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Be sure to check out Sylves Love now on Amazon Prime video set in Harlem in the 1950s, a young woman meets an aspiring saxophonist in her father's record shop and their love ignites a sweeping romance that transcends the changing times. Watch Sylves Love, directed by Eugene Ashe, starring Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha and produced by MOTHE board member Gabrielle Glawe on Amazon Prime video. From Prick's, this is The Moth Radio Hour. I'm Jay Allison, producer of this show.


And in this hour, we present a live moth event held at Union Chapel in the town of Oak Bluffs on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.


Your host is Jenny Allen, whose essays and articles have appeared in publications like The New Yorker and her one woman show. I Got Sick Then I Got Better can be seen in venues around the country. Here's Jenny Allen.


So we're going to start our stories and we ask each storyteller to answer a very simple question that we've asked and appropriately, because tonight's theme is Big Night. And this is such a great big night for for the Moth and the Vineyard.


The question is, what are the three things you need to be prepared for a big night?


And our first storyteller is Maurice Ashley. And Maurice answered the question with a good night's sleep, a great breakfast and a cup of hot chocolate.


He says, hot chocolate.


That's my signature. So you want to come on up and tell your story.


In the summer of 1985, when I was 19 years old, I played one of the most important chess matches of my career. Now, this match is not found in any history books, nor are there any living witnesses to the events that transpired that day. But this match proved to be a defining moment in my life as a chess player, teacher and commentator.


Now, I'm from Brooklyn, New York.


After some more specifically, though, Brownsville, Brooklyn, how somebody from Brownsville. Wow. Now, Brownsville wasn't a fairytale place to grow up.


I mean, we had our share of abandoned buildings and gaggle of prostitutes and brazen car thieves and drug dealers who would play musical gunshots every single night to remind you who was in charge of the neighborhood, kind of like here at Martha's Vineyard.


Mike Tyson, the boxer, he grew up in Brownsville, Brownsville, was so rough, Mike had to get out of Brownsville.


But lucky for me, I had found and fallen in love with the game of chess and I played it every single day, I studied chess books whenever I could, and I played with my friends.


It was my alter in Brownsville that I had this game and one of my friends, I was beaten on and he he got upset and he said, well, I know a bunch of guys who could crush you.


Now I'm from Brownsville to strangers, me from Brownsville, and want to say you're from Brownsville, the other will say never and never will.


So I said, Brait, who are these guys?


And he said, well, they're known as the Black Bear School. The Black Bear schools, it's like picturing some piece by piece by smoking brothers, watching too many cowboy movies.


So like, well, let's go, let's see it.


So he takes me to Prospect Park in Brooklyn and I see one of the most intense scenes.


It's like 30 African-Americans, soul music blasting and they're all around chessboards either playing or watching.


And I come up and it's these legends I hear of the park, William Morrison, the exterminator who plays in the style of Bobby Fischer. I mean, you make one mistake and he finds the flaw in your game and he'll inject venom in you that no medication can fix. But the most interesting guy that they pointed out to me was George Golding The Firebreather.


Now, George had a way about he was about five, seven, five, eight was in his mid 30s. He had a little reddish hair, freckles. But George, when you saw him play, you knew he was a player immediately was playing by the way he moved his pieces. He'd move the peace and end up exactly in the center of the square every single time. And George had this great skill that you had to have in Brooklyn was he was a great trash talker because, you know, brothers, when we get together, we got to trash talk.


But in chess, there's a code of silence you're not supposed to speak during the game, you know, button up, correct, and no distracting your opponent. So the great trash talkers had to have a way of getting around that code of circumventing it.


And the best people will tell you the three ways to do that.


Number one, start by talking to yourself. So you'll be sitting there.


You'll be like, OK, I can play Bishop G five and he could play nine of six. And if I take on six takes back, what am I supposed to do? This is confusing, man. So not anything either you're slow or you're crazy. And then the second thing you do is you start complimenting them in these crazy rants. So you'll be like, OK, Mr. G5 and he plays night, have six and then I and I see three point ninety seven and if I take on five, he can take back on defense.


I want to take his Queene place special before Chuck or this guy is good.


So now they're feeling good about themselves and then the last point of the trap. If you get them to talk. So you say something like, man, you're pretty good, where are you from, which Grandmaster taught you? And if they answer the question, it's over, the door is open and you can trash talk all night. Now, a different trash talkers have different styles. Some guys will quote Shakespeare, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore thou Romeo, deny thy father and refuse thy name.


Checkmate, bitch.


Other guys will have some mantra that they say over and over, like Ruth Mouth, who used to always say that's what she said, and you'll say, what does that mean?


That's what she said. That doesn't make any sense. That's what she said. You're an idiot. That's what she said. But George was different. George wanted to make sure that you understood that there was a mental chasm between you and him, that on a chess board there was a Grand Canyon in between you and him that you could not stand on.


So, George, we get super intellectual, he start quoting chess books, but not just any chess books, the encyclopedias of chess openings, a five volume set, 500 pages each.


And he'd say things like, well, don't you know, it's in the middle of the game that this is the Carol, this is the part about Vinnick variation of the Carol Kahn and this is Kobie 14. And in this position, you're supposed to play a three so you can keep your light squared. Bishop, I mean, that's basic.


And you're like wondering if he's just jiving you. But when you checked, he never was.


And then in the middle of that, he'd be singing James Brown and then he'd be decrying the return of Reaganomics.


And then he'd say something really crazy like, don't you like the way my rook is penetrating into the rear of your position through the hole created by your separated pawns?


And now you're so flustered, right, that you like blunder and you realize it, he's like, whoa! And then he does his signature move where he gets up on the park bench so that everybody can see him and he has a queen in his hand and he jumps into the air like Michael Jordan and slam dunks his queen on the square and says, check me. I wanted to beat George. I want it to be George. But it wasn't easy to beat these guys, the Black Bear schools, they studied chess like rabbinical students study the Torah.


These guys, their quote and I later found out was the reason why I was called the Black Bear School, was because when you saw a black bear in the forest, it wasn't enough to injure it. You had to kill it because it would just keep on coming.


And so I play these guys and they just beat me and what me this one send me home and I'd study and I come back and they beat me again and I come back and I study some more and I come and I get crushed.


And I started looking for a weakness. How am I going to beat these guys? And after a while, I started to understand it. I started to see it and what I noticed was that they like to beat each other and study for each other's games. So they became very provincial, playing the same opening's over and over again.


But they didn't like to go out into the chess clubs, the Manhattan Chess Club, the Marshall Chess Club, where everybody was in suits and ties and you saw the grandmasters come in, international matches come and play. They just didn't like that vibe. But that's where the serious chess was. Because they also just like to play Blitz. And blitz the difference between blitz and classic chess, I don't know if you know, you've ever seen a chess clock, it has two faces on it and you have a certain amount of time and you press the clock and your time starts and other presidents are saying you keep on moving like this.


Well, in classical chess, you'll have four hours to play 40 moves.


And in the old days, you play for four hours and then you'd adjourn the game. You get to go home and look at the position and then you come back. And both have already studied all these niceties and you play for another four hours.


So games the last couple of days easy.


In Blitz, you each have five minutes. I while in classical chess, there's a premium on focus, concentration and stamina in Blitz, it's all about instinct and skill and hand speed. And hand speed, like Johnny Depp and Edward Scissorhands, we're just like those movies that you like this and this too, and they're putting you up to pieces. So those guys played Blitz, so I had to go to the other clubs and play with the Grandmasters international matches and toughen up my game and get that strength and precision.


And then I came back. And I started playing them and I started beating them. Meeting one at a time until one of them said. You're ready for George. And of course, when George asked that it was all fire and brimstone, so the match was set, he invited me to his apartment. I go in and he's just on fire. You can feel the tension in his shoulders. And he's like, he's got to take this young kid down.


So we sit down and the clock is set and we start to play and the games are even the first. We're going back and forth hitting one each other in the game. But George is realizing this is not as easy as it was. And I'm realizing, wait a second, all that training has worked and I'm starting to feel it and we're going back and forth. And I hit him in one particular game. We're going down to the wire, the only seconds on the clock.


And I hit him with this combination and I Jaysus King and I checkmate him. And he didn't like it. And we said up the pieces that we start to play again, and then it comes a moment in the game where George reaches for a piece and his hand is hovering over the piece. And it's trembling. And I know I got him. And I become like Neo in The Matrix, his bullets, I don't have to dodge them anymore.


And the thoughts are coming from my head down to my body, into my hands, my fingertips to the chest, pieces to the clock, and one delicious blur. And I'm just hit him with a combination of the combination. And I'm checkmating skin on the left and I'm hitting his queen on the right. And George starts to realize that he's got nothing for me and I'm inside his head. I'm anticipating all his moves. And finally he's breathless on his knees, like out of it completely.


And he says, we're done. And it's over. And I'm floating on air. I just defeated the Firebreather. I killed a black bear. So I start walking out of the apartment, I look over my shoulder and I see George is averting my eyes as the door closes behind me, and I realize in that moment that I've broken something inside of George.


So a few years later, George got really sick and he passed away. And a friend of ours in the Black Bear school said to me, George told me something before he went away, and that is. That I should take care of, Maurice. Because he's going to be special. And so to the black school who taught me the greatest lessons for the cutthroat world of competitive chess, who taught me that determination and fire get you far? And that the will to win is greater than any material disadvantage.


I want to say to them all the Black Bear School and to George, thank you.


That was Morris, Ashley Morris made history when he became the first African-American to attain the title of International Grand Master of Chess in 1999.


He is the life chess commentator for ESPN and has released a chess app called Learn Chess with Maurice Ashley. You can find out more about the moth at the Moth Dog. We'll be back in a moment with more stories from this live event from Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard. The Moth Radio Hour is produced by Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and presented by PUREX.


This is the Moth Radio Hour from Prick's. I'm Jay Allison. You're listening to a live storytelling event that was held on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. Your host is Jenny Allen. So our next storyteller is Bokhara legend.


I just like saying her name. She answered our question, what are the three things you need in order to have a big night?


And Bokhara answered a toothbrush in case I spend the night cab fare in case I decide to bail and a pen in case I want to write about it for my memoir.


So please welcome Bokhara Leshan. Well, a few years ago, I decided that I'd crashed coronation of Nepal, the king, and of course, I didn't mean to.


I really was invited the way I was invited. So I was at a cocktail party in San Francisco and it was given by the honorary consul general from to Nepal.


And he said to three of us, wouldn't you like to come with my wife and me to the coronation?


And we all said, yes. Well, I mean, my marriage was falling apart. My dog had died. My life was a mess.


I thought a nice Himalayan clear mountain air and a jamboree will fix my life.


It'll be perfect.


So I bought a plane ticket and an evening dress and I flew off to Kathmandu waving goodbye to my husband.


And when I arrived at the Kathmandu airport had become all it was, was an earth road.


But along it were lots of private jets from all the dignitaries who visited.


And I took a taxi into town and I noticed that the toes of the cows and the elephants had all been painted red, just like mine.


And I got to the house of the people that I was going to stay with, which had been arranged by a friend of mine in America.


And I discovered that the other house guest was the queen of Bhutan.


And the next morning I said, Would you give me a ride to the coronation? Because I thought, well, my invitation will be at the gate.


But instead of doing that, he dropped me off at a big white fence which went around a cow pasture, which was masquerading as a palace garden.


I could see way out in the middle the tents of the coronation.


I was dressed in a long, tie dyed silk evening dress with a big skirt and gold high heeled sandals. And around my neck I had crisscrossed like 100 game bags, binoculars, a camera, a tape recorder.


I was prepared to join the press if I couldn't get in with the princess's.


And so I threw my leg over the fence. And my gold sandal went into a cow patty and I slogged across that field like a soldier in enemy territory, but nothing happened.


And when I got to the tents, I was in the royal enclosure, so nobody did anything. But I was terribly shy and terribly worried.


So I rushed into the first tent I saw and I sat down in a chair without looking.


And then I looked up and I saw that the entire tent was full of Nepali's in white Doty's black neru jackets and white turbans, all men.


And I looked at the person next to me and he looked at me with a horrified expression and I bolted out of there like a flying rainbow.


And I went into the next tent and that one was full of people in evening dresses in the maharajahs when gold brocade coats and everybody had on lots of jewelry.


And I sat down next to a woman in a long green satin evening dress, and she had a camera and three strands of pearls around her neck.


And she turned to me and she said, Did you know the queen's wig was eaten by a yak this morning?


And I said, I'm just glad I was accepted by the right people, and then we noticed that the media photographers had all been let out of there sort of pen and that they were rushing across the field with camera in hand and trumpets were blowing.


And it must be the moment of the coronation.


So I said to the lady next to me while this was going on, did you know that the king had all the stray dogs and the hippies taken away in a truck to India to clear the streets as we peered to see if we could see the queen and her wig and if we could see the coronation.


But we couldn't. Our vision was completely blocked. The little red tent was miles away. You couldn't see a thing.


And I realized I'd flown all the way to Katmandu and I bought my evening dress and I wasn't going to see a coronation.


Oh, said the lady next to me, don't worry. It's a fake coronation.


And the real one happened this morning in the palace and none of us were invited. Well, I thought for all these dignitaries and everything, they're having a fake coronation.


But anyway, afterwards I ran into my friends who had originally invited me and they said, come with us.


We're going to have lunch in the Palace Hotel garden.


So I found myself next to a Maharajah in a gold coat and he said tonight there's going to be a party in the Yak and Yeti Bar.


It's going to be given by a jet setter. And, you know, Imelda Marcos is flying in in her jet with a band and a lot of other jet setters. And I said, well, I would love to go to that.


So this night, the Cognetti had become a chic hotel. The tables were covered with silk saris.


There were bowls of flowers and tons of champagne.


And Imelda's band was playing and we all danced till 3am.


I even danced with the king of Sikkim.


And at the end of the party, my friends had gone home and I was looking for a way to get back to Katmandu, which was quite far.


And I saw an ambassador getting into his car and I said, I don't know what to do, how am I going to get back to Kathmandu at this hour?


And he said, Oh, grab a cab. And there were no cabs. I mean, this is a Himalayan hamlet, and so I started walking down that road and there were no streetlights, was nothing.


It was just my gold high heels echoing on the pavement and who knows what would come out of the dark. And as I did it, I was having a bit of a sink and my.


My veneer of stiff upper lip kind of slumped and I thought, just what am I doing here?


Do I think I'm a jet setter? Do I think I can run away from my marriage by coming to a party in Katmandu?


And I thought, I don't really know who I am or what I'm doing.


And the next morning I called up Jane and her name had been given to me by a friend in New York.


And Jane asked me over to lunch. She was staying at a wonderful little hotel called the Toshie Deli, which means good luck in Tibet. It was a little yellow hotel.


And we sat for lunch on piles of carpets and we ate lentil soup. And I just felt so cozy and relaxed.


It was like being on a river that I could just float on without thrashing.


So I rented a room in the in this little hotel and it costs seven dollars a night.


And we hung our laundry on the roof.


And Jane said, Wouldn't you like to come with me on a little hike up the Himalayas to see my lama? Well, nobody else had asked me to do anything.


So I said, sure. And I bought a pair of five dollar sneakers and a yak wool jacket and we got into this little tiny plane and careened through the Himalayas.


It was flown by a Bush pilot and we landed in a little air but wasn't even an airport.


It was just sort of dirt road on the side of a mountain. And we were greeted by Sir Edmund Hillary. And Hillary took us to his camp. He gave us a little blue tent and he invited us to have dinner with him.


So we sat in this tent with a Coleman lantern on the table eating lentil soup. And he talked about how much he owed the Nepalese and how much they had done for him and how he wanted to do something for them.


And he was building them a hospital on this mountain ledge for the villages nearby.


And actually, we'd been in the plane flying up hospital supplies.


And I thought to myself. Last night, I was at a party with Imelda Marcos and just one flight from the Philippines could have built 12 hospitals and here I am with this tall, angular pillar of charm. Edmund Hillary, who is building one.


And I thought. This is the other way I'm really part of that life of luxury and pleasure and imagining that one can escape sadness and the hopelessness of life by going to a party.


And here is this other way. So the next morning, we did hike up the Himalayas.


Unfortunately, it took two days and we got to this mountain fastness and we entered the monastery was guarded by dogs with huge spiked collars and the wind was blowing and the prayer flags were whipping.


And this lama greeted us at the gate and he led us up a tall, tall ladder.


And at the top was this little room and it had piles of rugs around the edge and a little rasiah in the middle, which smoked a sort of delicious smoke.


And we lay on top of the rugs, but also under the rugs. And something about that place brought a delightful dream my way.


Perhaps it was the scent from the brazier, or perhaps it was the fact that there were all those mines in that monastery pushing themselves towards another level of consciousness.


But in this dream, I danced out of a little flower shop where three people said goodbye to me and I danced to this great symphony, which at the same time was a charming melody.


And I danced down a cobblestone streets and I was in tune with my life.


It was, though, I was a note in the universe, part of the great music of the universe.


And the next morning I woke up and I said to Jane, I think I had a dream about reincarnation. That's where I came from.


She said, I don't think so.


I think it's because you're in a Tibetan monastery.


Well, I met her lama and then I left her there to do her practice and I went down the mountain the way I come.


And the next morning I spent the morning on top of a temple in Katmandu and I was thinking about my life and I was thinking about where I was on the temple.


And at the end of it I went to see a lama called Dujon Rinpoche, who lived in a little tiny house on the edge of Kathmandu.


And when I went in, he was just sitting on a pillow and there was another pillow for me and we drank tea. And he told me the entire story of where I'd been that morning and what I'd thought about.


And as I listened to him, I felt myself drift into a great sense of peace.


I felt more welcomed and more comfortable and more at ease with my life than I'd ever been.


And I thought this is like a confirmation of my dream up in the monastery.


And I realized that you can escape to a party and make a gay time to try and escape from the inevitable pain of life.


Or you can decide to go and sit quietly with a wise man and feel that your life is really in tune. There's always the choice.


Bokhara legend was a performer, writer and artist, her long running series, Lunch with Bokhara, interviews with spiritual masters, scientists and philosophers can be seen on link TV.


Bokhara passed away in 2017, but the stories of her remarkable life live on in her memoir called Not What I Expected.


Our final story, an impossibly romantic one, is coming up in just a moment.


The Moth Radio Hour is produced by Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and presented by PRICK'S.


From Prick's, this is The Moth Radio Hour. I'm Jay Allison, producer of this radio show, and you're listening to a live moth event on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. Here's your host, Jenny Allen.


So our next storyteller is Cynthia Riggs. And Cynthia answered our question.


What are the three things you need to be prepared for a big night with these three things? I need to take a shower. I need to bring my wallet, because given who I hang out with, I'll probably have to pay.


And the third one is I need to remember not to wear high heels in case I have to walk home.


That's all very practical. Cynthia Riggs. Well, I was born on Martha's Vineyard and coming here tonight, I got lost.


I had to ask someone where Union Chapel is, I come from a long line of vineyards and I'm descended from both the settling families, both the Athans and the Mayhew's. Well, I spent many years off island working as a boat captain.


And then I returned to the vineyard and I came to live with my mother, who lived in West Tisbury.


Direness Cofan Riggs, a poet. She and I opened a bed and breakfast catering to poets and writers.


And that was kind of where I came from after her death, when she was almost 99.


I think I think some of you probably knew my mother after her death. I was kind of at loose ends and a bed and breakfast guest suggested that I go back to school and get a degree in creative writing.


So I filled out an application form and they accepted me and somebody told me I ought to write murder mysteries.


And two years later, my first murder mystery was published by St. Martin's Press.


I've now had 10 published and I'm the 11th I think is on Kindle and I'm working on the 12th right now.


Well, my first book was published when I was 70. The. I love this audience, there's hope for all of you.


Well, about six months ago, a mystery came into my life that was something that was totally unexpected.


I had thought about a guy that I'd met many years before. Just his name just sort of popped into my mind.


And so I looked him up on Google and I couldn't find him. So I sort of forgot about it. Well, two weeks later, I got a package from him.


Now, it was his name, and when I Googled it, I spelled it wrong. But the return address was a latitude and longitude. I opened the package.


And inside was an archival envelope that had a whole bunch of old, dried up, yellowed paper towels in it, and the paper towels were all covered with sprawled out crisp cryptograms.


Also in this package, there was a little note also with a more modern cryptogram, well, I couldn't I had no idea what this was all about.


So I looked I looked at some of the messages on these paper towels. And it all came back to me when I was 18 years old, I was a marine geology major at a college in Ohio. Of course.


My college managed to find me a college job lasting for four months in San Diego, working for Scripps Oceanographic Institution, sorting plankton at a rate as a research project.


Now, I was just thrilled. I'd never been out West before. I was working in a real laboratory.


I was 18 and I was most 18 year olds are clueless. I was particularly clueless.


Now, my co-workers were a bunch of guys who had been working for sorting plankton for much too long and.


They were bored and if you can imagine it, that were rather bright, so they came up with some wonderful.


Practical jokes, I guess you can call it like nailing my lab drawers shut, and I had no idea how to handle this, all these little practical jokes that were playing our talking in codes that I didn't understand.


But there was one guy in the lab who was an elderly man. He was 28.


He started defending me against my tormentors, so I started my my dad had been in the army and he'd introduced me to cryptograms, so I just loved the idea of the secret messages.


So I wrote these secret messages as cryptograms to howay on these paper towels. Now, he kept on for 62 years.


Well, I I have a group of young women in my Wednesday writers group, and I said to them, what do you think of all this? And they said, they're all young women. They all said, you've got to get in touch with this guy.


You just have to. This is wonderful. And so I thought about it and I thought, well.


How am I going to get in touch with him? This was latitude and longitude, so I Googled it. I found that there was sort of a circle right around the right around Baja California, the coast.


Now, I knew that how he had a dental degree. So that was kind of a clue. I figured, OK, there was a golf resort somewhere within that latitude and longitude.


So I called this golf resort on their toll free number. And I said, was there a doctor, a registered there? No, there wasn't. Then I figured, OK, that circle could include the coast of Baja California, so I out he's on a cruise ship. So I found a cruise ship tracking site on Google.


This is all true. There were no cruise ships in the area at that time, so then I was sure I had it, he had a private yacht.


He was a retired dentist after all. By the way, I'm sort of diverting from this, but I happen to be writing a book called Bloodroot, which is based on murder in a dentist's office.


I figured the captain had come up to Dr. A. and said, Doctor, sir, this is your latitude and longitude, but that was kind of a dead end.


The next thing I figured, OK, I'll go to the California Dental Association and I found him, I found him and I found the address.


Now, he'd been a public service public health dentist for one of the counties in California, which sort of shot the idea of the yacht.


So I went back to my Wednesday writers, I have a representative group of Wynnstay writers here and I said, now what? And they said, you've got to get in touch with this guy. You just have to.


Well, I figured I could write him maybe a sort of a noncommittal note.


So I did that and I said I said, well, I just got that packet that you sent and I decoded the message. And that was it.


No. Now, the Wednesday writers in the meantime, had formed sort of a cheering section and it was going something like this. This is every woman's fantasy. This man has spent a lifetime loving you and searching for you. Now, we need you need to know a little something about my background, I was I wasn't totally off on men, but I was a little uncomfortable because I had been married for 25 years to a very brilliant but a very abusive husband.


And I married him after we were divorced for 35 years.


He stopped me for 20. So I was I was not comfortable opening any doors to any kind of intimacy.


And these these paper towels.


The things that lead to intimacy.


Well, I sent this letter off to what might or might not have been a current address, and by golly, I got a letter back or was a postcard back and it said, nicer the nicer.


Nice, nicer than nice to hear from you. So I knew I had the address. Right.


The next thing I did was to send him a book of poetry that my I had a daughter who died about five years ago and this was a book of her poetry.


And I sent it to him and he wrote back and he said, I had a son who died the same time your daughter died about the same age.


And as you can imagine, this broke down a lot of barriers in a hurry.


If you think of the the the worst thing that can happen to parents is to have a child died and have two of us sort of sharing this this painful experience.


So we started corresponding and we started having kind of come into finding out these coincidences that happened.


It wasn't wasn't just the the me writing the bloodroot, and it wasn't just the the kids' deaths, but it was the manganese nodules.


Yeah, now, since I'm speaking to a group that is near the oceanographic, probably many of you know what manganese nodules are, but most people don't.


They're sort of knobby little lumps of black, grey looking mineral deposits that are found only in the deep sea.


A few museums have these manganese nodules and very, very few individuals have manganese nodules.


And how we happen to have one that came from the Mariana Trench, which is the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean, and he sent it to me. Well, I just happened to have been on an Antarctic research cruise.


I had a small sack full of manganese, not just. I sent him for it. I made sure they were smaller than his.


The next thing how he set me, by the way, this time the young woman in the West, his post office, got involved in this romance and she would say she gave me a package.


Another letter from your boyfriend.


This is the next thing he sent me was a CD of a piece of music that his son had composed called Cactus on Mars.


Well, my son in law, who's a geophysicist, was evaluating research proposals for Mars.


This has been going on and on and on.


Now, at this point, the Wednesday writer stepped in again and said, you have to go see this guy.


I had no intention of going to see him. But you have no idea what these women are like.


You can talk to two of them afterwards, their representative. So I have a ticket to California on my desk.


You know how he found out that I'm an avid gardener, so he sent me seven seed packages.


Now one was hollyhocks H for howay and one was catnip, C for Cynthia.


And in between, he had leeks, okra, vinca, eggplant and spinach. Well, this is a real romance. So I'm going out to see him, but now here comes the question when I appear. Is he going to have in his mind this 18 year old that he fell in love with?


I mean, I'm 81 now and he's 90.


And I asked the Wednesday writers, well, what what can you do?


And they said, oh, plenty.


One of the things that Howie has meant to me, he's actually changed my life, I had been pretty much closed up.


But what he did was he he gave me some very gentle words.


He also introduced me to a kind of a calm love that I'd never thought of before.


He also introduced me to kind of a sweet passion.


You'd be surprised at what you could do in letters and code.


But most of all, the thing that's really, really affected me a lot is he gave me back a sense of great self-worth. And with that, I hope you all can find a Howay or his equivalent. Cynthia Riggs is the author of 14 books in her Martha's Vineyard mystery series featuring 92 year old poet Victoria Trumbull.


A short time after Cynthia told the story, she boarded a plane to California two hours after she and howre were reunited, 62 years after they had last seen each other.


How a proposed Cynthia and Howie were married and lived happily together for five years until Howie passed away in her arms in February of 2017.


Cynthia published a book, Howard and Cynthia, A Love Story, about her romance with Howie to see photos of the couple.


And here's Cynthia to talk about her trip with the mall's executive producer, Sarah Austen.


Jeanette's visit the dog, by the way, Cynthia's story came to us through our pitch line where you can leave a two minute message telling us about your story. The number is eight seven seven seven nine nine MOTHE. Or you can just visit them off dog and record your message right in the Web. That's it for this episode of The Moth Radio Hour.


We hope you'll join us next time. And that's the story from The Moth. Your host this hour was writer and performer Jenny Allen. The stories were directed by Catherine Burns, Sarah Austin Ginés and Jennifer Hickson.


The rest of the Moore's directorial staff includes Sarah Habermann and Meg Bowles production support from Laura Hadden and Brandon Hektor. Most stories are true, is remembered and affirmed by the storytellers. This event was recorded by Paul Ruedi. Our theme music is By The Drift. Other music in this hour by Kevin Hart. The Moth is produced for radio by me, Jay Allison with Viki Merrick and Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.


Atlantic Public Media was a sponsor of this live show on Martha's Vineyard, along with the Cape and Islands Public Radio Station WCA Special thanks to Kitty Burke and BLIS Briard. This hour is produced with funds from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation committed to building a more just verdant and peaceful world.


The Moth Radio Hour, as presented by Parks.


For more about our podcasts, for information on pitching your own story and everything else, go to our Web site, The Moth Dog. Have you ever wanted to be in the crowd of the moth stories you hear on the podcast? Join us for our upcoming live Virtual Moth Mainstage on Saturday, March 20th, hosted by moth storyteller Adele Onyango. Don't miss a night of true personal stories told live to your living room. Buy tickets now at the Moth Dogs International Mainstage.