Memories

Summer stars greet the sun today — freshly opened blossoms in my Portland teardrop pond. I’ll wade in and reward my babies with fertilizer pellets. But I’ll be tempted to disappear beneath the lily pads into my past.

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Brave new bike world

June 23, 2008

A modest wish for a better world popped in my head Sunday during Portland’s six miles and six hours without cars event (photo slideshow here). I was taking a break on a bench at Arbor Lodge Park, enjoying the people streaming past, many with kids in tow, headed for food or hula-hoop lessons. But I […]

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A photograph would convey more than words, but I don’t have one of a barista at Peet’s Coffee at Northeast Broadway and 15th. You can’t miss him: the young guy with a modified mohawk, traditionally cut on top but with checkerboard-patterned sides and back. By Portland standards, the haircut barely rates a second glance. But […]

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On the radio, Garrison Keillor says writer Charles Webb turns sixty-nine today. Webb wrote The Graduate, the book on which the 1967 movie was based. News to me is Webb’s sequel, published in January. A little research shows Home School is a sequel in name only. Not worth reading, not worth risking the original story […]

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The nation’s last charismatic political figure representing Hope was gunned down forty years ago today in Los Angeles. It was one week after I graduated from high school, and I was sleeping late. My summer job hadn’t begun. My brother David burst into my bedroom and woke me with the news. At seventeen, politics interested […]

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Dare I compare atmospheres at different high schools forty years and three thousand miles apart? Such comparison seems sure to illuminate nothing surprising and elicit a chorus of yawns. It would be like examining life on planets in different solar systems populated by different life forms and declaring, “Eureka! They’re not the same!” But after […]

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Whisper in the swamp

June 3, 2008

Florida, 1973: I’m trudging through a Panhandle swamp on an August day with four other guys. Country Boy leads the way. Everyone on the land survey crew calls him this because his molasses twang sounds like gibberish half the time. Country Boy wants to kick my ass. My machete nicked his hand not far back […]

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Our small backyard goldfish pond in Northeast Portland sparkles from its annual cleanup today. The pond is compact: eight feet across at the widest point, thirty inches deep in the deepest spot, and nine hundred gallons. Just large enough that I can zoom in on a Google satellite map and spy its blurry roundness, as […]

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Looking for home

May 31, 2008

How strange to stumble upon photos of my childhood house of the 1960s on a movie web site. I was searching Google images for a picture of Lake Sybelia in Maitland, Florida. Once a quaint hamlet of citrus trees and lakes, Maitland was long ago consumed by the tourist monster that ate Orlando. During my […]

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I learned today that a high-school friend died over the weekend. I last saw Jeff Schofield nearly ten years ago at our thirty-year reunion in Florida. He was frail as a twig, victim of personal excesses that claim so many. The news naturally conjured up memories of Winter Park High, class of 1968. I remembered […]

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Never the Same Again

Post image for Never the Same Again

May 1, 2008

Two Austrian brothers marvel at the alien but wondrous world we take for granted. It was hidden from them. Until now their world was a cellar, a makeshift prison. The warden? Their father. One of the boys, 5-year-old Felix Fritzl, asks upon seeing the moon for the first time: Is that God up there? How […]

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Flickering images

April 20, 2008

Seeing the haunting movie The Diving Bell and the Butterfly two days ago was timely given the title I’d chosen for my blog. Because of the film I think and look at the world differently, and that’s as grand a recommendation as I can make.Watching with my wife, Suzame, I couldn’t help but think of my […]

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