Where I Was When the Challenger Exploded

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UPDATE: This essay was published in Perspectives on Modern World History: The Challenger Disaster by Greenhaven Press. Of everything that ever happened to me as a child, nothing was as traumatic or meaningful as the explosion of the Challenger on January 28, 1986.  It’s an event that I have never been able to shake, and I find […]

The First Book I Ever Read

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Most books come and go.  You look on your shelf for a novel, only to remember that, whoops, it’s gone, you gave it away back in 2004.  There are some books, though, that you will always keep.  Here are a few of mine. 1. The Billion Dollar Ransom, by Franklin W. Dixon This is the […]

Here Come the Transcendentalists!

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Henry David Thoreau The transcendentalists–American geniuses or just stuffy dead white guys?  You decide! The Transcendentalists did not appeal to me when I was younger.  Emerson, especially.   Emerson reminded me of this guy I knew named John, who drove a Volvo, was in the environmental club, and listened to a lot of Fugazi.  He didn’t smoke […]

Steelers Defeat the Ravens!

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It’s time to take a break from all this literature talk to focus on what is truly important–the Pittsburgh Steelers.   We took this picture before kickoff of the AFC Divisional game against the Baltimore Ravens.  The Steelers won the game 31-24, after three hours of the most stressful football imaginable.  They compete in the […]

Adventures in North Mississippi

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Let me tell you about some fun things to do in north Mississippi, and some places that would be fun to visit if they were ever freaking open. Jason and Julie in a cotton field. Normally, I avoid going to Mississippi.  Every time I’m driving and I see that MISSISSIPPI WELCOMES YOU! sign with the […]

D.H. Lawrence versus Keith Richards

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I was about a third of the way through Lady Chatterly’s Lover when I got a copy of Keith Richards’s new biography, Life.  Which controversial Englishman was going to win my attention? In one corner, we have D.H. Lawrence from Eastwood, Nottinghamshire (1885-1930).  In the other corner, Keith Richards from Dartford, Kent (1943-    ) Here’s how […]