Writer | Journalist | Storyteller



My Life As A Project


I live in a project. Not a low-income housing project—not that kind. A different sort of project. One that never seems to be finished and is always at some stage of birth, disrepair or demise. A never-ending experiment in coaxing something out of nothing. An early 18th century home in constant need of something, full of seedlings, homemade salad dressing, mismatched furniture, rigged setups and refurbished junk. This is my life.  This is entirely my wife’s doing. She’s a tinkerer, a mover...

The Benefit of Judgment


“Judge not, lest ye be judged.” —Matthew 7:1 “Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of another. There are just some kind of men who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird We are in a strange moment in time—a period in which, for maybe the first time in human history, a portion of our culture has...

The Rules Are The Rules


Possibly the most disappointed I’ve been with President Biden since he took office was yesterday, when in response to questions concerning Sha’Carri Richardson’s ban from competing in the Olympics for marijuana use, he answered “the rules are the rules.” Sigh. Deep breath.  Citing “the rules” reveals an astounding ignorance of power, wealth and privilege—who has it and who doesn’t, who makes the rules, and who has to follow them—all from the most powerful white man in the world. It’s a lot...

I Feel The Tide Turning


One of the more bizarre side effects of life on social media, specifically on Facebook, is how it’s allowed us to track our lives over the course of time. We are constantly reminded about what we thought or said in years past, how we looked, what we wore, what upset us, and what made us laugh. I have long been unnerved by the sheep-like quality of so many Americans when it comes to the myth of American exceptionalism, our ability to be self congratulatory in the face of failure, and our bizarre...

The American Flag As A Symbol of Aggression


No less than three different people have commented to me today about witnessing ostentatious displays of aggressive patriotism in the form of American flags flown with what could only be described as hateful intent. The pickup truck with the oversized flag hanging off the back. The home with way too many flags, interspersed with political banners and battle flags of defeated armies. The article of clothing modeled after the Stars and Stripes. The boat proudly flying Old Glory while...

America’s Gift To The World Is Hope


We talk a lot in this country about the American Dream. This idea of transcending our station in life. Of doing better than the generation before. Of meritocracy that would allow one to go from pauper to prince. It is, in a sentiment, optimism. In a word, hope. The writer James Truslow Adams popularized the phrase “American Dream” in his 1931 book “Epic of America”: “But there has been also the American dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller...

Code Switching


The sociolinguist Einar Haugen coined the term “code-switching” in 1954 to describe language alternation, or the mixing of two or more languages, or dialects. In the 1970s it was adopted by Black academics to describe communication between the Black community in relation to white society at large. W.E.B Dubois, world-renowned scholar and civil rights advocate, alluded to the concept of code-switching more than a century ago, when he wrote, “The Souls of Black Folk” and said, “It is a peculiar...

The Value Of Two Cents


Years ago my parents made the decision not to offer unsolicited advice to their adult children. If asked, they would tell them exactly what they thought, but they would no longer offer unless asked. It seemed like a pretty wise approach to me at the time. I believe this was largely a decision that my father made, but my mother seems to have gone along it with for all the right reasons.  I’m not sure if I have a hard and fast rule, but I generally try to do the same thing. I don’t think my...

Independence Day Has Lost Its Sparkle


There was a time when I used to enjoy the Fourth of July as much as anyone. As a kid growing up in a small, suburban town in America, it was a highlight of the summer. This was the 1970s and we lived at the corner of Main and Broad, just up the street from the firehouse, the family-owned pharmacy, and the Trolley Stop deli.  Our house was situated on the fifty yard line for parades. People would line up in front of our house to watch the local high school marching band, the fire trucks...

The Lion and the Lamb


In American culture, we have a tradition of equating power with heartlessness. We have grown to expect our leaders to have a no-nonsense, logical approach to solving problems without allowing their emotions or personal histories to influence them. The accepted theory is that it takes strength to make the hard decisions and that we can’t expect to be ruled by our emotions when making tough choices. Science, if you actually believe in such things as logic and hard truths, tells a different story...

Writer | Journalist | Storyteller


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