An Excerpt – Peakeville – Laurie

…Laurie had taken the second afternoon to visit Jamie’s grave alone, it was bitter cold as the wind whipped off Lake Michigan, but she had a lot tell him. Bundled up in her father-in-law’s parka and wrapped in a blanket she sat by his granite marker, the crossed fire axes a reminder of the selfless man he had been. With her tears freezing to her cheeks, she told him about Peakeville, about their son and how big he was getting. She cried again when she told him how much she missed him, the way he wrapped his arms around her from behind bending to kiss the top of her head, that last dinner they had shared – burgers and cold beers on their tiny back porch. She didn’t blame him anymore for not coming home the next morning – she had come to terms with it. She talked about the future, making a new start, she promised to teach their son what a hero his father had been, but mostly she had come to say goodbye…

Authors Note:  This an excerpt from a chapter in my soon to be published novel… comments and thoughts welcome.

Cinnamon Girl

Nobody was quite sure where she had come from, one of those easily overlooked Midwest states, something with an I – Iowa, Indiana, something like that; a place you were from not somewhere you were going to. I’m sure she had a name, something expected, safe, well Midwestern – but we all just called her Cinnamon Girl.

It’s probably worth noting that she wasn’t the sweet cinnamon sugar mix you load up your French toast with, no more like a spicy bite of chili that makes you ask, “whoa is there cinnamon in that?” Read more ›

Pink Shoes

PaPa’s poems for a granddaughter…

Oh those pink shoes
They look good on you

Dissed by Mom & Dad
PaPa thinks they’re rad

We wear them to swim
And play on the jungle gym

GiGi calls them crocs
Auntie K says they rock

Mom & Dad don’t realize
PaPa bought every size

Oh those pink shoes
They look good on you…

Nose Kisses

PaPa’s poems for a granddaughter…

Fierce hugs
Nose kisses

Walk me papa
Read me papa

Trees and leaves
Trains and trucks

Ducks and fish
Birds and pups

Hold me papa
Watch me papa

Fierce hugs
Nose kisses

The Old Neighborhood

So I’m hanging out in the old neighborhood the other day having a cappuccino and who should I see but Vinnie Vermicelli, now I haven’t seen Vinnie since he and I used to fight over that sweetheart Kathy Calamari… man she was a dish! Anyways, we get to talking and he tells me that Sammi Salami is engaged to Mary Mozzarella, can you believe this, Sammi? I’m like no way she was with Peter Pepperoni forever. It’s true and if that ain’t enough Maria Marinara and Larry Lasagna are married and expecting, I can’t wait to see how that turns out. Vinnie has been dating Cami Cannoli much to the chagrin of her big brother Carmine, he always seemed a little sweet to me, but hey to each his own I guess. I look up and would you believe Marty Mortadella and Bobbie Bruschetta are walking through the door, so of course we have them join us. Now Bobbie is a talker and she is going on about Sal Soppresseta and what a hot head he is. Apparently Tony Tortellini was caught with Sals little sister Sammie Soppresseta. Tony never was very bright I still remember the day he stole Frankie Fettuccini’s car I thought the Scungilli brothers were going to tear him a new one. We’re having a good laugh about that when Patty Provolone shows up bragging about this new restaurant Lenny Linguini and Paulie Primavera just opened. It was good to see everybody, but I sure was hungry after that…

Memories from 1984

It’s late 1984 and I am holed up in the freshman dorm on the East Campus of Duke University slaving over some awful English Comp paper on my IBM Selectric II, oh that was one sweet typewriter let me tell you, envy of the floor. The girl down the hall, now a Federal Judge, is confidently relaxed cause she is way better prepared for exams then I will ever be. I take a quick break and attempt to iron the triple creases on my Navy ROTC shirt, nothing easy about this on one of those small table top style mini ironing boards, and yes they measured our creases with a ruler.

The hell with it I think, time to break out the Häagen-Daz Vanilla Swiss Almond, I deserve it after all that typing. No worries though morning PT will definitely take care of the indulgence. Across the hall the Texas soccer playboys are trying to learn how to match colors on their newly pressed outfits… its a bitch living without your personal valet. Duke is a different environment, the brilliant, the brilliant super rich, the foreign super rich, and the rest of us struggling to survive. Crank up the Tom Petty, a little air guitar, couple more bites of ice-cream, and back to it…

You know the funny thing is I still play a mean air guitar, love my Vanilla Swiss Almond and can iron like a MFer…  I miss that IBM – but typing on my wireless keyboard and watching the words appear on the screen in front of me – well that’s just magic…


I feel like I need to preface this particular commentary with a bit of a disclaimer or at least explanation I believe racism and even more than racism – prejudice transcends the traditional boundaries of white and black extending to any number of “colors” and includes ethnicity, beliefs and orientations. Unfortunately, humanity has not managed to constrain its ability to hate based solely on the observation that someone is different than I am. What I sometimes find truly puzzling is that even groups that have traditionally been on the receiving side of systemic prejudice manage to manufacture plenty of their own.

As I am sure most of you have seen on your local news, social media or any number of other places we are witnessing another flare up of racial intolerance and hate in Charlottesville VA. I’m not going to comment on that specifically, you don’t need me to tell you why this type of behavior is abhorrent – however don’t make the mistake of thinking the revocation of “free speech” is the answer – it isn’t; that protection exists for all of us and the erosion of it, even for a group such as this, affects us all.

But what has me a bit worked up this morning is the number of shares on my social media quoting some preacher, politician, or celebrity decrying the situation in Charlottesville, they use words like: terrorist, Nazi, extremist and so on – point is they are worked up and outraged and many people are rallying to this message and sharing it with their endorsement, good for you I say.

However, I have only one real question… where was the ferocity of your rage yesterday, last week, last year? Where will it be tomorrow, next week or next month? When the torches have been put out and the crowds have disbursed and we return to the mundane everyday racism and prejudice that hides in the shadows of our everyday lives, where will your fervent outcry be then? Will we still see your pointed posts, will you still be preaching it from your pulpits? You see the problem is we already know the answer… and unfortunately most will return to their tepid outrage and tacit acceptance of “that’s just how it is…”

You know there is a word for this… hypocrisy…


There is an interesting lesson to be learned about time and history, the older one gets the more compressed time seems and what appears to be ancient history to a young person is simply a memory to those that were there…

Great New Music Video

Great new music video from a good friend and very talented artist: Michael McArthur

Fantasy Woman – Michael McArthur


This is for all the weeping parents out there… sending their precious one(s) to school today, suck it up buttercup they are going to be fine, no seriously…

Love an empty nester!

Okay having said that let me redeem myself a little by posting up a piece I wrote about five years ago when I dropped my daughter off at college and found myself blubbering the next day… which I will vehemently deny by the way!

Hopes Dreams Transitions…

I am up early for a Saturday, sipping a cup of fresh made coffee and thinking back over it all. I dropped my daughter off at college yesterday and marked a bittersweet milestone, yes I know quite the overused word in my opinion and honestly it’s lost the significance it once had. A milestone should symbolize a major achievement, the completion of a great effort or undertaking… not just a simple “I made it to the finish line so look at me…” No a milestone infers challenges, obstacles, setbacks and having exercised the will and perseverance to have overcome them. As parents can we count those first steps are children take into adulthood as a milestone? It matters not the path be it the military, college or the job-market those first few steps embody all the hopes, dreams and wishes we have for them. Read more ›