The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

Anyone born before 1996 most certainly knows where they were and what they were doing 22 years ago, this day. My wife and I were getting dressed for work. I was at the bathroom sink when my wife called me over to the television. On weekday mornings we kept the little TV in the bedroom …

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The tenth in a series of occasional posts about tripping along U.S. Highway 395. Antelope, Oregon marks the terminus of State Route 293 and the junction with State Route 218, which takes me back to U.S. 97 and the one time, “Wool Capital of the World.” Route 218 is just as isolated as 293 which …

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Banner photo: Detail of a mural in Oakland, painted in the aftermath of the slaying of George Floyd Tim Scott said it. Nikki Haley said it. Both are running for president and both are out on the campaign trail road testing the lie that’s become a GOP shibboleth. That these two are people of color …

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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It’s the most quoted sentence from the Declaration of Independence, the document that America celebrates every July fourth. When he …

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The sixth in a series of occasional posts about tripping along U.S. Highway 395. Please note, this installment differs in tone from the previous chapters in this series. One of the wonderful things about travel is the opportunity to experience those places that excite in us a sense of wonder. In 2015 I took my …

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The fifth in a series of occasional posts about tripping along U.S. Highway 395. Bridgeport is our home base for three days and two nights. We’re keeping it simple. In a town as small as Bridgeport, with few businesses, and some of those closed for the season, the choices are nominal. So keep it simple, …

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The fourth in a series of occasional posts about tripping along U.S. Highway 395. From Sonora Junction, Highway 395 heads due east before dipping to the south and finally cutting back east to enter Bridgeport. Crane your view to the right and you see the picture of green, brown and yellow grazing land backdropped by …

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Being October, and being that Halloween is less than two weeks away, it’s only appropriate to add another graveyard episode to the Monthly Monochrome series (for the previous charnel chapter click this link). As I indicated in my previous graveyard post, a graveyard can be a cemetery, but a cemetery can’t be a graveyard until …

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A chapter in an occasional series of posts documenting an autumn 2021 road trip through the Midwest. Continued from, Flying to Omaha Without Babette and Yeti. “Flyover country.” It’s the pejorative heaped on anyplace that isn’t within a day’s drive of America’s two coastlines. As someone who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, I …

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I almost never visit a cemetery, but I can’t pass up a forsaken, decaying old graveyard or boneyard. What’s the difference you ask? Three different words that all seemingly mean the same thing. Merriam-Webster defines them all succinctly as “a burial ground.” That’s far too simple. A graveyard can be a cemetery, but a cemetery …

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A chapter in an occasional series of posts documenting an autumn 2021 road trip through the Midwest.  This post is a continuation of the post, A Coffee Shop Morning: Chewing on Life September 23rd, 2021, driving southbound in Eastern Iowa. Off to my left is the Mississippi River and somewhere deep in the river bottom …

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The COVID Chronicles is a series of posts relating my experiences and observations during the pandemic. I hope that this will be the final post in the series.  March 12, 2022. My wife Cora and I are having lunch at Caffe Sport in San Francisco’s North Beach, the City’s Little Italy. Caffe Sport is a …

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teal volkswagen beetle

A chapter in an occasional series of posts documenting an autumn 2021 road trip through the Midwest. Continued from Contemplating The Mystery Box. Out there, between Denver and Pittsburgh, lay a broad land I’d barely seen. A once vast grassland that had become countless square plots of cornfields and soybean fields, splashed with small towns …

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brown bare tree

“The seller of lightning-rods arrived just ahead of the storm. He came along the street of Green Town, Illinois, in the late cloudy October day, sneaking glances over his shoulder. Somewhere not so far back, vast lightnings stomped the earth. Somewhere, a storm like a great beast with terrible teeth could not be denied.” When …

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At the northernmost edge of the town of Red Lodge, Montana, a cabin hewn of logs and caulking sits amid a ring of river stones in front of the Red Lodge Visitor Center. If the old cabin were sitting deep in the woods at the end of a dusty road it wouldn’t draw a glance, …

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“Well, we’re not in the middle of nowhere, but we can see it from here.” ~ Thelma & Louise It seemed that way sometimes, those times when we got a little bit lost and found ourselves on a long stretch of a desolate county road. It’s on those roads when you haven’t seen a passing …

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When we started out, we hadn’t included a ghost tour in our plans. Thing is, when you cover 8000 miles over sixteen states, the diverse American story is bound to offer up a collection of spectres. The ghosts that we encountered weren’t those mischievous, annoying spirits who move the furniture about while you’re out of …

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On Sunday we left Amarillo, a fair sized city in the Texas Panhandle, for Stroud, Oklahoma. Oklahoma City is on the way to Stroud and Cora and I debated about keeping the Oklahoma City National Memorial on our itinerary. I wasn’t ecstatic about taking on city traffic, but given that it was Sunday we decided …

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Thursday, May 20, 2021 continued. Next stop, Oatman, Arizona. We enter Arizona, through the town of Mojave Valley. I slow down at the Welcome To Arizona sign and ask Cora if she’d like me to take her picture standing by the sign. She declines. “It’s too hot,” she says. It is that. The thermometer on …

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It’s been alleged that COVID is in recession in America, and with that news, along with the arrival of summer and increasing vaccinations, Americans are looking to rid themselves of a side effect of the pandemic; let’s call it hometown-itis. Whether they contracted the coronavirus or not, most Americans have exhibited symptoms of hometown-itis; alternating …

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