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Confessions of an Ex-Smoker

Confessions of an Ex-Smoker

When my doctor of thirty years retired (how dare he), I recently was breaking-in a new doctor and suffering through the process of filling out multiple forms as if I were applying for some high-powered job. I was asked by a perky med-tech if I had ever smoked. The tech could have read my written … more

The Surly Santa

Norman Rockwell

If you have lived on the planet for any length of time and were born in a country that recognizes the Christmas season and its official delegate Santa Claus, you have had at least one traumatic experience around the holiday season that possibly scarred you for life. Of course, the revelation that the man in … more

Blood Brothers

Blood Brothers

I was born into a world of whiteness: neighborhood, private school, and church; shuttled through that triplicate of colorless environs without wondering or questioning what other members of the human race might exist beyond those confines. At that time in my childhood my only exposure to other ethnic groups was when missionaries came to our … more

Solvitur Ambulando

Solvitur Ambulando

I was sitting in the middle of church one recent Sunday, minding my own business, drifting in and out wakefulness, but at least I was in church. Mom and Dad would be proud and relieved. It must have been a moment in the sermon when I had drifted out because my ears suddenly pricked up … more

Not a Huntsman

Elmer Fudd

After decades of living with Kay, I still want to impress and surprise her. Sometimes my efforts are rewarded with laughter and appreciation; other times, bewilderment, and still other times, the look if not the words of “I can’t believe you just did/said that.” Those are the times when honest effort becomes lame antics, and … more

Aging Rocker

Aging Rocker

No, this story is not about an old-fashioned rocking chair Kay and I found in some small town antique shop. It is about my short-lived career as a rock ‘n roll star that began in a literal cave and ended when I found myself sitting on a picnic table between Robert Plant and Jimmy Page … more

The Nymphs of Plenty

The Nymphs of Plenty

My sister, Nan Gurley, met the man-of-her-dreams when they were attending Abilene University back in the mid-1970’s. In the spring of her senior year, Nan starred in a production of “Man of La Mancha” in the role of Aldonza. The man-of-her-dreams played Quixote. Several in the family went down to the university to see the … more

Son of a Teenage Runaway

Son of a Teenage Runaway

How does a father teach a son to be a man? What is it to even be a man…to be a father…to be a son? In 1944, Dad ran away from home at the age of seventeen, hitchhiked from Richmond, Virginia all the way to Ft. Lauderdale, spent a few nights on a park bench, … more

Mr. Washington Goes to the Theater

Mr. Washington Goes to the Theater

I came across an article in The New Yorker recently by Adam Gopnik in which he reviews some new historical works that rethink the American Revolution. While the article was illuminating, it was his last two paragraphs that caught my attention. He recounts an action taken by George Washington to stay the execution of Charles … more

A Mother’s Crown Jewels

Crown Jewels of England

The Arnold kids were never given financial allowances growing up. My parents did not have that kind of disposable income. If we wanted to have spending money we needed to make it. So at the age of ten how I came by the exorbitant sum of a few dollars to purchase the blue-beaded necklace for … more