I read An Outdoor Journal looking for a quote because former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said I could in his letter, and then I hesitated writing this review because… how to “critically assess” this? Here’s my description of it: An Outdoor Journal, a collection of hunting, fishing, and other personal reminiscences, is that rare bird: … Continue reading Book Review: An Outdoor Journal
From me to The Honorable Jimmy Carter: Dear Mr. Carter, Over several months during my 8th grade year, a friend and I retreated on our lunch period to a far corner of the junior high school campus (overlooking the graveyard across the street). There I would explain – in exacting detail, like a Faulknerian narrator … Continue reading Letters With Jimmy
Part I Part II "To what end" would she renounce dust? Bodie cried, "For good!" Setting course by the very source she'd misunderstood. Even supporters, in private quarters, heaved a sigh. 40 days passed. "Still abstaining?" they asked. "Yes. Why?" "Easter is over," some wailed, others hissed. Her defense: "Repent, then relent? Return to what … Continue reading Bodie’s Farewell Part III: Easter Released Her
Remember Smokey the Bear and Woodsy Owl? I bet you do! I also bet you didn't know they were college roommates.* Even less known is the story of their mysterious third roommate, Archibald Sebastian Persian, whom they affectionately nicknamed, "Scruffy." Ironically, Scruffy (who was anything but) made his fortune as a model/actor, and yet there … Continue reading Cat Tale
During my two-hour commute to work on Tuesday (45 minutes longer than normal, thanks to... an accident? After 90 minutes of bumper-to-bumper traffic, the road suddenly cleared up with no explanation) I called a few friends usually available at that hour, hoping one of them would talk me through a particularly tedious stretch, when it … Continue reading Woes-Colored Glasses
My Friends Call Me C.C. by William Gardiner Hutson is a fictionalized retelling of a decade plus in the tumultuous life of Clarence Chauncey ("C.C.") Julian, starting in glamorous 1920's Los Angeles, ending with Julian's mysterious death in 1930's Shanghai, and provides the backstory to — among other historical events — the swift rise and … Continue reading Book Review: My Friends Call Me C.C.
My cell phone rang Sunday night, a concerned friend calling for advice. His older brother vanished on Saturday, and he wanted my thoughts about how to proceed. His brother, while visiting family in Florida, met a woman and scheduled a date. His last call came while driving to the date through severe weather. After that, … Continue reading Cell Power
Have you ever started to say something, realized what a mistake you were making, and then successfully finished the sentence in another direction? Yeah, me neither. I mean, I've tried, but even when I've stuttered my way through a semi-coherent replacement sentence, there's always that feeling that the person listening can see right through me. … Continue reading What the Dickens?!
Can you believe I forgot to tell you about this place? Would someone please turn on the lights? Thank you. Much better. OK, there are two things I want to highlight before we go in, both about story. First, every detail here tells a story. At first glance -- it's impressive and interesting, but then … Continue reading Spain: Sagrada Familia-Outside>In
From the window of my hotel room in Chicago last month - where I looked out often to gauge how many layers to put on, or even whether to go outside - my view of the snow-covered BBQ area immediately inspired me. The weather wasn't the only thing that captured my attention. Every time I … Continue reading Rear Window Mysteries