Laura  Jean  Baker

February 20, 2018

In the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rabbit Hole, my son Frank was the recorded voice of Danny, a four-year-old boy killed by a car when he chased his dog Taz into the street. The Fredric March Theater at UW Oshkosh is not the Winter Garden on Broadway, but if your 13-ye...

February 13, 2018

Women flock to see their lovebirds at the Winnebago County Jail. Inside the visiting booths, they perch as if nesting against the partition windows, seeming to gaze at the man on the moon. A revolution of mug shots stares back – a robber, a felon, a hustler, a thug.


February 8, 2018

To be honest, I’m a real townie. Sure, for ten years I lived in a string of worthy places like Madison, Milwaukee, Boulder, Ann Arbor, even Buenos Aires and Madrid, but I’ve lived 30 (of nearly 40 years) in little old Oshkosh. Upon high-school graduation, I tried throw...

February 1, 2018

Character sketches, cut from The Motherhood Affidavits, but not from memory:


A paranoid schizophrenic man named Gary was the mascot for my parents’ business Mental Health Consultants. He lived above their offices, and like an uncle, called our house daily. Sometimes...

January 24, 2018

"Tell them that the house is not for sale

We’re still living here

How come nobody can tell?"

-- “This House is Not For Sale” by Ryan Adams

On Thursday, January 18, Ryan and I paid $12,690 to sell our house on Hazel Street. We gave it away as if making a charitable donation...

January 17, 2018

Frank K. Baker is my son’s namesake. He is also my grandfather and the sports reporter whose droll smile is a throw-back I chase with my keyboard. Working as a journalist for the Salt Lake City Telegram, my old man’s old man and the “Manassa Mauler” stand linked elbow-...

January 9, 2018

In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Chief Bromden says to readers: “But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.”

And so argues Gustav when it’s time to complete his weekly 4K news worksheet. Please share something interesting happening at home. Four blank lines.

“How ab...

December 24, 2017

One Christmas (or Easter), my mom taught me the word C-R-E-A-S-T-E-R. This blend of words, also called a “portmanteau,” delighted my senses. Life was a Dr. Seuss book or a poem I couldn’t memorize fast enough. Thank god for this phenomenon. Twice annual pilgrimages to...

December 13, 2017

My husband turns 40 today. To celebrate, Gustav contracted a stomach virus and vomited on Ryan’s shoulder.

Ryan slept for only six hours last night. He fell asleep in his 30s and then woke up, having crossed an invisible threshold, becoming in those short-lived dreams a...

December 6, 2017

Christmas shopping for Ryan, and for me, is like a bonfire of the vanities.

We enter marketplaces, boutiques, Target, or the dark side of la-la land, otherwise known as, where we squint to ascertain whether items, ranging from $9.98 to $119.99, are total garb...

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© 2018  Laura Jean Baker

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