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Writing about things I know nothing about. Like life.
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  • 07/26/13--06:45: Back at the Tumblers
  • Do you know that “hopeful, floaty” feeling, when you sense something new and wonderful is about to begin? That’s exactly how I felt the morning of Friday, Sept. 15, 1978. “I awoke,” the diary entry begins, “much happier, still feeling strange and wonderful.” Mom warmed some leftover spaghetti for my lunch, after which I hustled […]

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  • 08/02/13--09:04: New Kid in Town
  • “The Day arrived and was over too fast.” Saturday, Sept. 23, 1978: The big first date with Jocey. So many blurred memories, so many assumptions. But a detailed diary entry now holds a mirror up to it. According to the diary, I worked around the house during the day: cleaning the kitchen and mowing the […]

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  • 08/09/13--06:45: Guilt Clouds
  • Read enough old diary entries and you’re bound to learn a couple uncomfortable truths about yourself. Like, “Why do I do what I do?” “How has my life changed?” and “Why am I writing in a baby’s diary?” So, that last question answers why I stopped writing in the diaries. I just needed another place […]


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  • 08/15/13--18:14: Two Days in December
  • Change, transition. Trying new things, leaving the old. On Wednesday, Nov. 8, 1978, I wrote the last entry of ’78 in the new Mead composition book. The small lock and key diaries of my childhood—over and done. Now I’d be writing in journals, in longhand and sketching in the margins. Things felt more expansive. That […]


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  • 09/13/13--08:22: This Nothing Is Something
  • By Monday, Jan. 8, 1979, the new year had finally settled in. “I’ll probably be summing up 1978 for as long as I can,” I wrote in my Mead Composition journal, “How quickly time flies when you don’t record it!” So, for nearly every day in January, I worked like the devil to get it […]


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  • 10/11/13--03:16: Already Gone
  • When you’re not entirely sure where you’re going, it’s hard to see where you really are. Friday, Feb. 2, 1979, I skipped classes (and, later, my night shift at Augsburg Fortress Publishing House) to help fellow grad Geoff Morrison plan a Saturday party at his folks’ place. Geoff was a witty kid from the only […]


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  • 11/01/13--09:14: Surfside
  • Imagine being back at a place you haven’t been to in a long time. Maybe it’s a classroom, a childhood home, the roof of said childhood home, or even the back piano bar of a long-gone restaurant. The latter would be Surfside (at left and below, courtesy of Mr. Tom Rockvam)—which overlooked Cooks Bay on […]


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  • 11/22/13--09:10: Total Eclipse of the Heart
  • So, where were you when the sun went out? In North America, the last total solar eclipse of the 20th century occurred on Monday, Feb. 26, 1979. Apparently it was a big deal. The journal picks up the story: “Eclipse. …All that you buy, beg, borrow or steal. There is supposed to be a total […]


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  • 12/20/13--08:08: Better Luck Next Time
  • A friend recently asked how organized I had to be to write this blog. While I do develop an editorial slate, I’m comfortable having posts fall out of order depending on, well, serendipity. You see, serendipity is nearly a religion for lazy piddlers like me. It often leads to delightful discoveries. Like the one I […]


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  • 08/21/15--07:45: The English Teacher
  • “…I still didn’t have the paper done, God, it was bugging the hell out of me anyway. I always screw things up really bad in that class, and MacHardy even kinda bugs me. He’s always picking things apart, you know, analyzing too much. I suppose a teacher’s gotta be consistent or something or else parents […]


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  • 03/17/17--04:06: Rediscovering Dumond
  • The year was 1989. How did it change the course of my life? I can’t quite go there without first examining what lead up to it. I last left off at 1986 and ’87—terrible, terrible years. Turns out, after examining my journals going into 1988, things didn’t improve, although my intentions were more solid. A […]


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  • 03/24/17--08:44: Keepsake (Part 1)
  • [First part of a two-part post.] In John Ford’s The Searchers, John Wayne’s character, Ethan, reluctantly joins a posse pursuing Comanches that have abducted his niece, Debbie, played by Natalie Wood. There’s a scene where the posse freezes upon hearing the sound of a Comanche signal. Reverend Clayton glares at Ethan; Ethan glares back. Ethan: […]


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  • 07/06/17--19:13: Approaching the Frontier
  • “The man with imagination but no knowledge is like a bird with wings but no feet.” There it was—a collection of quotes stuck in my bed frame, written in the early 1970s when I was preteen. I found them last spring while I was moving. While it’s not particularly connected to what I’ve been thinking […]