Montgomery County, Here We Come

In the fall of 1960, my immediate family–Mom, Dad and me–moved to a place called Penn Wynne, Pennsylvania. What the Hell was a Penn Wynne? As opposed to, say, a Penfield, a Penn Argyl, or Penn Hills? Well, it was glamorous suburban living with a view in a beautiful “modernistic” house solidly built by McWilliamsContinue reading “Montgomery County, Here We Come”

66th and Haverford, Skippy’s Story

I’ve always enjoyed Tolstoy’s line in Anna Karenina, which I usually slaughter. It goes something like “Every happy family is the same, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Tell me about it. Italian families are subject to stereotyping, in case you haven’t noticed. I’ve been known to call on my UncleContinue reading “66th and Haverford, Skippy’s Story”

Merry Christmas, you bastards

I had previously said I was off for the holidays. And I was. But since we are facing what Michael Osterholm calls a “viral blizzard,” I think the holidays are on hold. And besides, what teacher-writer with a book to finish ever stops working. As Perry Como (channeling Armando Manzanero) wailed, “Tell a baby notContinue reading “Merry Christmas, you bastards”

When I was a Boy, I Walked Seven Miles Through The Snow

Yesterday was Thanksgiving (in the USA, for my faithful international readers, all 4 of them). It’s gotten to the point that you worry about celebrating any commemorative occasion that has to do with Native Americans. You know, since homicidal beginnings are almost inevitably built into the origins of all them, you figure it’s some kindContinue reading “When I was a Boy, I Walked Seven Miles Through The Snow”

Dare to Be Different

“Who is whistling?” Spoken with a Transylvanian accent and the imperious inflection of a person with the habit of command. I’m guessing Fall 1964. On the steps of gym in some Godforsaken place called Devon PA. Little did my 13-year old self know this would be a life-changing day for me. Damn good thing. IContinue reading “Dare to Be Different”

Finally, A Use for Mein Kampf

A Southlake Carroll schools leader recently told teachers that, should they have a book about the Holocaust in their classroom, they should also have materials that show an “opposing” perspective, NBC News reported. The news outlet — which has chronicled the deeply divisive fight in Southlake over how to teach race and racism in schoolsContinue reading “Finally, A Use for Mein Kampf”

California and Texas and Us

This is another one of those posts that is somewhat personal. It may strike you as self-serving. I guess it is. Yet given how much discussion there is in the news of the supposed exodus from California to Texas–my man Elon being the latest trekker–I find myself uniquely positioned to comment on the phenomenon. See,Continue reading “California and Texas and Us”