If I Had a Pony

The Long Valley
John Steinbeck
(The Grapes of Wrath & Other Writings, 1936-1941, a Library of America Volume)

Prompted by an errant remark, I returned after a long hiatus to the work of a writer who once totally captured my imagination. I’m happy to report that John Steinbeck still has the same effect on me he did long ago.

If you’ve been dropping by here for a while, you might find yourself wondering just how long long is. After all, there Continue reading


Charlie Don’t Surf

Steinbeck in Vietnam: Dispatches from the War
John Steinbeck, Thomas E. Barden, ed.

steinbeck_namMy dad worked on the NYC subway system and, growing up, the family dog was a poodle.

That’s a non sequitur only a 6-year old could love but it lies at the heart of my seemingly life-long fascination with John Steinbeck. When I was young my dad’s job was road car inspector. He was, essentially, one of  the system’s Triple A guys–the ones who hopped the next train out and walked down the tracks to get stalled trains moving again.

Whatever he found on the tracks that tickled his fancy he kept; evidently lost and found was only for items dropped in the cars and on the platforms. All sorts of odd flotsam found its way to our basement Continue reading