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James Bond Wannabe

James Bond Wannabe

It came as a terrible disappointment the day I realized I would never become James Bond. Like most boys growing up, I went through a long list of potential careers. In the early days of my childhood I was influenced by the characters I saw on television; the standard cowboy, soldier, and adventurer types. None … more

Beware of First-Hand Ideas

Beware of First-Hand Ideas

“People never touched one another. The custom had become obsolete, owing to the Machine.” E. M. Forster In my eclectic reading habits I frequently stumble upon subjects and stories that surprise me. I love to be surprised. I was reading an essay in The New Yorker that referenced a short story by E. M. Forster … more

A Bear-Time Story

A Bear-Time Story

Kay and I homeschooled our daughters. I should qualify that statement by saying I was more the sub. Kay had the lion share of the responsibility for the girl’s education. My contributions were more in line with artistic field trips: museums, galleries, dance recitals, concerts, theatre (a lot of theatre). I usually was the one … more

Don’t Touch Me

Don't Touch Me

A little game my three siblings and I played as kids was poking one another with a finger and then running away as fast as possible. We hated it when one of us got poked by the other…a fear of the transference of cooties perhaps. The victim would complain to the parent within earshot that … more

Our Friend Sue

Our Friend Sue

Growing up in the Bud and Bernie Arnold household we practiced certain rules that helped stem the tide of chaos and kept certain rituals that over time grounded and centered us giving us a sense of our place in this world. One such regulation/ritual was the dinner hour. Regardless how the day went for the … more

The Trouble With Icons

The Trouble With Icons

Let me start with a disclaimer: I have not read Harper Lee’s, “Go Set a Watchman.” I have every intention of reading it but will probably let the brouhaha die down before I crack the spine of my copy. I did not read “To Kill a Mockingbird” until I was an adult. I did not … more

Curiouser and Curiouser

Curiouser and Curiouser

A couple of years ago Kay and I took our kids and grandkids and my mother and uncle on a family vacation in north Georgia. We rented a house with lots a space inside and an expansive yard, more like grounds. Other family members came and went during the week. The best feature was a … more

Celebration of Tradition and Character

Celebration of Tradition and Character

On July 4, 1977, a group of families in Nashville, Tennessee led by Dan and Pat Burton, along with my parents, threw a neighborhood birthday party for America. This was not a backyard barbeque where good friends gathered to eat and shoot off some fireworks. The celebration was conceived to honor our country, to honor … more

The One is Not

Poster for Alive and Free

Where did I put my wallet? I can’t remember where I left my purse. Have you seen my cell phone? Little things lost, yet important, not for the intrinsic value of a wallet, purse, or cell phone (insert brand name of your choice here), but because of what they contain…identity, real and imagined. If lost … more

A Father’s Day Memory

A Father's Day Memory

I was home on a Christmas break from Pepperdine University in 1973 and my father was taking me and my younger brothers on the Virgin Falls hike. A mutual friend who lived in the area had taken them on the hike a few months earlier and Dad and my brothers couldn’t wait to share the … more