The Danger Zone

The Danger Zone

Freeze! Put your hands up! If you move I’ll shoot! A policeman crouching in a bush shouted this command to me on the night of my 25th birthday.  My friend Paul and I had been helping a very old couple move out of their suburban home into a trailer park in...

Child is Father to the Man

Child is Father to the Man

“You don’t pick your totem animal. Your totem animal chooses you.” Raven sunrise at the Trona Pinnacles • Photo by MMB This quote, which I heard recently on a podcast, shed some light on a seminal event in my young life. When I was a child, my family was at an outdoor...

The Famous and The Infamous

The Famous and The Infamous

“If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.”  I often heard this call to action from Scoop Nisker coming out of my radio, at the end of his progressive news reports and alerts on San Francisco’s KSAN and KFOG radio stations. He was an author,...

It’s a Wild Wild World: Animal Stories

It’s a Wild Wild World: Animal Stories

“Her name is Empress Kitty Robin!” I was living in a suburban ranch house in Palo Alto my junior year at Stanford with my friends Brad, Rob, Jenny, Julie and my partner Rachel. The house was on Wilton Avenue in south Palo Alto and we called it “The Wilton...

Life among the Heathens

Life among the Heathens

“ Missed you at church on Sunday. My cows got into the corn. It might rain. “ For the first several summers that we lived in rural Heath, Massachusets there were two general stores, one in Heath Center next to the church and town hall and the other in North Heath two...

The Life of a Cowboy

The Life of a Cowboy

“I like the idea of Cowboy poetry, but I don’t need to hear any more of it.” I was at a music festival in the Sierra Mountains and had just been told that there was a late afternoon performance event called  “Cowboy Poetry,” happening, appropriately enough, at the...

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