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

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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Foxholes & Deathbeds: Agnosticism

Skip the B.S.  By Skip Eisiminger “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 […]

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Tough but Fair: Grades & Evaluations

“As inadequate a representation as one letter is of a year’s work, there are worse ways to evaluate people. In the 17th century, Harvard graduated students by their social rank, not their grade-point averages, for GPRs did not exist until the 19th century. In other words, the aristocrat with an endowed future received his diploma […]

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Multiplying One by Two: Imitation

Skip the B.S. By Skip Eisiminger “In the 1970s, every male swimmer wanted to be Mark Spitz. In the 1972 Olympics, Spitz had won seven gold medals, breaking seven world records in the process. After the games, a Russian coach asked the American swimmer if his famed mustache didn’t slow him down. ‘No,’ replied Spitz […]

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Dear Dragonfly, Here Is Pepper Pod: Haiku Correspondence

Skip the B.S. By Skip Eisiminger “The notion of cold fire lurking in flint was intriguing and remains so. Often, when my shovel strikes a stone in the garden and a spark flares up, I think of Dave’s haiku. And though I have lost touch with my friend, I hope he thinks of me when […]

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A Wing-Walker’s Belief: Space Faith

Skip the B.S. By Skip Eisiminger “My aunt Clarice, a proponent of keeping the faith (to oneself), was the first woman in the state of Georgia granted a pilot’s license. I was unaware of this distinction until my cousin told me of it at her mother’s funeral. And while Clarice bestrode no canvas wings in […]

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Moving from Nine to Two Lanes at the Holland Tunnel: Diplomacy

Skip the B.S. By Skip Eisiminger “Beyond the ‘hugging,’ I recommend my own version of ‘shuttle diplomacy.’ Instead of a diplomat flying back and forth between, say, Jerusalem and Tehran, I’d put some representative Jews and Arabs in one of NASA’s old shuttles and send them into orbit above Earth’s weather. Acquiring what Edgar Mitchell […]

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