Stand To Your Glasses

We just passed Vietnam Veterans Day last week (March 29, 2022), placed perversely on the anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. That we are in the midst of another terrible war, this time in Ukraine, wraps my heart in melancholy. Tonight, I take a drink to honor fallen friends and to mourn all the combatants and non-combatants caught up in the latest maelstrom.

Then, in a movie on Turner Classic Movies, I hear the song sometimes called “Stand To Your Glasses.”

The photo, by an unknown squadron mate with my camera, is of three VRC-50 “Foo Dogs” drinking, 1969: from top to bottom, Airmen Beeman, Gleason and Smith. We always had reason, I guess. See Come the Revolution and Solemn Mysteries.

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An Education in Feral Swine

My wife, Amy, and I decided to convert some heavily wooded and creek-cut acreage into an ecological haven of renewed tallgrass prairie and protected species habitat. Serious about our goals, we took classes from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. We learned about Blackland prairie botany and biology, erosion control, and best practices for farm and woodland management. And feral pigs. Drawing at left from a 1921 Collier’s via Wikicommons, artist unknown.

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The Power of Hug

I wrote this essay/memoir in mid-2019 as a reaction to the shaming and derision Joe Biden was receiving for caring enough about people to love them; to hug them. The photo of my father was taken by an unnamed friend of his in Sasebo, Japan, 1945.

“My father chose to be a hugger, but behavioral norms change. Today, our culture is flirting with the idea that people who hug others, regardless of intent, should suffer societal censure. While there are justifications for this, I sense a net loss for humanity.”

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Path of the Painter

I’ve been writing a lot of memoirs. They seem to require an economy of writing that doesn’t interfere with the story. As a mild rebellion, I wanted to let loose with description. The result is this short fiction about the contradictory soup of friendship, love, and the imperative of ambition among and within those who must create art. Frankly, there’s more to come, but it’s still a fun read. Image from photo by Katarzyna Gonsior on

“Astrid seemed too pretty, too gentle, too in touch with her feelings to be the paramour of the Painter. I knew that part of me and saw this immediately. But oh, how I was smitten by this precious gift. I promised the Painter that I would not become lost in a trackless wilderness. This time.”

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Satin Jacket

This is an anecdotal memoir about the sex lives of techies in the film and video business in the 1980s. Well, kinda. My photo at left is of the logo on the back of my satin jacket.

“I was short, losing my hair, and sported a large Seventies mustache. But with this jacket, suddenly I was a thing.”

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