I Put My Gathering Boots On

I like it quiet in the cabin, I listen for a rogue wave that might get over the sandbar, I would hear it come under the bridge, troll-like tinker steps, the sounds of hundreds of pieces of driftwood rushing and bouncing together, like hooves the sounded, the rogue wave, a troll with driftwood stick feet, […]


You discover the best things when you’re takin a leak in the country. I’m heading out of Fort Bragg, going to the off track betting parlor in Santa Rosa. By the time I get over the top of Highway 20, just before Willits, I gotta leak, so I pull over to a huge wide spot, […]

The Way It Was: 1985

The Far hills, Mendocino County — In 1985 I knew a guy who tried to grow the devil-weed in a wildcat location, in the far hills. He walked for two hours to work, over hills, through the wood, along creeks and down old fire roads. He never made a lot of money, it was labor intensive, but […]

The Time Was Then

White’s Field, 1927 — Somebody must have been over to Willits last night, because the news spread: the circus is coming and they have an elephant in a van. I myself got to town as fast as I could. I go to town every day. Every noon I lock the farm gate and drive to […]

Busy Socially In A Rural Setting

I grew up where men seldom touched other men, beyond a handshake, and everybody was happy with that arrangement. But, when I came out to the coast, well, people hugged. You see the guy from the stamp club, it’s a big-old hug. I submitted, but if they weren’t opening the wingspan first, well, I went […]

Da Gardens, NYC 1966

The other day I was working the crossword puzzle and the clue was boxer Griffith and I thought of Emile and my heart froze for a moment because I was at Madison Square Gardens when Emile Griffith fought Dick Tiger a black man from Africa, a no nonsense fighting machine. It was the first fight […]

The Way It Used To Be: 1957

Toronto — Old Woodbine Race Track. There’s never been enough emphasis on horse racing. If it were only so simple, so quick to the quick, but only in stories. Just getting to the track was sometimes almost beyond him. Let him tell this story. So there I was in Toronto at this apartment on Bathurst […]

Prince Of Pompadoodle Takes The Train

I was told it was only going to be a journey of a few leagues. As my league work wasn’t up to snuff I figured it would take a while longer. I loaded myself up with the stuff of the classic poseur. A handbag a duffle bag, new shoes, an over-the-shoulder bag and a shopping bag flaunting that it’s Heavenly.

At the Edge of the Woods

Let’s get straight here, what one operator can reasonably expect as a return on his energy. Not much, really, if you’re carrying it all in on your back – amendment, pearlite, plant food, organic guanos by the 16 pound bucket. One time I carried a deep-cell marine battery up hillsides and down gulches for a […]