Category: Characters that helped shape mine



Summer Sunday mornings on Horseshoe Lake were quieter than most.  There were no chain saws running, no motorboats save the rare fisherman. The Senness kids were in town, at church with their parents and grandparents.  The Brandt kids next door wouldn’t be coming out from town until after Sunday dinner, and if the Holm kids … Continue reading Reverence

My village elders

It takes a village, and mine was well populated. Father’s Day weekend is my ‘take stock’ time; gratefulness for healthy, happy, successful-in-their-own-unique-ways children, a self-check on how I’m doing as a father and grandfather.  It is also a time of reflection and a reminder of the men who played the unofficial and the codified dad … Continue reading My village elders

To absent friends

To absent friends

 “I miss my friends tonight, their faces shine for me, The clamor of their singing like some mad calliope. Still ringing through the Lion's Head until the morning light, comedians and angels, I miss my friends tonight...                                     … Continue reading To absent friends

Shades of Black and White

It was late summer, 1979, and my friend Johnny was dying. Our star fullback in high school, heavyweight wrestling champ, all around BMOC, sat there before me, slumped, in a wheelchair in his parent’s Denver living room. His once chiseled, athletic frame was basically down to half of the 215 pounds he burst through opposing … Continue reading Shades of Black and White


06/24/16 I was leaving the assisted living place we moved my mom into yesterday, and stopped by one of the big day rooms by the entrance; volunteers were setting up for a book giveaway – one thousand books, free to anyone who wanted one. I had seen them earlier on one of my multiple trips … Continue reading Encounter

Reprise: Happily, Less Full of Phil

07/13/16 I learned just today of the passing of a great poet and incredibly influential teacher: professor Phil Dacey. I was finishing up college as a middle-aged non-trad, Phil was in his last year of teaching before retirement, and he helmed my first class at Southwest Minnesota State University. The year - and his tutelage - … Continue reading Reprise: Happily, Less Full of Phil


I just celebrated birthday number 55 – as a friend so euphemistically put it, my ‘speed limit birthday.’ The Double Nickel. Stay alive, drive 55. The 70’s called – they want their slogans back. I’ll go with ‘Thrive 55.’ No copyright or datedness issues, plus it’s mine and I am. Thriving, that is. For the … Continue reading @55

Happily, Less Full of Phil

This year provided one of the best last-day-of-school experiences I have ever had; certainly the best in the four-years since my mid-life career change placed me in front of various New Orleans high school classrooms. The fact that I am slated to start the next school year in the same place I ended the previous … Continue reading Happily, Less Full of Phil

Characters who helped shape mine (#3 in a series) The Drama Teacher

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. As You Like It Act 2, scene 7 Like a traveling minstrel of Shakespeare’s day, my adult life has found me … Continue reading Characters who helped shape mine (#3 in a series) The Drama Teacher

Risk, Reward and Rational Explanations

I come from a long line of risk-takers. Though maybe ‘long’ is stretching it a bit. I am a second-generation American; all four of my grandparents were immigrants who left behind native their lands to make a better life in America. My mother’s parents came here from different parts of Norway in the 1920’s, met … Continue reading Risk, Reward and Rational Explanations