Author Archives: Sterling Eisiminger

Dr. Sterling ("Skip") Eisiminger was born in Washington DC in 1941. The son of an Army officer, he traveled widely but often reluctantly with his family in the United States and Europe. After finishing a master’s degree at Auburn and taking a job at Clemson University in 1968, he promised himself that he would put down some deep roots. These roots now reach back through nearly 50 years of 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), The Pleasures of Language: From Acropox to Word Clay (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.

Montaigne’s Goat: Certainty & Uncertainty

“If I had been a Jew living under Hitler, I hope I would have mustered the courage to enter a plot to kill the blighter. Holed up in an attic overlooking a street leading to the Reichstag, I would have pawned a kidney if necessary to buy a rifle from a deserter on the black […]

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Darkness at 14:37 EDT: Eclipse

“As the temperatures climbed back into the 90s following the recent eclipse, I was struck by the fact that the entire enterprise is riding on loose rock. I walked off testing the ground like a novice hiker probing a marsh, a blind man tapping out an unfamiliar route.” —Skip Eisiminger Skip the B.S. By Skip […]

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The Farther You Go, the Better It Looks: Home (Best of WH)

“Clark Gable is remembered as a thrice-divorced and five-time married screen actor, but he understood what ‘home’ meant: a place you approach knowing someone inside is listening for your footsteps. Whether it’s an over-priced Silicon Valley mansion or a canvas tent pitched on a raft, home is a place where your heart has been marinated […]

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Deaf to Their Warnings, Immune to Their Poisons: Snakes

“The blithe independence of snakes did not sit well with Ralph Waldo Emerson. In 1834, he criticized four snakes he’d seen ‘gliding’ up and down a Massachusetts valley, ‘not to eat, not for love, but only gliding.’ I can only guess that Emerson was ophidiophobic because otherwise he was a great advocate of self-reliant ‘gliding.’”—Skip […]

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Holy Half-Wits: Celibacy

“The pretense of chastity is available with a $30 purchase of a silicon hymen, which releases a red dye when subjected to pressure. What’s interesting is that some females are born without hymens, and others who have them don’t always bleed from them when they are ruptured. Thus, the possibilities for abuse are abundant in […]

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Deaf Grasshoppers & Hobbled Ants: Malpractice

“Though only about 15 pecent of American doctors are sued for malpractice, more than 250,000 patients die annually from their doctors’ errors, a statistic that ranks as the country’s third leading cause of death. My own definition of malpractice embraces all of the following: In 1985, my wife was charged $12 for two Tylenols and […]

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Pieing It Forward: Clowning

“In March of 2017 as I write, many Americans like myself are bewildered by a ‘jester’ who has seized the ‘throne,’ and it remains to be seen how the leveling will fare under his good-cop-bad-cop rule. Seeking some comic relief after Donald Trump’s election, I suggested to my wife that we ‘send in the clowns,’ […]

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Bemedaling the Drone Pilots: Heroes & Role Models

“The American psychotherapist Sheldon Kopp has cautioned, ‘If you have a hero, look again; you have diminished yourself in some way.’ I would not go quite that far because I know my reverence for DiMaggio made me a better ballplayer. I tried harder because I knew Joe would have. It was, of course, a disappointment […]

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Miming Emotion: Dance (Best of “Hubris”)

“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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Damn Proud: Evil

“Exactly what is this abstraction that haunts us? The literature is vast and complex. Augustine thought a man’s erection was a revolt against God. Eighteenth-century Shakers decided intercourse had been Eve’s original sin. Nineteenth-century Scottish Presbyterians thought eating potatoes was sinful because they’re not mentioned in the Bible.” —Skip Eisiminger Skip the B.S. By Skip […]

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