“They Live in the Walls”

Ed Hermanski’s “The Kimberly Story”

05/13/2014 10:31 AM: Regarding the audio file, it’s probably best that I don’t host it on my site, as I don’t know the intellectual property laws surround Mr. Hermanski’s telling of the story. When I recorded it back in 2003, I was 17, and only using the recording for personal use. I’m sure he’ll be okay with me hosting a transcription of the recording, but to protect myself from any legal issues, I’m not going to upload the recording.

Ed Hermanski c. 2007

Ed Hermanski c. 2007

I first came across this urban legend in 2002, when I was a junior in high school. A year later, I heard the story from a different source, this time informing me that the teacher involved – Ed Hermanski – not only existed, but taught at Hamilton High School, in Chandler. My friends and I stalked him down just in time to hear him tell the story right around Halloween (something that has become a regular tradition, even though he has retired).

I’ve talked about this a few times online (most notably back in 2005 and again on Yahoo! Answers) and put an old email address out in case anyone wanted copies, but now I’ve decided it’s probably easier to just post it here. About three to four times a year (especially around Halloween), my inbox explodes from people asking for the transcript; I think the running tally is close to 3,000 requests since I started archiving them back in 2007 (when the Arizona Republic ran a story on Mr. Hermanski).

A recent post on Tumblr has brought more requests in, so I figured I’d help all those searching Google for it by posting everything I have here.

Regarding “the truth” behind all of this…

I never could find anything that one could point to and say, “Hey, see this is absolute proof!” I mean, I was able to get some corroborative information from third-parties who I could trust, but I could never quite tell if people just didn’t like talking about it because it disturbed them into silence, or if they just didn’t have any idea what I was talking about. Because everything took place back in the late 80s, there were very few electronic records kept for me to access, although, these days, it is easier to track that information down; I’d kind of given up trying back in 2005 only because I had hit so many brick walls and I felt like I had exhausted all avenues of research.

On the other hand, a part of me liked the idea of just keeping it a mystery, you know? I mean, say it was all made up, does it really matter? Mr. H. has always just been trying to entertain and engage his students, something that worked very well, and the story has taken on a life of its own now with social media that I think it’s okay to just let it be.

If even half of what he has been telling is true, then I don’t blame people for not wanting to talk about it, and if none of it is true, then I just look at it as a very well-crafted and well-told story that entertains people to no end, myself included.

So, I simply tell people to “enjoy!”

“The Kimberly Story” Transcript



It’s not what you think

The First Ten Words by Rich Larson

Chris Cornell, 1964-2017

Chris Cornell died early Thursday morning. His band Soundgarden played a show on Wednesday night at the Fox Theater in Detroit. Two hours after the show ended, he was gone.

For two days, I’ve been working on a piece to pay tribute to him, and it’s been a struggle. Usually when I have a problem like this it’s because I’m staring at a blank screen trying to figure out what I want to say. That’s not the problem this time. The problem is I have way too much to say.

I’m not going to sit here and claim to have been a huge fan of Soundgarden. I didn’t dislike them, I just had to take them in small doses. I was a fan of Cornell. I love “Seasons,” the solo song he had on Cameron Crowe’s movie, Singles. It’s a droning acoustic song about isolation and the…

View original post 1,454 more words

Review, Television, Writing

Mini-Review: True Detective, Season 2

Rachel McAdams, Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, and Taylor Kitsch in True Detective Season 2. © HBO

Rachel McAdams, Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, and Taylor Kitsch in Season 2 of True Detective

“We get the world we deserve.”

While season two may not be able to live up the incredibly high standards set by it’s predecessor, there’s no denying that the second season of True Detective  has had me glued to the screen every Sunday night (which was a welcomed distraction after that amazing, but heartbreaking, Game of Thrones finale). Nic Pizzolatto has proven himself to be one of the most talented writers working in television right now, as each episode is a testament to the complex story he has woven over these eight weeks.

Like The Wire before it, the reason True Detective works so well is because the show starts fresh with each season, quickly evolving into a web of intricate story lines following broken people on the verge of foundering as they descend into the darkest parts of mankind’s depravity. While some fans may be missing that Silence of the Lambs vibe from season one, season two is something of an homage to a few of the best crime dramas of the last twenty years, namely Heat and The Departed.

The show may have lost a few stragglers after the shift to a new cast and new plot, but I have loved every minute of this season, almost as much as I enjoyed the first, and I cannot wait to see what’s in store for us in tomorrow’s season finale. Personally, I like the idea of an ever-changing cast and story; it allows Pizzolatto and crew to explore new locations and plots with some of the best actors of our generation, so even though we’ll be saying goodbye to Velcoro, Bezzerides, and Woodrugh — like we did Cohle and Hart — there’s always next season to look forward to.

Brelby, Review, Theatre

Review: Beyond Musketeers is Far Beyond Expectations

Beyond Musketeers

I hope Alexandre Dumas can understand where I’m coming from; his timeless classic obviously deserves a reverence reserved only for those authors who have proven themselves worthy of our praise. That said, his work has been done so many times on screen and on stage that all of us are very familiar with the Musketeer rally cry; “All for one, and one for all” is as well known as “To be, or not to be.” Putting on Dumas – while timeless – has the same effect as putting on Shakespeare: we’ve all been here before, so why should this time be any different? Brian Maticic and the other writers of “Beyond Musketeers: Utopia Lost” have the answer: because there’s so much more to tell!

Continue reading


What Now?

I’ve put this off for too long. After Mom died, I found myself unable to write with any kind of certainty; I had so much to say, but I knew saying it would put me in a dark place, so now I’m wondering how worth it is to be this emotionally honest at this point. Do I say what I need to say and deal with the emotional fallout, or do I keep pretending that I should hold off for another week?

I miss her so much. There’s no getting past that fact, and I worry that my friends may think they have to do something more than just be there for me in order to help me move on. You don’t; just your constant love and support makes it possible for me to get past this relatively easily

Continue reading

Citizen Koch: A film about money, power, and democracy.

Citizen Koch: A Film About Money, Power, and Democracy

I always recommend watching documentaries with an open mind; they are, after everything else, works of a few individuals, and aren’t always guaranteed to be unbiased (though, to me, they should be). That said, I think they are absolutely invaluable when it comes to introducing a large number of people to an issue that otherwise may have gone unnoticed.

I just came across the trailer for Citizen Koch, and I have to say that I am incredibly excited to see this. Personally, I’ve been very troubled by what the Koch brothers have been doing to manipulate the American political system, and it’s something that not enough people are talking about. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission sparked massive controversy when the US Supreme Court ruled that independent political expenditures by corporations and unions are protected under the First Amendment and not subject to restriction by the government.

SCOTUS gave multinational conglomerates free reign to pump as much money as they want into individual campaigns without any transparency or restrictions, meaning people like the Koch brothers, and any other person or company with enough money, can (and do) influence policy by proxy. This isn’t something that might happen; this is something that is happening, and it should scare the shit out of every American, regardless of political ideology, because it is an absolute mockery of the Constitution.

It’s never been about “free speech;” that was a distraction thrown out to keep people on opposite sides of the political spectrum arguing while Citizens United greased the cogs of Washington with their financial influence. It has always been about one thing: the privatization of political power, and as long as American citizens allow this to keep happening, our individual voices and liberties will slowly continue to be snuffed out at the whims of the select few at the top.

Agents, Development, Publishing, Writing

Pfft or: The Sound I Made When I Read Through an Asinine Email Sent from a Vanity Publisher

1. An expression of a lack of interest in another persons comment
2. Used to look down upon another.

Let this be a perfect learning example to any writers out there who don’t do their due-diligence when researching potential agencies/publishers.