Gerald Hausman is today’s Mark Twain. An award-winning, bestselling author and magnetic storyteller, he recently received the Who’s Who in American Lifetime Achievement Award. The author of 90 books, he has also received awards from the New York Public Library (Best Book for Teen Age), Parents’ Choice Magazine (Silver Award), USA Today (Book Award), Midwest Book Awards (Awards in Four Categories) and the Florida Magazine Association (Best Column), to name just a few.

This past July, Gerald Hausman’s memoir, Little Miracles, was published. In it, he chronicles the extraordinary and meaningful moments, experiences, people and animals that have shared his remarkable and colorful life. Stay Thirsty Magazine invited him to participate in our One Hundred Words project with topics drawn from his memoir in order for others to briefly bask in his exceptional life and to experience his gift for telling a tale.

Gerald Hausman – Reading from Little Miracles


GERALD HAUSMAN: The original miracle is life. Birth is a miracle, greatest miracle of all, as we often say. But then as we grow older, by degrees, we see all the little miracles that are an aspect, a suggestion of the original miracle. I remember, for instance, the first thing outside myself that was a “little miracle” all by itself. That blessing of sight was light. I recognized that light, all by itself, was a little miracle suggestive of life. Seeing particles of dust floating before a rubber tree, the tree and dust bathed in morning light, was an unforgettable little miracle.

STAY THIRSTY: 12699 Cristi Way.

GERALD HAUSMAN: Cristi Way was our fourth home during our 50-year marriage and as it happened it was in Southwest Florida on a barrier island. The name was Pine Island and this small barrier island was as long and as wide as Manhattan – but relatively undiscovered by tourism. It was occupied by storm resistant folks, tough by nature. We wondered if we could resist, or rather escape, the forces of nature. We wondered if we could face hurricanes and get through them. Eventually one horrible Cat 5 hurricane whacked us good. We lost our roof and moved back to Santa Fe.

STAY THIRSTY: Greenwich Village.

GERALD HAUSMAN: When I was in high school I followed the Sixties folk music scene, played the guitar and sang. I had some professional experience playing with groups and then I turned to writing about folk music with my friend Jim MacFadyen. We went to the Village, as everyone called it, and hung out with some of the best folksingers in the business. We didn’t worm our way into their company, we just met them and appeared quite naturally as irrepressible fans, lovers of folk music. Things were different then. Players and singers were very accessible, friendly and happy to have fans.


GERALD HAUSMAN: We were at The Gaslight CafĂ© when Dylan was performing and damned if he didn’t sound like Jack Elliott, his earliest influence.  Jack knew Woody and had his style down pat. Dylan, at first, copied Jack. Jim and I copied each other. We were just impassioned kids – dreamers. We were in love with the sound of old Appalachian America and the ring and twang of the high-plains Southwest drifters. Jim disappeared one day, and I heard he was out in California hanging out with Hoyt Axton, another folk legend. (His mom, Mae Boren Axton, co-wrote the hit single Heartbreak Hotel).

STAY THIRSTY: Maurice Sendak.

GERALD HAUSMAN: By some little miracle, I found myself in the company of Ruth Krauss, the children’s author of A Hole Is To Dig, illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Both Ruth and Maurice were lamenting over the fact that their early books together were out of print or just available in library editions. We partnered with David Silverstein, owner of The Bookstore in Lenox, Massachusetts. Together, we founded The Bookstore Press and soon publishers’ inexpensive paperback editions of Ruth’s and Maurice’s early books. These became bestsellers all over again. Ruth and Maury (as she called him) became friends with David, Gerry and Lorry.


GERALD HAUSMAN: In the early 1980s Lorry and I founded a summer school for creative writing on the North Coast of Jamaica. Our daughter, Mariah, was with us in the airport when, barefoot, she visited some Jamaicans who were at a gate and ready board a plane. They were Ziggy Marley and family heading for a concert tour. Looking back, I see that this was the initial meeting with the Marley family. Later, we would visit the 56 Hope Road house where Bob and Rita had established their quarters ten years earlier. This was another story of editors meeting up with artists.

Gerald Hausman

STAY THIRSTY: George the parrot.

GERALD HAUSMAN: We have had George, a Blue-fronted Amazonian parrot for 41 years now. He is an irascible, temperamental, bossy sweetheart of a bird who knows our ever nuance of mood and body movement. He’s gone everywhere with us and has been a comforting and mad, comical pal in the best and worst of situations. He is in the next room right now, waiting for his next breakfast waffle. Lorry and I wrote a funny book about George and it is called The Parrot Detective. I’d love to say George loves the book, but to date, he hasn’t read it. Maybe tomorrow.

STAY THIRSTY: Mouse the dachshund.

GERALD HAUSMAN: This little miracle dachshund started out in the palm of Lorry’s hand. She believed she was large, not small. There was no convincing her of her true size. She and George ate together out of the same bowl, slept in the same doggy bed, and traveled the country together. You probably want to know if George talks … the answer is yes. Mouse did, too. But one night when Mouse was asleep and George was awake I heard George say clearly, “I know you are sleeping right now, but I have something to tell you.” Spoken clear as a bell.


GERALD HAUSMAN: Off and on, Santa Fe has been our home for 30 years. Lorry and I met at Highlands University in 1966. Santa Fe, is a little miracle of its own. They say the earth and sky here is magical. Witness one little miracle that happened recently. Lorry and I were standing in the backyard of our Santa Fe apartment and her birthday was the following day and I still hadn’t come up with the right present. But then I looked at her pretty bare foot and half-hidden by her big toe there was an ancient turquoise bear. She’s wearing it.


GERALD HAUSMAN: As I see it a memoir can be anything. Sometimes a confession of the most mysterious kind. I believe many memoirs are like that. Some people dream memoirs. Some write them. Usually the written ones turn out to be something of a mix between the fictive voice, the dreaming mind and the straight-forward, hard truth of a person’s life. I hove toward the mystic relation between words, thoughts, dreams, and little miracles. I could say that all 90 books I have written started out as memoirs. Later, as I wrote them, they morphed into fiction or some other imaginative genre.


All opinions expressed are solely those of its author and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.