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Another from Anne Conway Jennings.

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Another of Anne Conway Jennings’ haunting pictures from her Southern Passage.

Another of Anne Conway Jennings’ haunting pictures from her Southern Passage.

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They are mermaids. They’re also extremely hard-working hourly employees of the State of Florida. The state publishes its employees’ wages online; it was easy to discover that one of the senior mermaids makes thirteen dollars an hour, and none of them receives benefits. They work long days, responsible for training newer mermaids, running various mermaid camps, scrubbing the algae, which they call “scrunge,” off the spring-side of the windows, making sure the theater is clean and the costumes are in order, ensuring the other performers’ safety, choreographing routines, and directing the shows and in-water practices from a little podlike booth off the theater. They get to dolphin-kick and smile and make pretty shapes with their bodies underwater, but the rest of the time it’s a job, and it’s a job that requires freezing in icy water multiple times a day. It’s far more difficult than it looks. Their magic is in making it all look easy

Lauren Groff gets real with the mermaids of Weeki Wachee.

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Lauren Groff visits Weeki Wachee. How much do you think a mermaid is paid? Read it here or in this summer’s OA. 
(Photo: Michael Muller / CPi Syndication)

Lauren Groff visits Weeki Wachee. How much do you think a mermaid is paid? Read it here or in this summer’s OA. 

(Photo: Michael Muller / CPi Syndication)

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Check out Anne Conway Jennings’ moody photos of “a place that lingers between worlds both mythic and real” in the latest Eyes on the South.

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 I peered through one of its windows and saw Tom Marek, the longtime director of West EMS, slumped in a plush recliner in front of a flickering TV. I knocked, but there was no response, so I knocked again. Nothing. I cracked the door, but he didn’t move. “Hi, Tom?” I said. Marek looked completely zonked out, his head tipped back and his mouth drooping open beneath a bristly mustache. “Tom?” I said, louder. He didn’t move. I wondered if he was dead, and then I wondered if he was faking—maybe this was his version of passive resistance to press intrusion. He looked like a parody of a man asleep. I stood there for a minute, maybe two, wondering whether it was appropriate to touch his arm. I decided that it was not. Finally, I got in my car and drove back to Waco, where I had dinner alone in a mediocre Thai restaurant and thought about heroes. “It’s my birthday,” I told the server, who looked at me like she thought I might be lying.

Rachel Monroe, “Fire Behavior" OA84

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tammymercure:

Destrehan, LA. July 18, 2014.

tammymercure:

Destrehan, LA. July 18, 2014.

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Tamara Reynolds; Southern Routes 

Tamara Reynolds; Southern Routes 

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smithsonianmag:

Photo of the Day: Skeptical Swan
Photo by Erin Tucker (Apopka, FL, USA); Orlando, FL, USA

smithsonianmag:

Photo of the Day: Skeptical Swan

Photo by Erin Tucker (Apopka, FL, USA); Orlando, FL, USA

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theparisreview:

“The act of giving milk itself is pleasant and soothing; it’s not that I am eager for it to end. And it’s not that it is uninteresting, between the strange palpable effects of the oxytocin and the mesmerizing face of the latched baby. It just doesn’t fit into the matrix of productivity or purpose or attention I’m accustomed to. It is simply being, mammal-animal being, layered with a human consciousness as thin and light as linen.”
Sarah Menkedick on breastfeeding and boredom.

Read Sarah Menkedick in the Paris Review and then look for her in the coming fall issue of the OA. 

theparisreview:

“The act of giving milk itself is pleasant and soothing; it’s not that I am eager for it to end. And it’s not that it is uninteresting, between the strange palpable effects of the oxytocin and the mesmerizing face of the latched baby. It just doesn’t fit into the matrix of productivity or purpose or attention I’m accustomed to. It is simply being, mammal-animal being, layered with a human consciousness as thin and light as linen.”

Sarah Menkedick on breastfeeding and boredom.

Read Sarah Menkedick in the Paris Review and then look for her in the coming fall issue of the OA. 

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ISSUE 74: The Refuge of the Classroom

A few of the other girls—white girls—and I find Mason in the bathroom and throw crumpled pieces of paper over the stall door. The same white girls write “Mrs. Mason Griggs” in newly mastered cursive in their notebooks. They whisper to me about their crushes on Mason, call him “cute,” with his mop of dark hair and tawny skin. To the white girls, I am safe, invisible. I listen dutifully, feeling smug inside because, while any one of them may well become Mrs. Mason Griggs, none of them will ever be his baby.

Read the rest of Emily Bernard’s essay about the effect of silence in the classroom, from our Education Issue.

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A sneak peek from this week’s upcoming #eyesonthesouth by Anne Conway Jennings. More soon… @eyesonthesouth

A sneak peek from this week’s upcoming #eyesonthesouth by Anne Conway Jennings. More soon… @eyesonthesouth

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Reverend H.D. Dennis Ecstatic
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"1935 Wurlitzer P10 Open Rear" by Ken Brown, www.kenbrownart.com #OA85
@amandapetrusich

"1935 Wurlitzer P10 Open Rear" by Ken Brown, www.kenbrownart.com #OA85
@amandapetrusich

Tags: oa85
Photoset

utexaspress:

It’s World Snake Day! Texas has its share of snakes, so get to know our native snakes with some field guides

Venomous Snakes of Texas

If you don’t care to hear a rattle in the wild, Frank Dobie has some folklore about rattlesnakes for the less adventurous.

Rattlesnakes by J. Frank Dobie