A Brief Survival Guide to Being Lost at Sea

March 18, 2006  Saturday Dear Carlson Family, far away– I was asked by Marley and her family tonight, as they visit her (she has just returned from Italy) about what life is like in the Navy.  More specifically, what it must be like to be out here amid the waves for so long?   I…

“What I Know About My Culture, So Far”

written July 18, 2010   Fifteen of my sixteen family strands originated from the quaint icebox known as Sweden.  I did some online research recently, to discover that the best of early 19th-century times paradoxically brought about the very worst of times.  Peace, prosperity, and potatoes produced a lot more Swedes, who would later find,…

Incidentals

written June 4, 2016   Cornelius Cochran, besides having a rocking name, was known by my mother’s side of the family as the brightest known fruit on their limb, the polished family relation you set out for guests.  Cornelius, you see, was a 19 year-old farm boy on his family’s homestead near Blandford, Massachusetts on…

Kickball Injuries and a Flock of Pint-Sized Geese

written May 8, 2012     I had not yet subbed at Jefferson Elementary, an out-of-the-way school in a quiet residential neighborhood of Collinsville, west of the downtown.  I immediately thought it looked like a smaller version of my own massive, red-brick elementary building built in 1892.  But it seemed to be deserted.  I went…

That Little Droid’s Going to Cause Me a Lot of Trouble

written May 5, 2012, with a retro revision June 9, 2016   My trusty old slide-phone had admittedly seen better days.  I blame the dropping and crashing.  That the gadget’s days were numbered did not stem the sting when it was suddenly beaten by rain.  I often keep my phone on the window ledge or…

Much Ado About a Chromosome

written May 18, 2005, revised and expanded June 6, 2016     Sometimes I get in writing kicks, and although this effort might end up being a punt, I will follow its path to whatever end.  And what better subject to write blindly of than the human heart. *      *     *…

A Fan’s Lament

written November 25, 2012   In honor of a recent New York Times restaurant review by Pete Wells:   Love Smith, did you show your face at practice this week in preparation for San Francisco?  Have you watched game film of the 49ers and made it available to players?  Did you help draw up the…

On the Moon, and Out of Lemonade (Anything But Tranquil)

written March 2, 2006 This is me, trying to relax, unbinding my mind knotted, as my body is carried hither in yon upon the Atlantic Ocean, living cargo in a luxury naval frigate. Which makes me wonder: what do those already in a tropical paradise visualize to shake the wrinkles from their nerves? I might…

Transactions

written February 2015 Transactions What Axel Landon’s birth certificate, dated July 4, 1876, did not say, was that its existence , as well as Axel’s, was the result of a fifteen minute ya’tun between Jackson Landon and pretty, butter scotch-haired Sylvia Morton, Pinefield’s lone, sixteen-year old prostitute. The miracle of life. If the Pinefield Town…

That Reminds Me of a Story: Lincoln’s Metaphors and His Audience

written February 2012 Amid the backwoods of Indiana and Illinois Abraham Lincoln received a formal education that was meager, to be kind. With less than a single year in a schoolhouse, Lincoln himself was years later critical of pioneer curriculum.[1] Apart from these “blab schools” Lincoln relied on his own hunger for reading the few…

Is It In You?

written December 2005 You know what we need to do with steroids, don’t you? We need to give them to every single athlete out there, and quick too. There are literally tens of thousands of naturally-blessed athletes not getting to their full potential, it’s a real shame. I mean, let’s think about it for a…

Dear God

written January 2006 It’s me, Will, but then You already knew that. I won’t take much of Your time because Your services could definitely be used in other areas than listening to a guy in Norfolk, Virginia. It’s just that I have some questions, You see, and I thought for once I’d cut through all…