Monthly Archives: March 2013


It was the summer of 1963. I was 15 years old, a Boy Scout, just in from a week on the trail at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. We had a day to kill in Tent City, the base camp, before the bus took us back to Buffalo, N.Y.  I was drinking a […]

Accidental Self Destruction

War is a dangerous pastime, and the enemy is not the only hazard. This was brought home to me recently when I was researching four young men from my village who died in the war in Vietnam. One was just 19 years old, and the news reports said he was killed in action while on […]

The Origin of Dirk Wagstaff

As a writer I’ve only used two pseudonyms: “Evan Nescent” back in the ‘70s and more recently, “Dirk Wagstaff,” which came into being after the collision of two movie memories. Fans of the Marx Brothers will recall that Professor Wagstaff was Groucho’s character in Horse Feathers. Groucho had many wonderful names: Wolf J. Flywheel in […]