The Fam

How in the world did one blond haired, blue eyed, English/Norwegian family of two parents and six children become a “We Are the World” poster?

It wasn’t the eldest, Barbara, who although serial monogamous with several variants in later life, serially married and procreated with two straight white males of European heritage.

My sister Joan, who liked things that were imported, married first a German and then our favorite brother-in-law, a Turk. We’re branching out now. One daughter’s husband is a Finn. Read more about The Fam


I pushed my little brother Paul down the stairs. He was about 10 and I must have been 16 or so. I know why I did it and knew it at the time. I don’t remember what the silly argument was about. I do remember that of a sudden he reminded me of myself – he looked like me, he sounded like me, he was the mirror image of me. And I was disgusted with me, so I pushed him down the stairs.

He wasn’t hurt, that I recall. Nothing broken. Can’t say we were the closest of sibs from then on. But I was growing up and out. He was going to be sticking around for a while. Read more about Paul

THM: Chris

THM stands for the title of a post I hope to do soon on my old friend, Bill Heintzelman, who, when I knew him, was a Blue Moon bartender. An honored post in my culture. Today is voting day, and I don't have the time to write it. But in going through my tubs and bins, I came across a sheaf of papers he gave me once: short monographs of Blue Moon people he hoped someday to make into a book or a play, perhaps? He didn't live long enough to finish it. But I can't let them go unpublished. Here is one of them: Read more about THM: Chris

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones may break my bones
But words will never hurt me.

I can almost hear my mother comforting me with those words when I cried because somebody called me a name. I had no way of comparing the two experiences - sticks and stones vs. words - until much later, but I'm here to tell you that there has never been an aphorism more false. Read more about Sticks and Stones

Life In My Jammies

Stole this from the internet the other day, remembering the days when I had to think about what to wear to school/work/bar/parties.

There is a special joy I get from wearing "yesterday pants." What are Yesterday Pants? Glad you asked. The pants you wore yesterday that nobody saw you in so you wear them again today because they were the ones you didn't have to go in the closet for.

Those days are over. Read more about Life In My Jammies

The World Is Ending Again

The World as We Know It has ended several times over the eons and across the continents. I can count at least 3 for what we call Western Civ, beginning with William the Conqueror and going on through Christopher Columbus to the First World War. Each time, something (Saxon England, the Middle Ages, and what I might call the Golden Years of pre-Industrial Europe), began to run out of steam and concluded with a thunderclap. Sorry for the mixed metaphors. Lots more on the way. Read more about The World Is Ending Again


Thunder in the Night

A delivery truck on a cross street. A plane climbing to cruising altitude. The rumble tumbles through my bedroom windows, comforting enough to lull me to sleep.

Then light flickers through a slit in the closed blinds, and one of Thor’s bowling balls knocks a #10 pin into the dark with a growl, and I know I am in for another midnight thunderstorm.

Last week there were three of them in a row. The rumbles would give way to flickers and growls and then to flashing strikes and booming claps that seem to shake the house. Read more about Thunder in the Night


If there’s one thing I wish I had more of, it is memories of Mete Sozen.

Mete Sozen, my sister’s husband, died in his sleep on Wednesday night last, at his daughter’s home near London. My sister, Joan, gave chest compressions while his daughter, Ayshe, tried mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but even after that, after the ambulance and the doctors had a go at it, he slipped away from them all. Read more about Mete