Thursday, September 2, 2021

Short Story Dispenser (Eleanor)

We have some exciting news for you all! Older bud Eleanor's story was published by Short Édition, the French publishing house best known for the Short Story Dispenser. For those who don't know, the Short Story Dispenser is a machine that prints out one, three, or five minute short stories at the push of a button--free of charge. You can read Eleanor's story about her generous grandson Soleil at this link here. But if you'd like to print them out and read them in print, then you can print them out at any of these locations in Philly:

1. Free Library of Philadelphia
South Philly Health and Literacy Center - Philadelphia
1901 Vine street

2. Temple University Student Center
801 N Broad St
19122 Philadelphia

3. Short Édition SEPTA Jefferson Station
Jefferson Station
19107 Philadelphia

4. Books in Homes Ronald McDonald House
510 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
19106 Philadelphia

5. Philadelphia Airport
8000 Essington Ave
PA 19153 Philadelphia
Make sure you ask for a 1-Minute story! So give Eleanor a big cheer for joining Best Day's pantheon of older-buds-whose-stories-are-distributed-in-print-by-machines. And we hope you have one more minute to read another story by Eleanor below:

Eleanor Kazdan
Feeling Faint
At age 19 I was traipsing around Europe for 3 months with my best friend Kathy on a Eurail pass. After adventures in England, the Netherlands, Spain, and France, we arrived in Italy. Florence was our first stop. I had just started to learn about great art and was proud of myself for that. Kathy and I had visited quite a few art museums before Italy: The National Gallery in London, The Louvre in Paris and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The big thing about Florence was the statue of David by Michelangelo in the Galleria dell’Accademia.
So after a day or so wandering the streets lined with cafes and eating full course meals, which in those days, unbelievably, cost $1.00 including wine and tip, we set out to see the most famous statue in the world. After entering the museum it was a short walk to a rotunda like room where David lived.
I had seen pictures many times but was totally unprepared for the absolute grandiosity of the real thing. I felt like an ant looking up at this spectacular nude Adonis on a pedestal. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by lightheadedness and felt like I was going to faint. My heart was pounding it took a great will to gain control and continue on to see the rest of the museum.
Over the years I saw the statute a few more times but didn't have the same reaction. Many years after that first encounter I happened by chance to read an article about the very emotions and physical reactions I had experienced. There is apparently a psychosomatic illness called the Florence Syndrome It was documented by the 19th Century French Writer Stendahl and is also called Stendahl syndrome. The symptoms are rapid heart beat, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations in people who are exposed to extraordinary works of art. “Wow,” I thought, “That's what happened to me those many years ago.”
Since then I have seen countless great works of art all over the world, but that was my only experience of being overcome by Florence syndrome.
If you want to transcribe for Best Day, then email us at You can also share our older buds' adventures by donating to Best Day, subscribing to our newsletter, sending a note to our older buds, or following us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. And if you or the older buds have 1, 3, or 5 minute stories, then you or they can submit stories through our portal right here. We're especially interested to stories from Black older buds, but we're always looking for stories from older buds of color, older buds with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ older buds, older buds of any gender or sex, older buds of any religion, and older buds who just plain break the mold.

And don't forget to maintain contact with the older buds in your life. If you can't be there in person, please call them, email them, or message them on social media. And if they're using teleconferencing or remote events for the first time, give them a call and help them set things up. Check in on them to see how well they're getting used to these programs. Buy them a computer or an internet package if they don't have one of their own. It's a human right, after all.
Curated by Caitlin Cieri