Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Alice Muschany's "One Damaged Headlight" is Unbeatable

Today in St. Peters, MO: Showers likely, high 55 degrees.

Drum roll, please!

It's official; out of scores of entries, Alice Muschany's essay "One Damaged Headlight" won first place in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Unbeatable Contest. In her essay, Alice pays tribute, with eloquence and humor, to her husband Roland for his love and support during her diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer. Congratulations, Alice, for your courage and humor--and for sharing your gift of story.

With Alice's permission, here is her winning essay, "One Damaged Headlight":

"When I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, my husband--my best friend—called for referrals, scheduled appointments, and gave me tender, loving care. His love and humor lifted my spirits.

After I completed four months of chemotherapy, the doctor performed a partial mastectomy.

From the beginning, my husband assured me all that mattered was that I win the battle against cancer. But when it was time to remove the bandage I worried, will he feel that way now?

He gave me a gentle hug and said, 'Honey, you remind me of my wrecked ‘55 Chevy.'

'Just what’s that supposed to mean?'

He quickly explained that he and his brother used the truck for raccoon hunting since its damaged headlight shone upward and assured a successful hunt. When I broke out in a fit of giggles, he supported me in his arms, and we laughed until it hurt.

I knew then he’d support me the rest of my life." Alice Muschany, Wentzville, MO


  1. Congrats to Alice! Great job!


  2. What a gem. Husband. Essay. You, for printing it.

  3. Hi Pat and Tammy,
    Thanks for your comments.
    Alice is a gem! She brought chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies to critique group on Tuesday. She definitely is a winner in more ways than one!


Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V - Interviews with Lonnie Whitaker and Dr. Barri Bumgarner

Here is the second installment of interviews with contributors who have stories in Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V , from Ozark Writers, I...