A Visitation

Reading Time: 5 minutes It has taken me over 50 years to become comfortable telling this story. It was just too personal, exposing feelings I could not easily share. But after everything I experienced during my walk across America—the extreme heat and cold, the constant pain, the endless challenges and the ever-present risks—I began to look at life differently. […]

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Ibsen

Reading Time: 8 minutes Ibsen came into my life—and changed it—one evening in the late 1980s. I don’t recall whether the night was dark and stormy, but it might have been.  Sharon and I, season subscribers to the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, had just returned to our home in the Oakland Hills following a performance of Hedda Gabler  by Henrik Ibsen.  […]

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Wedding Bandleader – Part Three

Reading Time: 6 minutes There’s a place in heaven for wedding musicians. You just have to go through the kitchen to get there. An old saying. (I may have made it up.) Laura and Larry. Larry and Laura. Easy names for me to remember. They were the wedding couple du jour. It looked like it would be an easy gig, and […]

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Broken Sidewalks, a Faded Past… and the Tango

Reading Time: 7 minutes How do you get to Buenos Aires? Well, if you take the route I did, you start in Oakland, drive to San Francisco Airport, fly to Puerto Rico, return to California, fly to Maui and then back to California, fly to Rio de Janeiro, and then catch a flight to Buenos Aires.  Let me explain.  […]

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Spare Change?

Reading Time: 7 minutes A year or so ago I had a strange dream. Of course, most dreams are strange. But this one was both beautiful and, perhaps, telling: A young man is standing with a young woman on the deck of a ship. They are looking at the vast night sky above them. He says to her, “When […]

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Can I Have a Puff?

Reading Time: 10 minutes I started smoking when I was about six years old.  My grandfather, Sam Adler, would frequently come to visit us on weekends from his brownstone home on Pitkin Avenue in Brooklyn. He’d sit comfortably in a chair as he assumed the coveted role of unpaid babysitter.  Grandpa was, perhaps, the best babysitter in the world. […]

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Take These Two Tablets…

Reading Time: 8 minutes I can’t be sure exactly when my interest in cartoons and the comic strips began, but I know that as a young boy growing up on Long Island, we’d get Newsday every day and I’d always read the comics page. It was the 1950s, and there certainly wasn’t anything else worth reading in the paper—for a kid, […]

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The Girl from Rosarito

Reading Time: 7 minutes “Where is my wife, and what have you done with her?” That was my immediate reply to the email I’d just gotten from Mexico. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I could see this would end badly. Someone had obviously abducted my wife and was now impersonating her. The response came quickly. “She’s very pretty, and […]

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¡Olé!

Reading Time: 5 minutes After some thought, I decided I need to insert a small disclaimer about the bullfight. But what to say? I’m not a spokesman for anything. This is a memoir story. If you know me, you are aware that I care for and respect virtually all living things, including spiders, snakes, and scorpions. (I’m not particularly […]

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Wedding Band Leader: Part Two

Reading Time: 6 minutes There’s a place in heaven for wedding musicians. You just have to go through the kitchen to get there. An old saying. (I may have made it up.) From the late 1980s through the middle of the Great Recession—a period of approximately 20 years—I was active as a professional bandleader. One simple definition of “professional” […]

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