Good-bye to Walt Ahrens, my father, one-time racing star and Ford guy to the end

On the first green flag lap of the session, Walt barreled too hot into Turn One, looped around high in the groove, and nearly caused a big collision. … More Good-bye to Walt Ahrens, my father, one-time racing star and Ford guy to the end

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Seoul is a city of spotless cleanliness, nondescript residential towers, and well-dressed people

A few days in South Korea leave me with some observations. This was my first trip to eastern Asia, so everything was new. I stayed at the Signiel Hotel, which occupies upper floors in the 123-story Lotte World Tower–one of the world’s five tallest buildings. What a view of Seoul town! Way down below, the … More Seoul is a city of spotless cleanliness, nondescript residential towers, and well-dressed people

Getting to the point of buying a car with carbs and hearing that clickety fuel pump

A friend whose collection nears 10 cars has just bought his first with carburetors. It’s a 1971 MGB converted to Webers. The other cars have fuel-injected engines. This MGB was a deal-sweetener in the exchange of two midengine boondoggles, one from Italy for one from England. He reports a pleasant surprise: “Really a nice driver. … More Getting to the point of buying a car with carbs and hearing that clickety fuel pump

Bored with your self-pity but amused by Patrick, United’s charismatic flight attendant

Please, don’t bore me with your self-pity. I saw a journalist colleague in the hotel hallway. “Hi, how are you?” She told about working just as hard as ever for one-third the money. And a seven-hour flight, sitting near the restrooms and getting no sleep. A connecting flight was delayed.  All frowns. “We’ll have to catch up … More Bored with your self-pity but amused by Patrick, United’s charismatic flight attendant

‘Eyewitness Views’ makes us part of the 18th century’s ceremonies and calamaties

The conclave to choose a successor to Pope Benedict XIII started in March of 1730 and was still under way in mid-May when a series of earthquakes shook Italy. God seemed displeased at the contentiousness and corruption, as Spain’s King Philip V, France’s Louis XV and Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI all pushed their own … More ‘Eyewitness Views’ makes us part of the 18th century’s ceremonies and calamaties

Inside Sinatra’s mailbox at 1145 E. Via Colusa, the Twin Palms house in Palm Springs

Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms house in Palm Springs has many visitors, but how long had it been since anyone opened the mailbox? A very long time, judging by all the envelopes and packages that had continued to be delivered over the decades. … More Inside Sinatra’s mailbox at 1145 E. Via Colusa, the Twin Palms house in Palm Springs