Not New -Just Renewed!

Me today in my home office

I’ve walked this planet for 66 years, and hope to stay around for another 34 — then, I’ll reevaluate! This from someone who wasn’t expected to reach age 30, and hoped to live down to that expectation! I didn’t trust anyone over 30 then — so I never wanted to be “one of them”. Plus, life then was pretty damn hard.

I just had a rough patch, from age 15 to 25, which was basically the entire ‘70’s. I started drinking and doing drugs in March of 1970, and smoked my last joint on March 17th, 1980. Call it my…

The Cottage, Broken Noses and Heroes

Uncle Roman, Mom and Dad, Cousins Freddie, Carol and Janey Eichenlaub, siblings Julie, Jim, Brian, Chris and Ken standing in front of The Cottage

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a deep and abiding love of the game of baseball. Some of my fondest memories revolve around this fascinating game. My earliest memory, of course, involves getting my nose broken by a baseball bat when I was but 2 ½ years old. I have vivid memories surrounding that unfortunate incident — but they are mostly good memories.

I remember being with my Mom and Aunt Laulie at the little store in Jamestown, Pennsylvania, where we bought worms for fishing, and groceries and whatever else we needed back at the cottage. I can…

Adventures and Shared Circumstances

With our Myers cousins in Mt. Jewitt, Pa. — circa 1962 or 1963. David’s hanging from the branch — I’m up in the tree.

We got the sad news a couple weeks ago that my cousin David lost his battle with cancer and passed away, down near Dallas, Texas. Of my 42 first cousins, he’s now the second (that I know of) to go. He’s the first that was younger than me. I think he was just a few months younger than me.

David’s family, like mine, had 7 kids — I think he was the 5th, while I was the 6th in mine. Both of us were the youngest boys in our respective families. He had 3 older brothers…

Rambling Through Forests of My Soul

The Monongahela River in Pittsburgh, where I grew up

Days flip by like pages in a book
Sleeping heart sighs for love that’s not around
Sculptured thoughts form, blunt edges chiseled fine
In the waking hours of morn there are no other sounds.

Through forests of my soul to the water I am drawn,
To watch the river roll neverending to the sea
And see that my own life is somewhat like this river,
Flowing towards the ocean that sets my spirit free.

(A poem I once wrote as a sailor out at sea).

As I awoke at 2 a.m. and couldn’t get…

A Late Night Ramble

An old historic house not far from here — photo by me

For a number of reasons, I was laying awake, tossing and turning, my mind drifting to many places in that half-awake, half-still-dreaming state, when I finally gave it up and picked up my IPhone and punched up my old Cowbird account. I started reading some old stories. I read a bunch I wrote during the final days of Cowbird, right before they shut it down to new content, 4 years ago this month, in March of 2017. That was back when I used to write every day. This is my first story since March 12th, only my second story this…

And Vaccine Shaming — Don’t Do It!

Fredericksburg, Va — a lovely little part of Virginia — just not quite as quick on the pick-up, when it comes to getting the damn vaccines in supply.

“And here I sit so patiently
Waiting to find out what price
You need to pay to get out of going
Through all these things twice

Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Mobile
With the Memphis Blues again?”

Bob Dylan, from “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again”

I have vaccine envy. Yes, that’s a thing. It started a couple months ago, when the facebook posts started popping up on my feed — “Got my first shot!” “Got my second shot.” “I’m in the clear, I can go out to…

I f*cked up

Our house on Berkshire Avenue, Pittsburgh

By the time I’d reached my senior year, I didn’t think I could take one more year in the all-boys catholic high school. My four older brothers had all gone to and graduated from there, but I was done after three years. I broke with family tradition and bailed. I just thought it was cruel and unusual to spend one’s prime teen years secluded from girls like that.

I’d had kind of a groovy thing going with Clare from across the street the summer after 8th grade. We’d hang out on her front porch, sitting on the porch-swing together, holding…

Certainly, not the one I expected

Virginia Beach, photo by me

I was just re-reading a piece I posted 10 days into the new decade, in what seems like another lifetime ago, January 2020. That was a good two months before Covid changed the world forever.

We were fixing to embark on our second trip of the new year/decade. I’d mentioned that it appeared to be shaping up to be a year of journeys. Well, yes and no.

That second trip was going to be to Virginia Beach. …

A Good Friend, Gone Too Soon

Harry, in front, demonstrating how to stay young. He really had it down!

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again.

James Taylor, Fire & Rain

I just learned that the guy who was probably the closest friend I ever made on the job in my 40 ½ years of government service, died of COVID last week. Harry was just a few years older than me, but he retired about 8 years ago. …

That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”. A. Lincoln, November 19, 1863

A Shot I took 4 years ago, on Seminary Ridge, Gettysburg, Pa

Four years and two months ago, I drove up to Gettysburg, Pa, to tour that famous battlefield with my friend Doug and several others. It was three days after an election that rocked our world, an election result that most deemed impossible, an election which was aided by foreign interference, a fact since proven by numerous investigations and reports.

However it came about, whatever shenanigans tainted the result in favor of the one who won (the one who shall not be named here), we all accepted the result. The loser conceded and bowed out gracefully, even though she knew it…

Hawkeye Pete Egan B.

Connecting the dots. Storytelling helps me to make sense of this world, and of my life. I love writing and reading. Writing is like breathing, for me.

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