Issue 229 | The Sun Magazine

January 1995

Readers Write

Law And Order

The most-feared policeman in the county, three-strikes defendants, an unforgettable Marshall

By Our Readers


I did not go to the Maggid of Mezeritch to learn Torah from him, but to watch him tie his boot laces.

A Hasidic rabbi

The Sun Interview

At Home In The World

An Interview With Peter Matthiessen

There seemed no way that animal wasn’t going to charge. I stood there for a moment, terrified, my temples burning. But then, inexplicably, I calmed right down. I had a feeling of complete peace with that animal, and I knew she wasn’t going to charge or hurt me in any way. I was treed by a rhino once, so I knew how very different this encounter was.

By Jonathan White
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


In the seventies, over a period of five years, I killed approximately two thousand rats. That’s four hundred rats per year, a little over a rat a day.

By Maggie Smith
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Cosmic Airdrome (revisited)

One way to know something is true is that you cannot back off from knowing it. You cannot go slumming in ignorance. You cannot pretend not to know what you have experienced. It is a sin to doubt it.

By Thaddeus Golas
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Breakfast At The Victory

In the Victory there was no such thing as The Last Word. Truths, conclusions, absolutes — all had about the same permanence as the steamy smells that circulated in the Victory and drifted out onto the street.

By James P. Carse
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Their Turn

To the melancholy wailing of a Turkish flute, the dervishes enter the stage dressed in long black coats and tall woolen hats. It’s a dramatic moment even if you haven’t done your homework.

By Sy Safransky

Jerking Off In Central America

For those of you who have never had a panic attack, the words may have no special emotional tug. For those of you who have had one, they will bring forth memories of a mind frozen in exquisite agitation, the whole room, the whole world enmeshed in a horror movie that refuses to go away.

By Ignacio Schwartz

Each Child

Your ten-year-old locks himself in the bathroom with his best friend. Half an hour later, he comes out with his eyebrows shaved off, looking like a child from Planet X or someone undergoing chemotherapy.

By Keith Eisner

The Big Red Book

As Isaac Thomas walked jauntily down the bright, wide sidewalk at midday, he felt the weight of the book against his thigh, his wrist, the palm of his hand.

By Jackson Stahlkuppe

For Dave With Eyes Like Jesus

Dave loved my older sister at a time when a lot of boys loved her. During parties at our house, the boys would get a little drunk and sometimes fight. I would watch from the stairs that overlooked the front room.

By M. T. Chapman