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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Troll arrested after grocery store rumble leaves goading goofball grievously gored

At the aisle five checkstand, I placed two cans of Foster’s beer on the belt and stood there daydreaming as the guy ahead, a combo Munchkin-troll, completed his transaction. “Izzatgudbr?” he said to me. “What was that?” “Izzatgudbr?” I still hadn’t understood, so he extended his left hand and hoisted one of the blue, gold, … More Troll arrested after grocery store rumble leaves goading goofball grievously gored

A friend’s challenge to a creative writing exercise causes me to face my fears

I have an amazing new friend who this afternoon challenged me to a creative writing face-off. We would give each other a topic, and simultaneously in a ten-minute window of time write to the topic. The one I received from her was a bit unnerving, really: “Write a sweet piece about a little pony, for the … More A friend’s challenge to a creative writing exercise causes me to face my fears

Up with the Moonbeam

Seeing the movie “Up” yesterday with my wife reminded me that I not only had a story about the Navy’s airship “Shenandoah” to put up on my blog, but also this frontispiece illustration. The “Moonbeam” was the catalyst of Hugh McAlister’s 1930 novel “The Flight of the Silver Ship: Around the World Aboard a Giant Dirigible.” I read this as a kid and still have a copy and have even reread the story, although I can’t offhand remember the plot. … More Up with the Moonbeam

Things Beyond Control

The last time I ever stayed overnight with my grandmother, Margaret Irene McDunn Tillotson, I made away with three artifacts. Handling the exhibits of the Great Tillotson Museum had generally been forbidden, and outright appropriation was unthinkable. But when I was 18, I had managed to elude the curators and smuggle out the tenor guitar from Aunt La Rose’s closet. … More Things Beyond Control

Red Leather Dates

The Nebraska Cornhuskers used to win the Big Eight football title and get to the Orange Bowl pretty regularly. The Cornhuskers first appeared in the Miami classic in 1955, the year of my birth, losing to fourteenth-rated Duke, 34-7. Returning twice in the 1960s, they had a win over Auburn and a loss to Alabama. Then, in the 28-year period that started in 1971, the road between Nebraska and Florida was traveled 14 times. … More Red Leather Dates