Kids Growing Up Too Soon

67 Shots: Kent State and the End
of American Innocence
Howard Means

The first unsupervised business trip I ever went on with a client took me from New York to Tampa, Florida. But I went by way of Ohio to pick up Larry so we could work on the plane.

You’re riveted, aren’t you?

Here’s what I discovered at dinner that night. The mild-mannered man sitting across from me, deacon in his 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

It’s 1,2,3 what are we fighting for?

Reporting Vietnam: American Journalism
Vol.1:  1959-1969, Vol. 2: 1969-1975

Everyone living in America lives in the shadow of the 1960s. The events of that decade have shaped the culture for nearly a half century now and even as key figures age and exit, the penumbra and the emanations from the penumbra of that decade persist.

What will, eventually, happen is that living memory of the period will depart, too. (As will all these silly hyperlinked catchphrases and the title of this post.) Then all that will be left is the interpretations caught between the covers Continue reading