A high school classmate of mine passed away suddenly over the weekend, and the shock of hearing this news made we want to do something. But the question is what, exactly? My first instinct, in good times and in bad, is to look for a story to share. But the story I want to shareContinue reading “A story I couldn’t make up”
17 years 5 schools 2 girls 1 family that’s ready to move on. Thanks for the memories!
While the COVID-19 disaster grinds on, with no real ending in sight, everything seems to be getting harder. Although there’s been lots of songs written in the past about Hard Times, none of them could ever foresee the world we’re in right now. 33 million Americans have now applied for unemployment benefits, and theContinue reading “Teach them how to say goodbye”
Since I don’t think I’ve ever written about nuns before, it’s time to change that today. I was raised a Catholic, and attended Catholic schools until I was 18 years old. This included interactions with several nuns, and they generally weren’t good experiences. One particular story from first grade, back in the spring of 1975,Continue reading “Nuns: A belated appreciation”
Six years ago, I had a story to tell. Actually, I had already told the story, just as I had a hundred times before, by sitting down in front of a computer and typing away. Most of the stories I had told before never saw the light of day. I had either abandoned them halfwayContinue reading “6 years, and how many more?”
Thomas Jefferson has stayed in place at Colonial Williamsburg through the years, but the three girls surrounding him sure have not. Yet another reminder of how time flies past, at a speed we’re not always comfortable with.
On the occasion of my daughter’s 18th birthday, I have boxes of pictures and just as many stories to share about her. My life hasn’t been what it was before she was born on April 4, 1999, and I don’t mind that one little bit. Being a parent once scared me to death. Nothing quiteContinue reading “Always in my heart”
I’ve been writing this blog for almost six years now, and have put more than 1,500 posts up for the world to consider. I do it because I know that we’re all mortal, and when we leave this world there will be few traces of us left behind. Whether anyone alive today reads these thingsContinue reading “It’s gotta be rock and roll music, if you wanna dance with me”
Dear Jack, Today was the kind of day that makes cemeteries interesting. As I drove through Rosehill on the far north side of Chicago, I watched the dried leaves blowing across my path on the way to the mausoleum where you are interred. This is generally not baseball weather here in Chicago, but you neverContinue reading “My letter of thanks to Jack Brickhouse”
R.I.P. to Gene Wilder, who brought Willy Wonka to life like nobody else could. 2016 hasn’t been a good year for guys who wore purple. Thanks for all the memories.
My wife and younger daughter are on Cape Cod this week, and it’s been quiet around the house in their absence. But I wanted to share some old pictures before they left, because time moves so fast, and one day’s little kids become another day’s adolescents/teenagers. Enjoying this process–as I’ve always tried to do–is theContinue reading “Cape memories”
My parents had a light blue Volkswagen Beetle like the one pictured above when I was a kid, and I called it a “Vopiad” because I couldn’t say “Volkswagen.” It’s a happy memory for me. But those warm fuzzys have been abolished forever by the way Volkswagen has behaved since 2009. They installed software thatContinue reading “Shut down Volkswagen”
Iles Park, Springfield, IL, circa 1975 My sister, my older younger brother, and I were all born in June. My brother’s birthday comes first on the calendar, so the family birthday season kicks off today. We had a lot of fun together through the years, and even if I’m not happy with how I lookContinue reading “Birthday wishes to my kids’ Uncle John”
For International Donut Day, I wanted to see if it was possible to go five years of writing a blog and NOT mention donuts along the way. Turns out it isn’t, at least not for me. The Dunkin’ Donuts ad pic was taken on a visit to Fenway Park shortly before I began this blogContinue reading “MMM, Donuts”
I was never a very big fan of Smashing Pumpkins, but I do like their song 1979. The nostalgic video for the song conjures up some images from being a kid at around that time. 1979 was either at or near the end of my childhood, but whatever lay ahead in life was still offContinue reading “Shakedown, 1979”
When you have two lovely, artistic-minded kids and a few thousand pictures saved on a hard drive, as I do, putting something like this together when you learn about #InternationalDanceDay isn’t very difficult. Call it a labor of love. May everyone do a little dance today.
Many years ago (almost 34 years, to be exact) I wrote a letter to the editor of a wrestling magazine. The young teenager that I was at the time watched a lot of professional wrestling on TV, and they were to me what Batman and Superman were for those who read comic books. Dusty Rhodes,Continue reading “Saying thanks to The New Yorker”
Springfield, Illinois–the town where I grew up–doesn’t have very many suburbs, but I lived in one of them. And for this suburban child of the 80s, the electric guitar reigned supreme. Led Zeppelin was my favorite, of course, but any record would either rise or fall in my estimation of it, based solely upon the levelContinue reading “The sky was all purple”
I was very fortunate to have some fun people to grow up with. Peg is my only sister, John is my older little brother, and Mickey is my younger little brother. I could tell stories about them all (and I have to my own kids, at various times), but I’ll let the pictures doContinue reading “A siblings day remembrance”
My mom gave everything she had to me and my siblings, as we were growing up so many years ago. The only way to repay that is to recognize it (which simply can’t be done as you’re growing up yourself) and then, if the time comes, to do the same for your own kids.Continue reading “Now it’s Mom’s turn”
I’m getting to a place in life where many of the people I know have lost one or both of their parents. I have to admit to an embarrassment of riches on this front, because both of my parents are still with us, and still physically and mentally vibrant. I don’t usually think in termsContinue reading “A day with my mom”
For the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle disaster in 1986, I offered up my memories of that terrible day on my Facebook page, and then shared the senior year photo that I had taken when I was 17 and thought that the future would go on forever. Looking at it again today, I wasContinue reading “Scars that can’t be seen”
The southside yin to my northside yang. Happy birthday to my old friend and two-time classmate David J. Casper. May we live long enough to see the Cubs and Sox play each other in October.
My little one was in a hurry to get back to the ranger station and get a plastic junior ranger badge. It wasn’t anything more meaningful than that. Even so, it felt like a metaphor of some kind. Like her youth is getting further and further away. And when that happens –as I know itContinue reading “Running away from me”
Some debts can never be fully paid, but it’s worth the effort to try.