The Ice Sculptor

It happened many moons ago, but when Shintaro Okamoto opens the door of the walk-in freezer and sees the tiger’s head, he remembers the swan. It was winter in Alaska, and Anchorage was as frozen as a pack of Popsicles when his father, Takeo, took Shintaro out to the lake to cut out the block of ice to sculpt the cygnet. Shintaro wasn’t even a teenager when this occurred, and he had no idea that that simple swan would change the course of his life, leading him to open the ice sculpture studio that proudly bears his family …

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The Singing Streetlights

‘Tis the month of Christmas, and I’m strolling along Steinway Street, when what do my wondering ears hear but “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” I look left. I look right. Curiously, the carol isn’t coming from a car stereo. Or a store. I’m not Dorothy, but I stare at my shoes; will Santa and his sleigh go away if I click my bronze MBTs three times? And then I look to the sky and see the sound. Yes, Virginia, the song is singing itself silly out of a speaker strapped to a streetlight. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling …

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The Guy With the Extra Six-Pack

Gurgle, gurglegurglegurgle, gurgle. Rich Buceta gets so excited when he hears this sound that you’d think he’d discovered a multi-million-dollar oil well gushing up through his factory floor. He walks over to a giant shiny silver tank that looks like a spaceship from a forbidden planet …

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