Issue 316 | The Sun Magazine

April 2002

Readers Write

Cleaning Up

Needle-nose pliers, the soft ticking of an antique clock, new underwear

By Our Readers
Sy Safransky's Notebook

April 2002

I’m a year older than President Bush. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t seem like much of a father figure to me. Or maybe he’s as much of a father figure as this foolish nation deserves. Nearly everyone is behind him now.

By Sy Safransky


You may break any written law in America with impunity. There is an unwritten law that you break at your peril. It is: do not attack the profit system.

Mary Heaton Vorse

The Sun Interview

Down To Business

Paul Hawken On Reshaping The Economy

I don’t believe you can train anybody, especially people in business. You can only present and embody ideas. I try to help people understand the idea that valuing and conserving our stock of natural capital can lead to astonishing breakthroughs in processes, products, and design. Again, people move toward possibility. Once they see that we can actually improve the quality of life for everyone on earth by using radically less “life,” they get excited.

By Renee Lertzman
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Ending My Religion

I grew up in the hyper-Christian culture of Charlotte, North Carolina, within spitting distance of Jim and Tammy Bakker’s ill-fated Praise the Lord Ministry and other evangelical fiefdoms too numerous to count. But because my mother believed in Faulkner and Steinbeck above all other gods, my upbringing was more literary than religious; for that, my gratitude to her knows no bounds.

By D. Patrick Miller
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


My companion, Amelia, had a clear view of the whole incident. It went like this: It was 6 P.M. on a Friday, and we both wanted to finish stripping the doors of this old farmhouse before dinner. With a lot of little bedrooms, we had a lot of doors to strip.

By Bird Cupps
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

We Decided To Call It Baseball

The day after my mother told him the news, he called. His voice cracked, and I could hear him trying to pick up his words and hand them to me, one by one. “Are you all right?” he asked, over and over. It wasn’t so much what he said as what I heard in his voice: I heard somebody I’d never met before, a man he didn’t even know so well himself.

By Michael McColly


Our dinner conversation was usually quick, as my father was a fast writer. He might ask, “What did you do today?” or, “How’s school?” and while I answered, he would already be scribbling out his next question. But that night, Dad didn’t write or even look my way. We just sat there twirling spaghetti onto our forks and forcing giant noodle-cocoons into our mouths.

By Jessica Anya Blau