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The Sax Players — A Christmas Story

Published December 25, 2011 Casey's Stories, first-9 Comments

I answered the phone and, with voice shaking, he asked “Is Jimmy’s cell phone still working?” John Dale had left our house only a few minutes earlier. It was Christmas Day, 2008—our first without Jimmy. John had come by that morning to give us an almost surreal photograph of Jimmy playing the saxophone—one we’d never seen before. And then John got “his call,” followed by another bizarre one that I took several hours later. It was a day of amazing gifts and another peek into the “whatever it is” we experienced with The Letter several weeks earlier. The table for this day had been set a week earlier when we met and had our first reading with Tarra, a well know medium and psychic from Sedona. We knew the moment Jimmy was gone that we got kicked onto another railroad track and we could either go down it or pull off and languish on some siding. We chose to roll forward and see where it goes. This is a little story about photographs, phone calls, psychics and saxophones, with perhaps a little magic sprinkled on top.

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The Letter-The Story

Published July 9, 2011 first-9, Stories, Your Stories Comments

Casey Gauntt spent the summer of 1968 in Coalwood, W.V. As a new graduate of Lake Park H.S. in suburban Chicago and before starting USC in Los Angeles, he headed off to work on a construction job his family’s company, Case Foundation, was hired to do. After that summer, Coalwood remained a faded memory until one day—40 years later—Casey received a phone call from a woman who said she had something he left behind in Coalwood and wanted to return it to him. She had no idea how important this item would be for Casey and his family in that moment—a moment where they had experienced the greatest loss of their lifetime— and how a simple letter from his father would change Casey’s life and how he will forevermore view this world. This is a story of family tragedy—about as bad as it gets—and either unbelievable coincidence or the handiwork of a greater power. You can be the judge.

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The Letter-The Film, By Steve Date

Published July 7, 2011 first-9 Comments

Introduction A year after the arrival of the letter from my father, my wife, Hilary, and I went to Coalwood to meet up with the woman, Emily Sue Buckberry, who had so suddenly reappeared in my life, and to attend the 2009 October Sky Festival, an annual event to celebrate the town’s fame thanks to […]

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Vern Case

Published July 6, 2011 first-9 Comments

Vernon Drury Case By: Vernon Case Gauntt “Vern Case came further from his roots than anyone in his extended family, at least in terms of recognition. But if we’re talking happiness, I don’t think so.” Stanford Ellis Case (2009) “Because, you can’t think big in a small car.” I’d asked my grandfather, Vernon Drury Case, […]

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Author Bios

Write Me Something Beautiful Authors - Casey and Jimmy Gauntt

Casey Gauntt

is a retired attorney and former senior executive of a major San Diego real estate company. He lives in Solana Beach, California, with his wife, Hilary. Casey grew up in Itasca, Illinois, graduated Lake Park High School in 1968, and received B.S., JD and MBA degrees from the University of Southern California.

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Jimmy Gauntt

was born and raised in Solana Beach and graduated from Torrey Pines High School in 2002.   A prestigious Trustee Scholar at the University of Southern California, he majored in English and Spanish. He authored six plays, five screenplays, and a multitude of poems and short stories. Beginning in 2010, the USC English Department annually bestows the Jimmy Gauntt Memorial Award—aka “The Jimmy”—to the top graduates in English.  Jimmy passed over to the other side in 2008 at age 24.

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