manners

“I’ve never been one to stand on protocol, for though I’d never urinate in a bath, I might in the shower. I’ve concluded, henceforth, that my expedient approach to behavior has been acquired, though I surely didn’t acquire it from my parents.”—By Skip Eisiminger Skip the B.S. By Skip Eisiminger “I was a stranger and […]

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Bow Waves & Propellers: Leadership

“It surely must be lonely at the top, and that prospect is one reason I never sought to rise from the professoriate to the administration. The pay was tempting but just the prospect of dismissing someone would have been unnerving. Good leaders and bad can often compartmentalize their emotions and lock them away in a […]

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