Me And Thanksgiving

Twenty Thanksgivings ago I wrote my first article for a newspaper. I called it “Thanksgiving is a Holiday That Needs to Grow on You.” It was 1997. My wife, Joyce, and I lived in a little apartment with our baby girl in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland. I was reacquainted with the story while…

Sports Illustrated

When I was 9 Dad bought me my first Sports Illustrated. May 3rd, 1976. Mike Schmidt was on the cover. We were inside 7-11 waiting for Mom. He was perusing the rack. I was right there beside him, penniless, my mouth watering at the prospect of owning that magazine. I had just started playing baseball.…

Purple Crayons

I loved purple crayons when I was a kid. Loved every shade of them. Loved the way they smelled, even though all crayons smell the same. My brother and I colored pictures in the living room. He made sure to use all of the crayons evenly so one wouldn’t wear out more than the others.…

My Summer of ’77

Writing and rewriting a paragraph, then reading it back until you feel like you are seeing the plush green grass at Municipal Stadium for the first time is the feeling I want to experience every day for the rest of my life. Of course nothing feels like seeing green grass on a baseball field for…

How To Win Friends And Influence People With Donuts and $2 Bills

Although his ended tragically, Ernest Hemingway led an interesting life. Writer, outdoorsman, celebrity. He was also a salesman because he knew how to be persuasive in 6 words or less — “For sale: baby shoes never worn.” He was unconventional (he typed standing up), but he was quite good at satisfying customers with his brevity…

Smokestacks

When I was a boy Dad told me that clouds came from smokestacks. That’s why it always rained in South Newburg. I thought, why not? The factories made all sorts of things. Those smokestacks had to do something, not just stand there with their noses in the sky. So whenever we drove downtown I watched…

Seven Good Books

February is GIVE A SHOUT OUT TO GOOD BOOKS MONTH. Here are 7 of my favorite titles to write home about. A few of them are sprinkled with nostalgia, but that’s just fine with me. There’s nothing wrong with nostalgia. Thirty years from now we might look back on today with fondness. Once a Runner…

Dad And The Magical Elixir

Dad kept a bottle of booze in the pantry when we were growing up. He never drank from it. It was for medicinal purposes. If he smashed his thumb and it turned into a mangled lump he could pour the booze on it to relieve the swelling. He smashed a lot of thumbs back then.…