People ask: why do you go by the name Scooter? I mean, you’re an old man, not a dog or Barbie’s younger sister’s friend!

Photo of my baby self most likely by (Uncle) Jerry Martin.

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An Education

I wrote this essay to express the depth of gratitude I feel for my alma mater creating a course of study for something so new that there was no degree plan, and the decade or so I lived and learned in Little D. 

“A woman I had never met knocked on my front door. She gave me the name of a young bass player and asked if I knew where he was. I did. He happened to be taking a nap in my spare bedroom.

That moment would prove to be the fateful coincidence completing the long arc of my tertiary education.”

Image courtesy University of North Texas.

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Beginnings: An Impression of a Julie Beth Wileman Painting

This essay/memoir is about the memories my sister’s painting evoked. To see “Beginnings” and more of her work, visit

Many of the works are for sale, and she takes commissions.

“One of my comrades says something about how times like this make our efforts and separation from loved ones worth it. Transfixed, I can only nod in agreement.”

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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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