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Fragments

Thom

/>My lifelong friend, Thom Nulty, passed away last night. He died in an airport. Boarding a plane. Fitting. In the mid-60s, after we had both gotten out of the service, Thom and I headed to Palm Springs to enjoy the annual ritual of Spring Break. We barely had enough money to gas up his corvette, … Continue reading »

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Life is but a dream…

When I was in the 4th grade at St. Joan of Arc school, the Sister who taught me (her name long gone) wrote on my report card, “Dennis is a very bright young man, but he is a dreamer.” Both my parents and I would have felt a bit better about it if she had … Continue reading »

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The Night of the Cioppino

The onion was yellow and firm, but it sliced cleanly under the sharp knife. The garlic too diced easily and together they filled the house with a familiar aroma as they sizzled in the olive oil. (It was labeled “Extra Virgin”, but he wondered.) Having harvested oregano, thyme, and basil from his own garden and … Continue reading »

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Dances With Coyotes

For nearly 15 years, I lived in the Upper Ojai Valley, our house perched at the edge of a vast field, offering our family a daily panorama of the changing weather, the changing seasons, and a constant diorama of wildlife doing what wildlife does. Besides the regular stream of birds, the fields were the daily … Continue reading »

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Papa Bach

  Back in the day on Santa Monica Blvd, out near Sawtelle, as I recall, was a small storefront bookstore named Papa Bach’s. I associate the place with my literary first kiss, or at least with my awakening of desire. I had always been a reader, mostly comics when I was quite young, then the … Continue reading »

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Paradise

  “He found something that he wanted, had always wanted and always would want — not to be admired, as he had feared; not to be loved, as he had made himself believe; but to be necessary to people, to be indispensable…” F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise In 1967 the Vietnam War was … Continue reading »

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Dylan

I had been teaching about 18 months in Queensland, Australia, when Dylan was born. After waiting two weeks from the due date, the doctors at Queen’s Hospital, Brisbane, decided to induce the birth. As we were inside and distracted for the prior 36 hours, we paid no attention to the storm warnings. As a father, … Continue reading »

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The Blessing of Shopkeepers

I have reflected in other musings on the power and freedom of being a ten year old on a bike in the WLA of the ‘50s. Especially riding with a pack of friends, it seemed there was adventure to be had at every turn. A simple excursion from point A to B might include any … Continue reading »

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Of love and flyfishing

There is no hint from my distant past that would make me a fly fisherman. I never fished with my Dad and he only fished when he and a few pals made their annual trip to the Klamath River, far in Northern California, perhaps more drinking and male bonding than fishing. Once or twice I … Continue reading »

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In Clover fields

In the green and sandy days of ago, when the clothes were hand-me-downs and no jeans had knees, we rode (yes, helmetless) with the wind in our hair, sometimes without working brakes, through the streets and alleys and vacant lots of the west side of LA, not knowing that it would end. On the sandlot … Continue reading »

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