Andy Warhol grew up in South Oakland near the University of Pittsburgh. And the Old Soldier lives in North Oakland. Oakland is really one neighborhood. Only we Oaklanders divide the neighborhood into north, east, south and west.
In the warm weather, I walk down to the campus, through Schenley Park and then make my way to Dawson Street to stand in front of Andy Warhol’s old home. It ain’t much. Very working class. But that’s okay. The Old Soldier is working class.
It means a lot to me that Andy Warhol grew up in my neighborhood. I feel his accomplishments give me the freedom to try to make the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette a magazine that appeals to the libido and the intellect. The magazine should provoke, inform and entertain.
I have no doubt Andy Warhol would consider my little publication low-brow. It is low-brow. I don’t know any famous people or movers and shakers and there are no high-priced ads in the magazine. None of that matters to me.
What matters is that much of the magazine is risqué and provocative, thoughtful and artistic. It has a lot of first-class writing in it.
So, when the warm weather comes back around again, I’ll pay several more visits to Dawson Street. I’ll stand silently in front of that working-class home for a few moments. And then I’ll turn away and walk back to my apartment to sit at my work station inspired and refreshed.
This is the Old Soldier reporting from near the University of Pittsburgh.
PS The best flash fiction is cinema on the page. The reader should be able to see what is going on. The story is not complete until the reader participates in the story by adding what the writer must leave out but implies. The reader and writer are partners in the creative process.