Selected Essays from the Op-Ed Pages of The Providence Journal, the oldest continuously-published daily newspaper in the United States.

If Journal online link fails, simply click on PDF icon to display story in a new window.

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photo by charles pinning
Creamy Dreamy and Steamy
Riding the roller coaster of desire in the back seat of a '49 Buick. 8/06/2017
20 Twinkies.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [475.4 KB]

Or online at The Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2uiFeDO

Or online at New England Diary: http://bit.ly/2vrE8EU

photo by charles pinning
Starse and Stripes Forever
A little story about a big flagpole and what lasts. 7/02/2017
Fourth of July 2017.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [110.8 KB]

Or online at The Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2tOFSnu

Or online at New England Diary: http://bit.ly/2uQOnDs

photo by charles pinning
Around And Around We Go
A boy, a girl and ice skating in downtown Providence. 2/12/2017
Valentines Story 2017.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [420.4 KB]

Or online at The Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2lfD9ki

Or online at New England Diary: http://bit.ly/2lfslCP

photo by charles pinning
Winter Humors
It was a Saturday, and a dangerous ennui had settled in. 1/29/2017
Winter Humors.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [113.7 KB]

Or online at The Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2kYiQ9F

photo: St. George's School Archives
Christmas Amongst The Chosen In RI
Yule Night at an exclusive New England prep school requires a trained eye to see the truth. 12/25/2016
Christmas Amongst The Chosen In RI.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [470.3 KB]

Or online at The Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2iS1dvo

Or online at New England Diary: http://bit.ly/2iwHMHB

My Thanksgiving In Little Compton
A "respectable" family is caught being otherwise. 11/24/16
My Thanksgiving in Little Compton.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [490.9 KB]

Or online at The Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2iq5bYV

Or online at New England Diary:

http://newenglanddiary.com/?tag=Charles%20Pinning

The Avant Garde Of The Backyard
In the season of happy accidents, Newport neighbors watching "Around the World in 80 Days," fly into the future at the speed of light. 8/24/16
The Avant Garde of the Backyard.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [209.8 KB]

Or online at The Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2bAExbm

Or at the Canopic Jar Arts Journal:

http://canopicjar.com/suites/suite-film/pinning/

photo by charles pinning
KABOOM !
A lazy, humid day coming up on the 4th of July. A kid poking around for something to do. A cherry bomb. 7/3/16
KABOOM!.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [186.9 KB]

Or online at The ProvidenceJournal: http://bit.ly/2iu7blb

photo by charles pinning
Twist And Scream
They are fewer, who can remember firsthand the last war we had to fight. Today, the vaster number mourn the loss of those whose lives were sacrificed in vain, shipped off to be slain in wars not only futile but with vicious repercussions, while those back home partied on, shopped on, married on, careered on....

This little story is a remembrance of one lost; gone away as quietly as we move on to the next thought. 5/29/16 Peace.
Twist and Scream.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [178.2 KB]

Or online at The Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2iuaVDp

photo by charles pinning
Mother's Day Memory: My Lying Mom
A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. 5/8/16
My Lying Mother.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [180.9 KB]

Or online at The Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2ipYW7o

illustration by charles pinning & co.
Revolutionary R.I. Rises Up Again
The citizens of Rhode Island rise up against a state-funded tourism campaign that burns millions of taxpayer dollars, casting it off as in 1776, RI cast off the repugnancies of King George III. 4/6/16
Revolutionary_RI.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [458.0 KB]

Or online at The Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/1UIr8lr

A Remembrance of Love Squandered
If only we behaved admirably all the time. But we don't. Damn. This is one of those stories. 2/14/16
A Remembrance of Love Squandered.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [432.2 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/213cjtT

The Bell Invites Me
A haunting story of Holiday horror and perverse delight, sprung from an innocent yearning. 12/25/15
Christmas Story 2015.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [860.1 KB]
Thanksgiving With A Long-Legged Friend
A Thanksgiving in the Irish section of Newport throws together two Beatles fans; one with long legs, white tights, and a mini-skirt and the other trying to catch up and not get shot! 11/26/15.
Thanksgiving with a long-legged friend.p[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [599.6 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2isTZuL

photo by charles pinning
On Halloween, The Amazing Toast Man
Trick-or-Treat transcendence. 10/31/15
On Halloween, the amazing Toast Man.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [505.6 KB]
photo by charles pinning
Swimming In Money One August
Back-breaking work during a sweltering August results in tragedy. 8/26/15
Swimming in money one August.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [624.6 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2is5EKh

photo by charles pinning
Easter Sunday With Muffin And Rochambeau
All alone on Easter Sunday, in Newport. 4/5/15
Rochambeau_Easter_2015.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [398.2 KB]
The Gardner Heist, 25 Years Ago Today
A unique theory about who stole over $500 million in art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, in Boston. It remains the biggest art theft in history and is still unsolved! 3/18/15
The_Gardner_Heist_25_Years_Ago_Today.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [468.2 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2iS7Eyh

Or online at New England Diary: http://bit.ly/2hXzPYo

photo by charles pinning
French Ginger Ale At Newport's White Horse Tavern
On a snow-filled Valentine's night long ago, a broken heart is mended by banana bread, French ginger ale, and love. And, yes, a deep-deep kiss and the strong beat of a true heart. 2/13/15
French Ginger Ale At Newport's White Hor[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [498.6 KB]
photo by charles pinning
A Gift From An Unexpected Place
Beckoned by a blizzard, a third-grade girl walks out on a limb and falls into the future. 12/25/14
A Gift From An Unexpected Place.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [697.4 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/1trDrGx

photo: jeanne haymon
After The Turkey, A Slice Of Solitude
A tale of Thanksgiving, complete with swans and cows, messy kisses and weeping willows. Even a country lane, and in the distance, beyond the pastures, the promise of a better life. 11/27/14
After The Turkey, A Slice Of Solitude.pd[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [549.2 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/1vLE4Z3

photo by charles pinning
The Prettiest Hands
A tale of terror and lost concertos, seen through the eyes of a boy who only wanted some good candy. 10/26/14.
A_Secret_Far_Scarier_Than_Staged_Hallowe[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [508.0 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/1E8dxsr

Valentino's Castle
A tale of terror and lost concertos, seen through the eyes of a boy who only wanted some good candy. 10/26/14.
Dancing_Around_Rudolph_Valentino's_Brick[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [129.5 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/1vJEEou

photo by charles pinning
The Old Portagee
From his lawn chair beneath the grape arbor over his driveway in the Fox Point section of Providence, The Old Portagee in his 40-year-old Broooks Brothers shirt, gives a boy something to think about, while they chew on grilled chourico and fava beans. 08/31/14.
Lessons_Of_Life_From_The_Old_Portagee.pd[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [521.1 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2iWw2L8

This Land Is My Land (Newport, That Is)
Sitting on a high stone wall on Broadway in Newport, a couple of friends admiring the cars coming into town for the Folk Festival, meet the unusual occupants of a Cadillac that overheats and pulls over right below them. 08/03/2014.
This Land Is My Land (Newport, That Is).[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [551.2 KB]

Or, online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2hK5wXC

Looking For Independence On Independence Day
A boy and a girl disappear into the dunes of Little Compton, while the log burns and the fireworks explode. 07/04/2014.
Looking_For_Independence_On_Independence[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [568.3 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2iZKm9N

The Day I Feared Dad's Love Would Go Up In Smoke
Bored on a summer's day, a young boy gets into big trouble in the basement. 06/13/14
The_Day_I_Feared_Dad's_Love_Would_Go_Up_[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [595.5 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2hK2hPU

Freckles In The Face Of War
A soldier fights his way out of a hellhole back to the girl and life he loves. 05/26/14.
Freckles_In_The_Face_Of_War.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [561.0 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2hJJ8iP

photo by charles pinning
Spring Fever Hits In Unexpected Ways
A childhood treasure hunt on a Newport beach leads many years later to a Providence cemetery and into a springtime romance. 03/28/14
Spring_Fever_Hits_In_Unexpected_Ways.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [130.8 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2i2qvmo

Love By The Shimmering Ocean In 1968
Two teenagers who've just met at a Valentine's Day party, run away together to Newport, RI and hole up in mansion closed for the winter. 02-14-14.
Love_By_The_Shimmering_Ocean_In_1968.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [595.5 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2iH717k

Our Christmas Miracle Igloo
May the spirit of the Christmas Igloo bring your nose closer to the one you want to rub. 12-25-2013.
Christmas_Miracle_Igloo.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [514.9 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2ivhZNP

How Cybill Shepherd Helped Inspire My New Novel
Many ask how IRREPLACEABLE came to be the novel's title. This and more, including a romantic encounter between the author and Cybill in Providence, is recounted in this popular Op-Ed Commentary. 10/18/13
IRREPLACEABLE_Cybill_Projo_10-18-2013.pd[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [631.0 KB]
Celebrating The 4th With The Lumpkins
The suffocating heat of the Bristol, RI 4th of July Parade, infidelity, the overheated sexuality of a young girl and a fast-burning wick. Raaah! 07-04-13
Celebrating July 4 With The Lumpkins.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [621.9 KB]

Or online at the Providence Journal: http://bit.ly/2hJRkPX

photo: pinning family archives
What Little We Know
An uncle shot down by Germans in WW II, and known to his nephew only through an old black and white photograph, appears in a graveyard with some information for the boy.
05-27-13.
What Little We Know.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [431.2 KB]
Paging Catherine Deneuve at Dulles
A teenager who's just obtained his driver's license and a used Jaguar, drives out to Dulles Airport at night to project himself into a different life. 02-14-13.
Paging Catherine Deneuve at Dulles.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [557.9 KB]
The Catholic Young Lords From St. George's
At an Episcopalian prep school, the few Catholic boys are taken to town to attend mass on Sundays. But down the street is the smell of sausages and toast...cigarettes...a juke box.... 03-31-13.
The Catholic Young Lords From St. George[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [644.8 KB]
Old-Fashioned Holiday Violence
On Christmas Eve, a young boy is beaten by his father and runs away in a blizzard to seek refuge at his grandparent's farm. 12-24-12.
Old-Fashioned Holiday Violence.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [744.5 KB]
A Time For Babies
A young couple with their baby enjoy a backyard garden in springtime. 03-22-12.
A Time for Babies.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [523.9 KB]
In Search of the New World in Newport, Christmas 1966
Afraid that his father is going to confront him about smoking marijuana, a boy sneaks out the bathroom window and flees to his friend's house next door to seek her help. 12-25-11.
In Search of The New World in Newport, C[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [1'021.9 KB]
Brown's President and Goldman Sachs
How Ruth Simmons, President of Brown University from 2001--2012, shamelessly raked in the dough by sitting on the board of Goldman Sachs during most of those years. 02-25-10.
Brown's President and Goldman Sachs.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [177.9 KB]
Christmas Dreams of the Are-We-There-Yet? State
A young boy drives from New England to Florida with his parents, only to find out that dreams of swimming pools and convertibles are dashed by unusual weather. 12-20-09.
Christmas Dreams of the Are-We-There-Yet[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [798.4 KB]
photo by charles pinning
Great Falsehood About Military Service
Our rank and file military are mostly kids looking for a job, family, and a steady income, no matter what those who would feed them into the meat grinder would like you to believe. 11-08-06.
Great Falsehood About Military Service.p[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [273.7 KB]
Newport Before The Bridge
Newport, Rhode Island at Christmas, when there was only ferrry service connecting Newport to the rest of the world. 12-22-08.
Newport Before The Bridge.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [728.1 KB]
On Sacred Ground
Lonely and prepared for a one-night stand, a man finds himself with a strange woman in the room where he'd attended first grade. 09-07-10.
On_Sacred_Ground.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [691.9 KB]
photo by charles pinning
National Grid Lays Trail of Tears
How the monopoly supplier of natural gas and electricity in Rhode Island designs its rate structure to defeat the conservation efforts of its customers. 09-20-08.
National Grid Lays Trail of Tears.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [653.4 KB]
Christmas Gifts Received With Ingratitude
A young boy gives his father a tie he doesn't like, his brother, who's not supposed to be smoking, a cigarette lighter, and a jewelry box to his mother that she senses he shoplifted. 12-25-06.
Christmas Gift Received With Ingratitude[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [897.0 KB]
Nix GTECH-Lottomatica Merger
Why the merger of lottery giants GTECH Corporation and Lottomatica spA is not in the best interests of the American people, and is, in fact, treasonous. 08-02-06.
Nix_GTECH-Lottomatica_Merger.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [671.9 KB]