A story I couldn’t make up

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”

What a mobocracy means for this nation

Abraham Lincoln served a single, two-year term in Congress, as a representative who opposed the war with Mexico. He was in the minority who realized that the addition of vast new amounts of land would lead to problems over what to do with slavery in that territory. By the time he returned to the nation’sContinue reading “What a mobocracy means for this nation”

Dear Mr. President

I fully expect you are unaware of the origin of the title of this post, or that you will ever actually read it. You don’t read much of anything, and we are all poorer as a result. Reading is for eggheads, or to use your language, for “elites.” So I’m writing for myself, more thanContinue reading “Dear Mr. President”

Trump will never be another Lincoln

The photo op at the White House yesterday was perhaps the most absurd and unsettling moment I can imagine. Peaceful citizens standing in front of the White House, doing nothing more than peacefully assembling as the First Amendment allows, were tear gassed and shot at with projectiles, so that the national disgrace that is DonaldContinue reading “Trump will never be another Lincoln”

Teach them how to say goodbye

  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”

The American giant, and a pathetic little man

The “town hall” meeting that Donald Trump filmed for Fox News (because who else would think this up?) yielded a hilariously bad image for a president who cares about little else besides that. He claimed the setting was Fox News’ idea, but a smarter and less vainglorious man than Trump would have nixed the idea.Continue reading “The American giant, and a pathetic little man”

Baseball is Life (and Happy Birthday Dina)

The Coronavirus has taken the game of baseball from us in 2020, perhaps for as long as the entire season. And, truth be told, the game had been dwindling in interest to me, at least since November 3, 2016. When you spend practically your whole life waiting for something, and then it happens, well, whereContinue reading “Baseball is Life (and Happy Birthday Dina)”

Why I’m taking a knee today

If you wanted to be somebody at my high school (which no longer exists, by the way) you had to be on the football team. There were other sports teams and activities, but the attention that was given to the football team made many of my classmates put in the time and effort that wereContinue reading “Why I’m taking a knee today”

Gonna sail away

How sad it is to watch people who I’ve never met–but who still enriched my life in some way–cross over into whatever comes next. In just the past week, Chuck Berry died (and I’ve had Johnny B. Goode stuck in my head ever since), followed by Jerry Krause of the Chicago Bulls, Chuck Barris ofContinue reading “Gonna sail away”

It’s gotta be rock and roll music, if you wanna dance with me

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”

Farewell to 2016

It’s been quite a ride, and I’ll always consider 2016 as a good year, because it was the “Next Year” that I had waited a very long time to see. I went to Wrigley Field a few days after the Cubs’ World Series victory over the Cleveland Indians, and I wrote my recently departed friend’sContinue reading “Farewell to 2016”

It’s her moment now

Photo credit: TheAtlantic.com As Hillary Clinton gets ready to accept her party’s nomination for the presidency tonight, I think back to the Spring of 1987 and a moment that opened my eyes to gender matters like nothing else ever has. Freshmen students at Northwestern–I don’t remember now whether it was only the Arts and SciencesContinue reading “It’s her moment now”

Birthday wishes to my kids’ Uncle John

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”

MMM, Donuts

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”

Being somebody

Last night I saw my daughter perform onstage with the rest of her classmates. They performed “In the Heights” and it was a one-shot performance at the end of the school year. She goes to an arts school because she grew up loving Disney musicals and Glee and Wicked and High School Musical. She’s performedContinue reading “Being somebody”

One goal, accomplished

I seem to always find pennies in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven. Most of the time, I pick them up because I think it’s good luck. And once in a while, I find a date stamped on the penny worth writing about. And so it was this evening, when I picked up a pennyContinue reading “One goal, accomplished”

Saying thanks to The New Yorker

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”

The sky was all purple

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”

A siblings day remembrance

  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”

Art, Religion, and David Bowie

 This is a tale about art and religion, with some David Bowie added in for good measure. The story begins in a Catholic grammar school during the 1970s and early 1980s. The pastor of my parish was an elderly man who called every boy “Butch” and every girl “Sissy.” The priest’s name will not beContinue reading “Art, Religion, and David Bowie”

Remembering what to be thankful for

I learned today that Pat Elchlepp, a high school classmate of mine, passed away last night at the age of 47. He was a couple of months younger than I was, so the Grim Reaper has my full attention as I type this out, trying to come to grips with how very, very short lifeContinue reading “Remembering what to be thankful for”