- April 25, 2018My Grandmother’s Red Ruby Ring
So about a hundred years ago, my grandmother scraped together every cent she had and bought my grandfather a beautiful ruby ring. I remember him wearing it when I was a kid. I thought it made him look like Pope John XXIII. What did I know about love and sacrifice back then?
- April 15, 2018What’s under the fresh powder near Vail.
As a stranger here, it’s a relief to know that underneath all that fresh, glistening Vail and Aspen powder, there’s still a good solid base of old Colorado out there.
- April 15, 2018High and dry in Colorado
A serious crisis is looming here in the Rockies. If not this year, then next. And, oh, by the way, according to the state demographer, Colorado expects to add another 3 million thirsty people during the next couple of decades. That’s the equivalent of a whole new Denver Metro area who’ll be looking for water. Tip O’Neill used to say that all politics is local. That’s true. But no water issue is.
- September 1, 2017A Texas Farmer on Harvey, Bad Planning and Runaway Growth
We were sitting around a cluttered table in his Bay City, Tex., office over a plate of barbecue, this old Jewish rice farmer and I, and before either of us knew it, we had chewed our way down to the shank of the afternoon talking about Texas, and the Talmud, and the weather. “I’m sure they told you that if you asked me the time, I’d tell you how to build a watch,” the old man said, chuckling. Indeed they had. And in those very words.
- May 9, 2016Feet of clay, jaw of glass
Well, that’s disappointing. Just had a rather lengthy chat with Dave Gonzales, the curator of the Hemingway House and Museum in Key West, generally recognized as an expert on Papa. I wanted to ask him whether he thought the old man would have been the… Read More
- April 29, 2016The Wrong Side of the Wall, Number 2
The electricity had been out for over an hour, and the emergency lights at the corner of the bar – powered by an ancient, sputtering, apneatic generator just outside the back door — made the whole place look even more desperate, desolate and forgotten… Read More
- April 26, 2016The Wrong Side of the Wall, Number 1
He’s fatter than I thought he’d be, and older, too. That long lock of bottle-blond hair, which no doubt in better days would have been coiled around his head like an old garden hose, dangles almost down his shoulder, another casualty of the cold wind in this goddamned place.
- March 12, 2016Seeking Truth in Ireland
You’d think that after all these years, he’d be used to seeing me trudge up the steep lane, ankle-deep in the County Mayo muck, toward that ancient abandoned shell of a cottage that until just recently passed for a calf barn. After all, I’ve made this… Read More
- December 19, 2015The Deer in My Sights
Bushkill, Pa. — IT was midmorning, and the sun was over my shoulder. A breeze rustled the dead leaves still clinging to the oaks, just enough to cover the sound as I fox-footed my way through the undergrowth. A few dozen yards ahead of me, the doe stop… Read More
- October 29, 2015Politics Start at the Water’s Edge
Once upon a time, not so long ago, Presidio, Texas, was a thriving farm and ranch town, known around the nation for its cantaloupes and its onions. They even had an onion festival every year and crowned an onion queen. Migrants used to wade across the… Read More