Old Snapshots Volume 1--Quirky Short Stories from Out of the Past

Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
They say every picture tells a story. Well these thirteen stories develop pictures. Old snapshots from a time that really isn't all that long ago, but now seems far, far away. Faded photographs from yesteryear come to life in the articulate writing style of author Jeff R. Lonto. More
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About Jeff R. Lonto

Jeff R. Lonto is a writer, publisher, blogger and historian residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He likes music from the 1960s, B movies from the 1930s and '40s, cats, beer and sugared soft drinks.

His first published article, a history of Minneapolis-St. Paul television stations, appeared in a small local tabloid called the Hornet (printed on yellow paper, of course) in September 1985, courtesy of his friend and mentor, Darrell Mulroy.

In the 1990s he wrote a regular feature for the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting Newsletter called "It Happened on the Air," chronicling various aspects of broadcasting history. In 1997 he founded Studio Z-7 Publishing, and in 1998 he published his first book, Fiasco at 1280, a behind-the-scenes story of Minneapolis radio station WWTC. Springing off of that, he hosted panel discussions featuring former personalities from that station, and was invited to discuss the book on WCCO Radio's Tim Russell Show, and on, of all places, WWTC Radio.

Soon he published a second book, a history of the Grain Belt brewery in Minneapolis called Legend of the Brewery. This lead to interviews on Minnesota Public Radio, KARE-11 News, the Fox 9 KMSP morning show, and even WWTC Radio. He has been invited to speak at events at or near the Grain Belt brewery from time to time as well.

In 2007 he published a third book, It Happened on the Air, a compilation of his Pavek Museum Newsletter columns, and in 2010, his first version of Chronicles from the Analog Age, a book covering a wide range of 20th Century pop culture topics, was published.

In addition to his books, Lonto has written and had published a number of print and web articles, which have been referenced in a number of places. In 2000, the original version of his web article "The Trading Stamp Story," published on a now defunct website, was referenced in the New York Times ("Clicks, Not Licks, as Green Stamps Go Digital" by Michelle Slatalla, March 9, 2000), and more recently, the revised version on studioz7.com has been referenced in the Rochester, New York Democrat & Chronicle ("What Ever Happened To...trading stamps?" by Alan Morrell, July 21, 2015) and in an ebook, "Let's Close a Deal: Turn Contracts into Paying Customers for Your Company, Product, Service or Cause" by Christine Clifford (2013), National Public Radio's "Planet Money," as well as Wikipedia.

As a media historian, Lonto's published articles were referenced in the print book "Media Tales: Stories of Minnesota TV, Radio, Publications and Personalities" by Sheri O'Meara and Martin Keller (D Media, Inc., 2007), he was a contributor to a radio industry print book called "Ain't Misbehavin' Just Conclavin" (Billboard Radio Monitor, 2005) and in 2014 he was invited to give a presentation to the St. Paul Radio Club Annual Banquet at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, on the history of broadcasting in the Twin Cities area. The transcript of the speech was published in an ebook, Twin Cities Broadcasting in the Analog Age.

More recently, Jeff Lonto has published an ebook collection of short stories (some of which he originally wrote years ago) called Old Snapshots--Quirky Short Stories from Out of the Past. He has been a contributing writer for the online Minneapolis Happening magazine, and Pixable.com, he has given presentations about brewery history and collectibles at the Minnesota State Fair and the Autum Brew Review (a craft beer show in Minneapolis) for the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, and he occasionally posts something on Jeff R. Lonto's Chronicles from the Analog Age Blog (theanalogage.blogspot.com).

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Reviews

Review by: Jill Zung on Dec. 19, 2015 :
This collection of short stories depicts the different humors of relationships both good and bad very well. He was able to not only interpret but also accurately relay the dangers of what a bad relationship can be and how sour it can go in Love Crystal.
(review of free book)
Review by: Erin Brew on Dec. 1, 2015 :
The short stories in this collection mostly date back between the 1960s and 1980s – a time that a 30-something like me can only try to imagine, and this author tells it like it is. He not only includes elements that describe the past in great detail, but the relationships are perhaps some that one can also relate to today. But beware, these stories aren't for sensitive, delicate snowflakes! Like any era, men and women don't always have harmonious relationships, as these stories portray, and are very much someone's reality.

Digging deep into the glorified counterculture of the time, young men and boys taste their first bite of freedom, either in adolescence or college life, and experience what it means to make their own choices. But some of the stories don't really “happen” until a female character enters the scene, disrupting a carefree lifestyle and creating tension. Sometimes men and women just can't relate to one another. Perhaps the author is trying to tell us something about opposite genders in all stages of life.

“A trip at Granny's” was my favorite short story because it's the most honest recollection of memories given by the author. He captures sights, smells, and sounds very well in his style of writing. Although I come from a different generation, it reminded me of the first time I discovered my neighbor's new Nintendo in their dark but cozy basement room, full of beanbags, neon beer signs, pool table, and a lingering of stale smoke in the air. I think at age seven your senses are at their peak and everything makes for a powerful memory.

Lastly, there's a strong element of authenticity in the writing. The stories leave you wondering: What would have happened if young aspiring ladies hadn't butt-in? What are men without women, anyway? What takes away from creativity? Whose perspective is right? Which is more destructive: counterculture or conformity? The beauty is, it all depends on the reader.
(review of free book)
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