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  • The Desert Southwest and Everett Ruess

    Last winter I spent a month traveling alone on the road buying inventory for the store. My intention was to first head south to Texas and then to head west.

  • Do Tractors Have Souls

    Do tractors have souls? My friend Jeff on the far side of the hill would say they do, as long as it’s a green tractor. I realize my question belies my social reference if not my place on the evolutionary chart.

  • The Unknown Soldier

    I had seen enough commercials to know I wanted to join the military. You know, the ones with the inspirational music and the strong, confident individuals in their camo suits saluting their officer and climbing cliff faces, and when they finally reach the top the music hits a climax and the grand scene finishes with the two word blurb: Army Strong.

  • Cherries a la Paree

    The cherries were a specialty of the restaurant that June night in Paris. It was the last night of our family trip to France with our daughter Peggy, her husband Eric, and their children, Heidi and Kurt.

  • Did I Do the Right Thing? or My First and Only Day as a Shammes

    My grandfather was a taciturn man. Only after his death did I discover he spoke seven languages and was a Torah scholar of some regional honor. He emigrated to the United States about 1903 after his brother Jacob worked in the United States long enough to send for him with a paid steamer ticket.

  • The Tin Roof

    On general principles I hate chickens. My impulse to hate chickens is a cosmic thing; cows poop nicely, chickens do not. Cow poop obeys gravity, least most of the time, chicken poop doesn’t.

  • Searching for the Beach

    The bright white sand beach did seem to stretch for miles in both directions from the wide wooden staircase as we had been told. Uncountable striped and solid color umbrellas gleamed in the intense sun with uncountable children running, shouting and splashing in the small waves.

  • A Most Impressive Night in New York City

    When she said she had accepted a job offer from Time Inc. at New York City headquarters, we gasped and clapped. She was graduating in June and was the first college graduate I knew, male or female, who already had a real job.

  • On Swallows

    A late summer evening. The sun like a cheap drunk is sliding off of its high stool. The air has cooled and the vault of the sky hinting of a more cosmic realm, Venus in there trying to sprout.

  • Sunset Point

    My family walks down to Sunset Point on nights like this where the sun is above Chambers Island and the clouds have blown away. People are strewn across the small cliff and rocky beach like spectators at a sporting event.

  • The Quest for Devil’s Pulpit and Other Mysteries

    I saw the notation on a 1916 map of Peninsula State Park. Devil’s Pulpit was located on Hemlock Trail where it intersected with Orchard Trail.

  • The Fishing Car

    It was a township tradition, a coming-of-age thing, like a boy child of the Arthurian age getting his buckler and sword, like a Sioux man-child setting out on a dream quest.

  • Do I Turn Right Here or at the Next Billboard?

    This is simple; I know I can do this. Having been in this vacation city for a while now and having paid considerable attention to the street signs – but more to the billboards, sign boards, and the unusual names of businesses along the routes for errands and/or simple trips taken frequently from here to there – I know I can do this.

  • Just Messing

    Just messing around, that is what I tell my wife. Messing around the farm shop. She knows by now what messing really means. Did you know you can gain a pretty good potato mortar by just changing the pipe on the bead-setter? You know, the compressed air 90 psi bead setter, exchange the flattened steel pipe for PVC, dab a little silicone on the potato, range just shy of a quarter mile.

  • Fringillidae

    Spring is a wholly owned subsidiary, surprising how many people don’t know this about spring. That it is owned outright, indeed and in patent, by a well-heeled holding company.

  • Then Picasso Looked At Me and Said…

    I boarded the boat Amsterdam to Le Havre, France at New York City port 79. I was introduced to a group of other students from the French department of Southwestern at Memphis.

  • A Guy Recipe

    It is a perfect conundrum, and to suggest here is a problem that cannot be solved, if it can, the solution is worse. Nice word is conundrum, it even sounds like a conundrum should, doleful at the last syllable.

  • April

    April, last boil, a cold day. Done by mid-afternoon. Four boils for the year, about average. In an age, some would say a psychosis, of global warming where all indicators are ominous; it is nice to have a normal pattern to weather, a cold spring, maple sap.

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  • The Cosy Transformation from Bustle to Nestle

    Door County in autumn smells like freshly brewed coffee tickled by the sweet bay breeze. Adorned by a cozy scarf and cotton knit poncho, I sit at a coffee shop and enjoy the comforting bliss of the nonchalant after-season, the post Labor Day sigh, the oncoming off-season for renewal and refreshment. Sitting outside, the cedar […]