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Okay, Lets Try It Again

Okay, Lets Try It Again

About this book

Nineteen tales by a master storyteller Willem Lange, each describing a memorable person.

Each of the popular raconteur's stories features an unusual individual he has encountered at some point in his variegated life. We meet camp cook George Lamb, best pancake chef ever; Jay Lewis, the "ugliest-acting man I've ever known"; Mrs. Sandwick, the sixth grade teacher "who taught us far more than we thought we could handle"; the prissy housemaster, Mr. Auchincloss; Mary O, the cleaning lady whose well-meant efforts invariably led to "demolishing our home and peace of mind"; and Doc, the apparently inept, but kindly scoutmaster, who met every disappointment with an enthusiastic, "Okay, let's try it again."

What others are saying…

“It doesn't seem that long ago I was writing about taking Willem Lange to bed -- Tales from the Edge of the Woods -- and now I've fallen in love all over again -- with Okay, Let's Try It Again. He starts the book with [a story] about his old Scoutmaster...just after the War, when lots of Scout troops were led by veterans still in their drill-sergeant mode. Not Lange's, however. 'His nickname was Doc, probably because he looked a lot like Doc in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Unathletic, round-shouldered, and bespectacled, he never seemed to get anything right.... Doc's favorite expression was, “Okay, let's try it again.” An expression he used very frequently.'”

— Dawn Gustafson, Hardwick Gazette

From the author…

“I have noticed how much my joy in people has run as a bright thread through the whole fabric of my life, ” he explains. “The stories in this collection are about some of those people who in the last fifty years have brightened or darkened — but always enlarged — my life. They are my constant companions on the luminous little brooks of memory.”

— Willem Lange


Okay, Let's Try It Again 1
Mrs. Sandwick 5
Kesselheim, You Creep! 12
The End of Mr. Auchincloss 16
A Carpenter in Indian Summer 23
Foozie 29
Advice from Mr. Frost 34
Notes from Mary O 44
Christmas on the Party Line 49
Gabby Smith 55
RIP, Big Jim 59
Children of the Air 64
Randallsville 68
Uh-oh! 72
Qurluktuk 76
Pastor Youngblood 82
Dad's Junk 88
You Can't Be a Grandfather 94
Gotcha Last! 99

An excerpt from "The End of Mr. Auchincloss"

Cyrus was generally incapable of taking what is called the long view. The three-week wait for this moment had been almost more than he could bear. His student job was garbage man up at the dining hall, and several days before this he'd brought back to the dorm a pot of spoiled clam chowder that had ever since been quietly seasoning and reeking in his clothes closet. During study hall he'd been in the third-floor bathroom, heating a balloon full of the chowder in a sink full of warm water. Now, as Mr. Auchincloss' head appeared beneath him, protruding into the brisk November night, he finally realized his destiny. Stewart looked at the window with an expression of almost spiritual rapture. "By God!" he said, as the grisly mess streamed past. "I think that struck something on the way down."

You'll have to purchase the book to learn how this story ends...