Memories

The Road Home

September 21, 2008

Dawn has passed without sleep, and I’m headed back to Portland, crammed into a jetliner thigh-to-thigh with strangers. But I’m elsewhere, drifting through another world, a planet of the previous three days and nights in Central Florida. With me in this world are dearest friends, friends I’d lost for an unspeakable number of years. The […]

{ 3 comments }

Read the rest...

Future past of now

September 17, 2008

A name, “Huff,” is sewn on his backpack. The backpack is made of camouflage cloth. So is his Army uniform. I’m standing behind the young man. We’re stuck in an airline aisle, inching toward our seats. “Headed to I-raq,” he says when another passenger asks. The soldier’s tone is flat, inflection free, practiced.

{ 0 comments }

Read the rest...

Decades Later, an Answer

September 6, 2008

It took more than a half-century, but I finally learned why we ended up living on a lake in Central Florida during my childhood. Not one house but three as we moved clockwise around Lake Sybelia in Maitland from the late 1950s to 1970.

{ 0 comments }

Read the rest...

High water, deep memories

September 2, 2008

Flying into Orlando last week, I see a familiar sight: Central Florida’s abundant lakes stretching to the horizon. But something is different. No sandy beaches. The lakes are brimming over from Tropical Storm Fay’s deluges. Later I feel the land between the lakes squish beneath my feet. The newspaper where I worked is filled with […]

{ 0 comments }

Read the rest...

Juncture in the past

August 23, 2008

Four weeks from tonight, I’ll attend my forty-year high-school reunion in Winter Park, Florida. We were invited to write about a memory. I chose not the end-of-school campout of about twenty-five guys. It only lasted a few hours because a Seminole County sheriff’s deputy busted us just as the drunken revelry was cranking up. A […]

{ 2 comments }

Read the rest...

Night of the dolphin

August 22, 2008

Many years ago I worked at Florida Today, the daily newspaper in Brevard County. That’s the county Tropical Storm Fay drowned this week in twenty-five inches of rain. For a while I worked a late-night shift. During a periodic commitment to not hit the bars with the gang after work, I’d run along the Indian […]

{ 0 comments }

Read the rest...

Dogs back in the picture

August 3, 2008

Two dogs and water. Enough to bring to mind my dogs, not in a Portland fountain but following me forever ago as I race off a boathouse roof. A kid leaping toward a Florida lake below, the dogs airborne too.

{ 0 comments }

Read the rest...

Holed up in memory

August 2, 2008

Big news about the definitive confirmation of water’s presence on Mars dispatches my mind not to the Red Planet but back in time. Back to a dark hole at the edge of a Florida orange grove. When we were kids growing up in Maitland, my two brothers and I dug down five feet through the […]

{ 0 comments }

Read the rest...

Fish feast of memory

July 30, 2008

The media feeding frenzy over tiny carp performing pedicures strikes me as gluttonous as the fish themselves. Then again the story’s a talker, an offbeat news morsel. (How many bad food puns can I stuff in these sentences?) At the gym today, I couldn’t escape the story. It beamed from two TV screens. But I […]

{ 0 comments }

Read the rest...

Pirate of memories

July 14, 2008

I’m stealing a memory. It belongs to my youngest brother. The memory is about Gertrude, a row boat that Bill found submerged in our lake in Florida when we were kids. He and a friend somehow hauled her to shore, patched a hole in the bottom, and retrofitted her into a floating fort.

{ 4 comments }

Read the rest...

Faded away

July 8, 2008

How will Atticus, my son of nearly three, see his past at my age, more than a half-century hence? At his fingertips he’ll have countless digital photographs and videos chronicling his life. Hundreds are already burned onto hard drives and into his brain: the boy loves to sit on my lap and watch them. The […]

{ 0 comments }

Read the rest...

Old Florida returns

July 6, 2008

Unless you lived in the state before it was overrun with people, the term Old Florida means nothing. But when I grew up there with my two brothers, it meant uncrowded beaches and orange groves everywhere. But even Old Florida had its tourist attractions, such as Silver Springs. One day, long ago, my mother took […]

{ 0 comments }

Read the rest...

Poodle hip, not standard

June 30, 2008

Portland is dog crazy. Walk a dog through neighborhoods like mine (Irvington) and you’ll get more oohs and ahs from passersby than if pushing a cute baby in a stroller. The city reportedly has the country’s highest per capita of canines. Like many of their owners, some Portland dogs display individuality via bodily adornments. Take […]

{ 0 comments }

Read the rest...