Monthly Archives: August 2010


     When I was 9 years old I started to have headaches. This was in Chula Vista, and I was in the fifth grade. It wasn’t about school. I had an excellent teacher and enjoyed school that year. There was … Continue reading

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Steady Catcher

When I was 8, the kids on the block made me their steady catcher. We lived on a dead end street named Leuce Place, about four houses from the bulb-shaped terminus. Because our street didn’t go anywhere few cars traveled … Continue reading

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The Marketing Argument

   When I was 59 and Andy was pushing 51, he made an astounding statement. Astounding to me, anyway. We were in the office, on a spring afternoon. I can still see him, perched against the little mauve table on which … Continue reading

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How to Be a Good Lover

When I was 15 I had it figured out. It was all theoretical then, but not less true for that. I’d spent some time on the subject. I’d read what I could without humiliating myself (I considered the illustrations in … Continue reading

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Brain Train

When I was 13 I learned how quickly our brains can be trained. We were all required to take a class called Reading Communications, and the classroom contained a tool called a tachistoscope. “Tachis” is from the Greek, for speed, … Continue reading

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Moot Question

     When I was around 41, I asked my kids the question we haven’t yet answered. I think it was summertime, which made Danny 9 and Katie on the approach to 15. “Imagine you have a perfectly balanced coin,” I … Continue reading

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Sonnet & Site Map

When I was 41 I began regular sonnet-writing. I was fresh off the boat, but the boat was a cruise ship to Alaska. I’d had an intense and happy relationship with the cruise’s piano player, falling so deeply in love … Continue reading

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     When I was 13, my 10-year old brother asked our dad, “Why is it when I leave my milk out it warms up, and when I don’t eat my soup it cools down?” Dad stopped dunking bread in his … Continue reading

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When I was 15 we moved from Chula Vista to Larkspur, and I met Ellen. It was a huge relocation, from as south as California gets to the San Francisco Bay Area, from a three-year high school with a closed … Continue reading

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Birthday Books

     When I was about 12 my father gave me Arundel, by Kenneth Roberts. He’d already established the tradition of presenting me with a book every birthday, and that paperback, my first historical novel, was his choice around then. I … Continue reading

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