Show Biz

My all-time favorite Hollywood fat man was Jackie Gleason (1916-1987). He was out of Brooklyn’s immigrant slums and my parents were out of Chicago’s.

The Fifth Estate (Jan. 17, 2007)

All dictatorial social systems are protection rackets. European feudalism during the Absolutist Era is one glaring example. Society was broken down into three “estates.” At the top of the heap was the warrior class, the First Estate, which was also the landed aristocracy and the ruling class. Out of this “nobility” came the “royalty” that […]

Rancho Erodo (April 21, 2004)

I don’t guess many folks remember old Don McKee. Back in the 1970s Don McKee was a legend up by Yorkville. Or he was about as much of a legend as a person could be in a little place like that. Especially back then when the whole way between the Stanley Johnson Ranch and the […]

Situational Awareness

I came back to The World when I woke up atop a mattress tucked between clean sheets in a private room near the top floor of Tripler Armed Forces Hospital. I glanced out the window and saw Diamond Head, and Honolulu, and felt like I’d gotten kicked in the teeth. Is this how it ends? […]

Boney Fingers

Up there by Yorkville, near the old Y Ranch HQ and beside the Rancheria, there’s a tombstone in the cemetery with the epitaph: “I done all I could

Fire & Flood

When Hurricane Florence came ashore near the mouth of North Carolina’s Cape Fear River, Trisha, Abel, Jeff and myself were at the Johnson Ridge Observatory inside Washington’s Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Sprawling atop a sandblasted ridge situated above what’s billed as the largest debris flow in “recorded history” (.7% of one cubic mile), […]

Counter Intelligence

When everybody’s guilty, nobody’s guilty, right? Take us bloody old “Sky Soldiers.” Paratroopers retrained as “Air Cavalry,” we were fighting to “Bring democracy to South Vietnam.” Our outfit, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, was just four leaned-down infantry battalions consisting of four companies each. Our 16 companies operated independently but in coordination, and we were used either for air assaults, search and destroy missions or flown in as reinforcements during whatever mobile cat-and-mouse battles that were happening within our current Area of Operations. 

Known For Potatoes

Trisha and I hadn’t been to Boise since 1991. Back then our backseat boys were nine and thirteen, and we were on our way from Idaho’s Seven Devils Mts. up on the ridge beam of Hells Canyon to Nevada’s Ruby Mts. outside Elko. We passed through Boise and I wasn’t much impressed. City Civic Centers […]

The Big Salty

It’d been five and a half years since Trish and I last laid eyes on the ocean. Long enough for us to want to put an end to that string. Myself, I was brought up in LA city back when LA county was still an agricultural powerhouse, and I began my love affair with sunshine, […]

Revolution With A Smile

“Sheriff takes two I.W.W in custody,” reads the headline. “Even though admitting that he had been kicked in the head by a mule before he joined the Industrial Workers of the World, Mike Kitzey, arrested last night by Sheriff S.E. Roberts, is ready to spread the propaganda of the organization wherever possible. With Raymond Martin […]

Euphemism & Euthanasia

Don’t know if it was my skin-crawling malaria dreams or the head traumas that caused me to come back from Vietnam so scared and reckless, fierce, coldblooded, brokenhearted, outraged and shamed. Advancing heel-to-toe trying to keep my balance while suspended above my memory’s gaping chasms, I’d watch flickering smeared snapshots of the peach-faced, hollow-eyed boys […]

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