A Note Is Worth a Thousand Words

A reflection for Mothers Day. Friday morning I made French toast before catching a train to work. The loaf wasn’t finished, but it was time to make more bread. I remember as a kid coming downstairs in the morning to find notes on the kitchen table. These were friendly greetings, chatty in mood but pithy … Continue reading A Note Is Worth a Thousand Words

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The Impact of Public Diplomacy

Reflecting on U.S. Diplomacy. An excerpt: The next-to-last time I saw Mohamed---11:15 a.m., December 6, 2004---a blast-resistant window separated us. The day’s final applicant, he was alone in the waiting room when the high-low alarm started wailing. An Afghan male taking refuge in Saudi Arabia from the time of the Soviet invasion of his country, … Continue reading The Impact of Public Diplomacy

All Steeple, No Church

Does this structure look like a steeple with no church? My son thought so. Driving to the Nation's capital on a beautiful spring morning, I pointed it out from the distant heights across the Potomac on the George Washington Parkway. This white symbol of the Republic can be seen for miles. The seven-year-old meant little … Continue reading All Steeple, No Church

Take Your Child to Work Day

My favorite work day of the year. The cafeteria never seems so alive. The visitor hall buzzes with energy. At State our children take the same oath of service---to uphold the constitution---that we took when we came on board. “I stachername, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United … Continue reading Take Your Child to Work Day

Turns Ten. Turns Us In.

The kid set us up, big time. He gets a bat and balls and batting glove, bowling and pizza and chocolate cake, and this is how he repays us? All week long we put little signs around the house noting his tenth birthday. Ten of them to be exact. Or, make that 12 or 13, … Continue reading Turns Ten. Turns Us In.

Levity with Brevity

My copy of Flash Nonfiction Funny cometh! I hope the wait's as brief as the material---rib-tickling bites of 750 words or less compiled by editors Tom Hazuka and Dinty W. Moore (yes). As the book makes its way to my doorstep, I'm looking at the anthology's 71 contributors (including myself) and the first name to … Continue reading Levity with Brevity

Opening Day

MLB opens today. With the game on my mind, I revisit how a small deformity of mine became an asset in fiction for the narrator---an all star pitcher---of my first published story. My thumb, badly slashed on New Years Eve by the broken neck of a champagne bottle, never healed properly. After surgery to reconnect … Continue reading Opening Day

How We Write

Writing is physical. Writing is athletic. Writing requires the same discipline of a dedicated athlete in pursuit of peak performance. I note this, not to be repetitive, but as a corollary to my series on Little League and the trajectory of sports in life for me. These things are one and the same: the first … Continue reading How We Write

Little League VI: The Wrap

Now spring has brought us out to baseball again. I’m coaching my sons. The last four years, I’ve coached my sons at baseball. Baseball always meant a lot to me, though I was neither the fastest nor the strongest nor the most reliable at the bat. Still, I know enough about the game, and enough … Continue reading Little League VI: The Wrap

Little League V: Ironman

Team sports weren’t for me. I didn’t compete again for a decade. Inspired by my brother, I picked up triathlon. I biked to work through the winter months in New York, swam at Brooklyn College after teaching, ran with the Roadrunners led by an aging postal worker. I competed in my first event in Tampa/St. … Continue reading Little League V: Ironman