CJ Woods III’s Story Archive

The Stranger’s Face

My young son rode with me on an elevator from my 11th floor apartment down to the lobby. His sister was in the car with us, as was a woman — presumably another tenant of the building. As we four rode in silence, I glanced at my son; he was … Read More

Peace. Love. Understanding.

On April 4th, 1968, I was ironing my work uniform in the apartment of two friends when they told me that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had been shot. The city of Pittsburgh — my home town — erupted in a destructive rage that my current home — Indianapolis — … Read More

The Reading is Fun Club

In the Dog Days edition of the popular children’s book series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney’s young hero, Greg Heffley, gets into mischief with his friend, Rowley, after watching a cheesy horror movie found in his brother’s possessions. Greg’s mother becomes cross: “Mom lectured me about how boys … Read More

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

When my grandson graduated from 5th grade, his school continued with a tradition unique to that building: parents and friends were encouraged to gather in front of the school to “clap out” the students. I was there in 2015 when Xavion marched with his classmates between a balloon-strung line of … Read More

The Elements Of A Column

When asked how I come up with ideas for my columns, I struggle to explain my creative process. Some of my columns are born full-grown, while my other children have to be nurtured and cultivated before being sent into the world. Sometimes the ghost of the “autowriter” enters me, and … Read More