A Mile in His Shoes – A Grandfather’s Due

A Mile in His Shoes – A Grandfather’s Due

I spent many years of my adult life as the source of my grandfather’s shoes. My grandfather was the man in my life. My dad was a bit of an absentee father, ‘nuff said about that. But “Popa,” as I called granddad, was always there. Where I grew up in the timber country of the Pacific northwest it was Popa who taught me the names of all the trees, which plants were good to... Read More

Sometimes a Man Just Needs a Drink

Sometimes a Man Just Needs a Drink

Cocktails at the bar of the Starlight Room and a Saturday night post-Thanksgiving nosh at the ultra-hip Black Cat restaurant in San Francisco’s North Beach had spilled me onto Broadway full of fine stuff. And I was still aglow from Thursday’s abundant provender and its mayonnaise laden leftovers on Friday, and all the cheery, beery company of kinfolk and friends gathering... Read More

Durian Days and Tasty Ways

Durian Days and Tasty Ways

The Good, the Bad and the Durian IN PAMPANGA, a small Philippine town, I was traveling to Olongapo City from Manila. I was hungry and had walked into a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, the kind that has a counter for about three and seats for two. The proprietor spoke no English, but I spoke enough Tagalog to say something like, “Give me your best.” He brought me a steaming... Read More

The Perfect Punch in the Face – A Boxing Story

The Perfect Punch in the Face – A Boxing Story

A boxing story I have a friend named Rod. He’s a master cabinet maker. You can see his mastery in his self confidence, and that part of him that is always far away, occupied with lofty things, like his craft. You can see the mojo in him. To be admitted to his workshop, his sanctum sanctorum in Sonoma, California, is like being admitted into a matador’s dressing room before the... Read More

The Richest Gift: April 30, 1975 Redux

The Richest Gift: April 30, 1975 Redux

I was still quite a young GI, but I had had a full combat tour in Vietnam, and that was more than enough, when in the Spring of 1975 I was sent back in as a member of the expeditionary force tasked with extracting the South Vietnamese government, their dependents, and many thousands of fleeing civilians. All was disorder on April 30, and our efforts were reduced to ad lib and impromptu,... Read More

Baja California Murderer’s Eggs

Baja California Murderer’s Eggs

Baja California After leaving the paved road I had some trouble locating the arroyo. It was dusk and the features of the land were all beginning to look the same in the Baja California desert. I made rapid drives up two or three openings in the terrain only to encounter rock walls. Finally, in the last of the light, I recognized a distinctive portion of the skyline of jagged hills... Read More