Loosed Upon Caledonia

written February 27, 2006   Scotland has so far been little more than a tease to me, the slightest sliver of the country yet exposed, my time on the soil a mere few hours.  Today would be different, I knew it, and the rest did not matter.  Before the day was out I was to…

44: An Oral History of the Election of the Barack Obama

The Forward to 44: An Oral History of the Election of Barack Obama Studs Terkel died one week ago tonight. I heard about it on NPR radio the next day while driving from from Alton to Edwardsville, Illinois. An interview with Studs was being replayed on the air, in which has was describing one of…

Hitting Unpause: One Sailor Waits No Longer

The following interview was conducted December 1, 2008, part of a series of discussions called “44,” with people of varied background about their reactions to the 2008 election of Barack Obama. This interview is with Jeremy Gordon, at the time a student at Rutgers University, and a former member of the United States Navy, who…

The Modern Jalapeno Popper

written February 11, 2006 Neil Young said in a recent issue of Rolling Stone that writing is all about being receptive. A song, he explained, can appear to him fully-formed, if only he is patient. In that way he receives songs more than writes them. If he is stuck for a lyric or stanza it…

“Crazy in My Happiness”

written June 2010 In my Navy days my home was the size of a pine box.  I know what you’re thinking; I’m slyly comparing my past shipboard sleeping arrangements to the grave.  But in this case I was envious of the dead- at least they did not have to endure other sailors’ toxic socks and…