Category Literature

How Far?

December 16, 2002 I have been looking into Presidential Succession lately. I am sure you remember the general outline from high school civics: first the vice president, then the Speaker of the House, then the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. It gets interesting with cabinet officers, ranked by when their office was established. But […]


November 1998 I love the synchronicity of things. Last week at work, I was studying the history of the U.S. national soccer team, and my reading had brought me up to the Berlin Olympics. I found a National Archives spot on the Web that talked about them. The AAU, two governors and the U.S. rep […]


May 2002 I don’t know how much longer I can afford to have friends. Last week, it was Dorothy, visiting from Ithaca, buying me a drink at Mirbeau, settling me into a brown leather sofa, and then softly saying, “Margarite Yourcenar’s Memoirs of Hadrian is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever […]

Having a Wonderful Time, Chapter 1

It seems silly now, but once I thought the novel was the ultimate goal for a writer, and that I should write one. It would take a long time, but if I kept after it day by day, I would eventually have a novel. But I would have to enjoy what I was doing. So […]

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

February 27, 2005 Where to begin with Hunter Thompson? At the beginning, I guess: Dan McNelly, a fraternity brother, handing me a copy of Hell’s Angels in 1967 and saying, “You’ve got to read this.” (Dan also gave me a copy of Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me by Richard FariƱa; […]

Chris Zenowich

There are two kinds of writers in advertising: writers who learn by accident they can make a living there, and advertising people who love the business but can’t draw. I was the former, a writer who discovered that as a copywriter I could pay the bills. One day at Silverman Mower in Syracuse, N.Y., where […]

Mrs. Field

October 16, 2005 Seeing a few minutes of a baseball playoff game this past week brought Mrs. Field back to mind. Her son George was in my Cub Scout pack; I first met her while learning the ancient art of soap carving in their basement on Belmont Avenue. Mr. Field taught us Cubs how to […]