Into the Woods

The first live stage performance of Into the Woods that I ever saw was a production by the Davis Musical Theatre Company during the summer of 1990. My two sons (then ages 7 and 10) and I had been invited to attend the performance by the parents of one of my special education students at […]


Since I am, at the very least, a semi-regular Contributor to the AVA, and haven’t contributed anything for awhile, I figured it was time to protect said Contributor Status, and submit an article. The term “blocked” denotes multiple meanings for me, as I will elaborate throughout the course of this article. For a writer, the […]

50 Years

I was on my way to eighth grade math class, in the makeshift middle school in Dixon, in Solano County (four years after my family moved away from Boon­ville). Because we didn’t actually have a school building of our own, which was remedied several years later, named after C.A. (Chris) Jacobs, the long-time teacher who […]

‘Guarding Incursion’

It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon in Ukiah, and I have just finished watching the Nicolas Cage/Shirley MacLaine film Guarding Tess for the umpteenth time, this time with new insights into the parallels between the plotline in the film and my current professional aspirations. I have not submitted any articles to the AVA for several months, […]


A few months ago my older son came to visit me in Ukiah en route from Oregon (where he had been living for several years) to southern California, where his younger brother lives, and where he has since moved. During that time, I took advantage of his offer to drive me to Davis to help […]


Once again, I feel absolutely compelled to respond to another of Mark Scaramella’s front page articles, this one in the July 3rd edition, on boozing in Mendocino County. I believe that I am in a unique position to comment on this issue, being a multiple DUI offender, the most recent conviction (from my arrest upon […]

Cukcoo’s Nest

Judging by Mark Scaramella’s front page article in the June 12th edition of the AVA, mental health issues are still an extremely hot topic in Mendocino County, leading me to believe that the Ukiah Players Theatre’s choice of staging One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as their most recent production was neither random nor accidental. […]

Janis & Jimi

Last October, toward the end of the month, I made one of several trips to Ukiah from Clearlake, where I was living at the time. Several of the local Ukiah businesses had Halloween window displays, but the one that really caught my eye was the one at Dig! Music on State Street, which featured a […]

Rogue Wave

“… for my mind misgives Some consequence yet hanging in the stars Shall bitterly begin his fearful date With this night’s revels… But He, that hath the steerage of my course, Direct my Sail!…” — William Shakespeare (from Romeo and Juliet, Act I, Scene IV) * * * I recall, after seeing the 1968 Franco […]

The Easter Lily

Because my father was the minister at the Methodist churches in Boonville and Philo, and therefore I grew up in a church environment, I have always been drawn to the beauty and symbolism of the Easter lily. I have very fond memories of this sacred day from childhood, attending parties and Easter egg hunts, awakening […]

To Tom Hine

Last Wednesday, the 13th, I plunked down $16.95 at the Mendocino Book Co. on School Street in Ukiah for your book, Teach Your Dog to Shoplift, along with another $7.40 for two over-priced Valentine’s Day cards for my two roommates (well, actually, I plunked down my American Express card to charge them). I did this […]

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