Awakenings

Today, Maggie comes home after spending election week in Washington, D.C. It reminds me of a similar trip I took in February 1984. My first plane ride and my first trip outside of the Midwest. I, like Maggie, was 17. I had somehow been recruited for a program called...

The Bully on the Bus

In college, I rode a bus from my apartment complex to campus and back every day. Some days, a girl rode the bus who, I liked to think, was like me. Quiet. Shy. Serious. From the way she dressed and watched the familiar Columbia, Missouri, streets glide pass through...

Keep On Rockin' in the Joe Town

In the late 1970s, my hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri, was a hotbed of pop music criticism. The reason was two young reporters at the St. Joseph News-Press and Gazette, Conrad Bibens and Terry Jordan. For a couple of years, I faithfully clipped their album and...

If You Really Want to Be My Friend

Just when I think Facebook has worn out its welcome, it surprises me. Today I saw a birthday notification for my old friend, Dayan. Well, I'm not sure "friend" is the right word today, except in the Facebook sense, but "acquaintance" isn't sufficient either, and...

For Richer or for Poorer: A Love Story

This Wednesday, Ellen and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary. We have both had jobs for almost of all those years. But this will be our second consecutive anniversary that I have been technically unemployed. No paycheck. No benefits. No vacation time. No sick time....

A Tale of Two Besties

I had an amazing Memorial Day weekend with my high school friend Pete, and his partner, Dustin. They live in West Palm Beach, Fla. Early in the mornings–well, two of the mornings–Pete and I ran. Four miles according to his tracker, three-and-a-half...