Winter Stories

New Year's Eve 1957 This is how I remember it. My first adult-legal New Years. I was home from college for the winter holidays and one of the town’s westsiders was having a big New Years house party while her folks were gone. It was 26 degrees below zero, not that unusual for a town halfway between ... Read More

The Hiding Place

I flew back home for a week after delivering the rig curbside at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. An internet and cell phone search yielded up a local driver named Tillis to set it at the dock for the Friday morning load in and the Saturday night out. I wondered if he was related to Mel. Stage Boss said ... Read More

So… Why Are You Still In Your Shoes?

Our recent radio expedition ran the first two Saturdays of April, from St. Paul to New York and return. Back in the day we could park an empty rig for a week at a marked curb in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood and the driver could then either fly home or stay at a hotel in the Very Large City. After ... Read More

Signs

Taped on the inside of the entry door to the diner, this hand lettered felt pen manifesto:      NO SMOKING      NO CHECKS      NO TAKEOUT      NO RESTROOM FOR ... Read More

Nukes, Steaks, Rock & Roll

Lincoln, Nebraska brings back memories. I left my small town home in northeast North Dakota after graduating from high school a smidge short of magna cum laude. My dad offered me a deal: he wouldn't give me a free ride through college but he'd match whatever I earned on my own for the purpose. So ... Read More

Splitter

The last posting here generated more mail than the previous three years of writing and I'm moved and grateful to all of you. I tried to answer each one but if I missed anyone I thank you now. I still have dreams running with Italian backgrounds but not quite so frequent as they were. Maybe a guy ... Read More

Monte Cassino

This year's PHC summer cruise began with a jet flight to the port of Barcelona, where we boarded a ship for Marseilles, Monte Carlo and Livorno, Italy; the fifth stop was the dock at Civitavecchia, the railroad link into Rome. As mind-boggling and glamorous as those first cities were, my private ... Read More

First Word

First word typed on this spanking new machine is the one at the beginning of this very piece: "First." Just out of the box; what you are reading here is the virgin paragraph. (For whatever that's worth these days.) (Said the grumpy old naysayer.) And it feels good. Good keyboard, the familiar push ... Read More

Icicles, Straight Flush, Snowthrower

It has been some time since we last chatted -- some people say stuff like that -- and I have no good reason for the silence other than a fundamental character flaw, apparently incorrigible, and therefore not to be discussed. Hard to make nice about it, like trying to apologize for having a big ... Read More

It’s Real

Coming into central Indiana from Minnesota by way of Wisconsin you may choose to go through Chicago and take Interstate 65 south. Not far from Gary on the east side of the freeway, facing north, an ominously deep black billboard bears a brief message in ten bright bold white letters; three short ... Read More