RALPH CISSNE

The Way Journalism Died

The Way Journalism Died

I posted this parody, referencing Don McLean’s classic song, on Facebook a few weeks ago. The tune and first line were stuck reverberating in my mind until I woke up at 2 a.m. one morning compelled to write the rest. Journalism, like science and stand-up comedy,...
The Virtues of Solitude

The Virtues of Solitude

For decades I have worked from home, social distancing alone with my thoughts. I write so I am familiar with rejection, disappointment and moments of triumph. During the COVID-19 isolation, our time of great unknowing, it became clear that my days are numbered. So are...
Thanksgiving for Mother as Mentor

Thanksgiving for Mother as Mentor

I stopped to give thanks. The weathered backstop at Monroe Elementary School rose into the bright blue sky. This was my field of dreams where, at age seven, I first played baseball. My father was coach. The memories rushed over me as I recalled his strength, patience...
Moments of Gratitude

Moments of Gratitude

My new book, Prudence in Hollywood, will be released June 1. A collection of fourteen short stories explores the often humor-filled matrix of modern American relationships. Intended for an adult audience, three of the stories are about coming of age, about who we are...
Results: A Beautiful Practice

Results: A Beautiful Practice

“I don’t believe in love,” a man said. I did not comment. There is always more to the story. In my experience, love is the creative force that drives a purposeful and satisfying life. Satisfaction is a low bar, an achievable state where we may manifest whatever we...
The Tower of Inspiration

The Tower of Inspiration

The Tower Theater in Oklahoma City represents a rite of passage. Recently repurposed for music and special events, the balcony retains the original seats. I arrived early for a screening of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders. Remembrance stuck resonate chords as I...
What I Have Learned About Love

What I Have Learned About Love

I was a lucky one. My parents were not alcoholics or addicted to food porn. They coached me in schoolwork, sports and the larger lessons of life. They taught me that bullies are acting out their frustrations and inadequacies. If you are offended, if someone “hurts...
Eulogy for Louis H. Jullien III

Eulogy for Louis H. Jullien III

My dear friend died of a heart attack on Interstate 40, September 14, 2017. This is the eulogy I delivered at Faithbridge Church in Spring, Texas, October 5. I thought I was Lou’s only friend. That is how he made you feel. We meet in 1974 a few years after he had...
Creating a Culture of Kindness

Creating a Culture of Kindness

I do not care about your hate. Tell me what you love, what difference you make. This is the lesson to be learned and the example to be set. To those motivated by fear, division and doublespeak, stop and think. What wounds do you heal? What bridge do you build? Now is...