The shoe-boxes we carried on our laps on the flight to Maui contained our parakeets, a little anxious and aflutter about their surroundings and the strange goings-on. But there was Barney, an English budgerigar slightly larger than the others gathered around him, serving as the group leader and a calming presence. We were all on […]
From early 1987 and for about the next 10 years I was employed at a small law office in downtown Oakland. The office consisted of two bright, hardworking attorneys and me. I was the office “Man-Friday,” legal assistant, janitor, and investigator. I did case intake and set-up, some basic litigation response, answered the phone, kept […]
I call it a pilgrimage, a journey that includes destinations and people I very much look forward to seeing and being with. Tempering somewhat my enthusiasm and desires surrounding such excursion is the fact that it requires that I step into the world of commercial travel as offered up by the business-driven culture and society […]
The rain moves in ghostly horizontal sheets that march out of step across the landscape. Propelled by tradewinds gusting at 40 mph, curtains of water float across the terrain, bending and weaving in translucent forms that behave something like an earthbound aurora borealis. Out in the channels between the Islands there are storm warnings: 30 […]
The scream echoed through the house like a fire alarm and caused the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) to bolt from his seated comfort in the anteroom. Following the sound he arrived in the kitchen on the run and spotted the problem right away, dispatching it with a swift slap of his hand. He bundled the mangled […]
I suppose two dollars is a reasonable assessment of value for a 20-year old plastic duck decoy, a fair price to pay, I think, at a yard sale. I got it from my brother years ago, a hen mallard, and mounted her on top of my mailbox. I liked her presence there, spreading her charm […]
We arrived in Stockton in my car of the moment, a ’58 Plymouth Fury, a cool car in its day, a sporty two-door hardtop with outsized Cadillac-style rear fins. It had two big 4-barrel carburetors sitting opposite each other on a ram-induction fuel system feeding a huge “hemi” V-8 engine and a speedometer that registered up to 160 miles per hour.
High school hit me right between the eyes. Where does a freshman fit in? At the bottom of the ladder, of course. Within a student body of well over a thousand individuals, I ran smack into a social class mentality that seemed to pervade the entire experience, the elite spending their time looking down their noses at those beneath them, each class assuming a position of authority over the underclasses.
Max and Maureen sailed White Bird, a sleek 42-foot trimaran, across the Pacific from Lahaina to the San Francisco Bay, where Max would oversee some refurbishing, purchase new sails and rigging, and get the vessel shipshape. Afterward, we planned to voyage down the coast into Mexico. Max and Maureen would sail home to Maui from […]
Tony Serra was a fascinating individual and I liked him right away. He was highly principled and his reputation as a fierce opponent in the courtroom was widely held. He was eager to defend the underdog and those subject to racial injustice.
Big Dog came by the house on a Friday afternoon, late in the day. Watching his arrival from the front room I could tell by the deliberate walk to the porch and the concern on his face that it wasn’t a social call. As I was about to learn, he was a man on a […]