A Date in the Life

My first job in Chicago was for an outfit run by the mob. My first date in Chicago was with a wannabe mobster. And the first time I was fired was for being on drugs. Maybe it should all have been a sign of some kind. But it wasn’t. I had no idea of what I was doing. Read more about A Date in the Life


I may have mentioned a time or two that I was raised a Christian, Lutheran to be precise. My mother was a pillar of our local church. I may have even boasted of having served as the only atheist secretary of Illinois State Luther League. Not that I did anything noteworthy in that position – can’t remember doing anything at all, actually. But I was elected somehow. And being my mother’s daughter, how could I say no? Read more about Confirmation

Lazy Bones

It’s one of those gray chilly days in October when not even the piles of golden leaves light up the outside while inside the furnace, set at its usual temperature for winter, does little to chase away the chill which has crept into my bones. All I want to do is crawl back under the covers. It’s the perfect time for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Trouble is, I have a horror of being thought lazy. Read more about Lazy Bones


I knew Thomas Ahlstrom as part of our merry little band of would-be pranksters living in Chicago in the late 60's. There were me and my new husband, Barry Stoner, and Michael Hall, the latter two students at the Lutheran School of Theology on the South Side; Michael's wife Sherry; Carl Franzen, a friend of theirs from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota; and Thomas Ahlstrom. We called ourselves The Magic Strider, since most of us had read Tolkien. To me, Carl was always the Magic Strider himself. Thomas, however, was Gandalf. Read more about Thomas

The Crew

Nothing had prepared me for the day in 1996, sometime after Jerry Garcia died, when Richard told me that Robert Hunter, the lyricist for the Grateful Dead, was coming to town and asked would I like to join The Crew?

Barbara, Caroline, Joan, Margo Read more about The Crew


Way back in a previous century I had the only job I had ever lobbied for and loved. I was hired as secretary in the P.R. Department at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. We were a three-woman department: my boss, Corky, her assistant, and me. I roamed the Museum freely whenever possible, and was often sent to the basement with galleys for the printshop that lived behind a rear wall down there. Read more about Bushman

Two Sisters


Two nice Norwegian Lutheran girls, born and raised on a hog farm in northwestern Iowa, went west to Los Angeles in 1941 and struck it rich, if you count two good and true husbands and lives that mattered to all who knew them. Read more about Two Sisters