BRYN MAWR, Pa. Doug Dickerman was a man who, until six months ago, seemed to have it all. A good job, two high-achieving kids in college, and a wife–Meg–who tolerated his tendency to defer life’s pleasures. “He’d never completely unplug on vacation,” she says, growing wistful. “I had to make him put his cell phone on vibrate when he came to bed.”…Continue
Added by Con Chapman on August 18, 2017 at 4:52am — No Comments
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. Lyle Carroll is the starting left fielder for the Cape Girardeau River Rats, a AA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, but opponents’ scouting reports paint a pessimistic picture of his chances of reaching the big leagues. “Can’t hit curve ball,” says one in the telegraphic style favored by monosyllabic baseball lifers. “Weak arm–we can run on him,” says another.…Continue
Added by Con Chapman on August 17, 2017 at 4:30am — No Comments
The kids are getting older–they’re in high school now–and with summer jobs and college campus visits, every year it’s harder to squeeze in the special family time of aggravation and bickering we used to experience during summer vacations.
“We need to get away and just do it,” my wife said. “Someplace far, like the west coast.”…Continue
The bus came by to pick the residents up early, around seven, so they could make the half hour drive to the State Fair and get them down to the carnival before it got too hot. They would all want to go down to the midway, where the calliope music and the rides got them excited; they were all just children, Sue Ellen thought, and she wanted them to get their fill of it before the sun was too high in the sky.…Continue
ST. LOUIS, Mo. As the American Philosophical Association’s annual convention wound down after yesterday’s plenary session, professors from around the country took time off from the presentation of academic papers to focus their analytical skills on less weighty matters.…Continue
Added by Con Chapman on August 14, 2017 at 4:30am — No Comments
CORRECTION: In the Leisure and Arts story, “Fantastical Images of Dance–a Surrealist’s Work Goes on View After 50 Years,” Brett Littman said that he had seen a costume drawing of a squid atop a pile of other drawings at Dorothea Tanning’s archive. Mr. Littman did not see a costume drawing featuring a squid at her archive.
The Wall Street Journal…Continue
HOLLYWOOD, Florida. It’s lunch time at the Ugly Crab Bar across the street from the newest jai-alia fronton in the state, and the regulars are casting their votes as to which channel to watch on the single big-screen TV overhead.
“I’m sick of the liberals on ESPN,” barks Duane “Mudflap” McClary, a sheet-rock installer.
“You guys want to watch some golf?” asks bartender Mike Segalio, the son-in-law of the establishment’s owner, who is subbing while his father-in-law keeps a…Continue
The British government is recruiting teenage apprentice spies in a bid to deepen the talent pool of its intelligence services.
We were the first class of Junior Intelligence Officers in the history of MI6, and I dare say it would be a long time before we were surpassed. There was Patrick O’Connor-ffrench—the superfluous “f” was quite a hit with the girls; Basil “Biffy” Dunderdale, who struggled constantly with the…Continue
It came on all of a sudden, like a summer thunderstorm. We had been talking at dinner about friends and family, and family of friends, who had passed on recently, and my wife became teary-eyed.
“You just never know when you’re going to lose someone,” she said as her face clouded over with foreboding. “If you died . . .”
“You mean when I die . . .”
“I was going to say, if you died soon . . . I wouldn’t know what to put in your obituary. You’ve done so many . .…Continue
In uncertain economic times such as these, experts say job-hunters must be nimble and quick to leap at employment opportunities that may disappear in the blink of an eye. Sort of like Jack, the guy who jumped over the candle stick. Just try and find a high-paying job with health insurance jumping over candlesticks these days–they’ve all been outsourced to India, where candles are still plentiful.
If you’re not paying attention, a job opening can slam shut before you’ve read Ziggy,…Continue
For most of the 20th century, the poetry world resembled a country club.
The New York Times Book Review
It was a Sunday afternoon, and I just wanted to get out of the damn house. I decided to head over to the club, see if I could squeeze in a round before dinner. I threw the old sticks in the trunk and, as I drove into the parking lot at Pine-Woods, saw Lowell, Berryman and Roethke heading down to the starter’s hut. Lowell…Continue
Added by Con Chapman on August 6, 2017 at 7:00am — No Comments
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. First it was Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, an inexpensive lager favored by poor rustic whites and immortalized in the country song “Red Neck, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer,” then adopted by hipsters. Then it was the music of Johnny Cash, whose rural noir look and tough guy attitude caught on with a generation of urban twenty-somethings more familiar with country clubs than country music.…Continue
Added by Con Chapman on August 5, 2017 at 5:00am — No Comments
KEOKUK, Iowa. Elwood “Bud” Zaremba, pioneering knuckle-ball pitcher, died in his sleep in a nursing home here Sunday night after a brief illness.…Continue
Added by Con Chapman on August 4, 2017 at 4:26am — No Comments
Middle of the summer and my kids–Scooter, the younger, and Skipper–are starting to get bored with their usual routine. Too much “screen time”–TV, video games, computers–and their eyes have taken on the dull glaze of the Children of the Damned. It’s getting too hot to play baseball for very long, however, so they’re spending more time indoors, thanks to our family dermatologist whose diatribes against the sun have turned more children into Goths than a thousand indie bands.…
It has been several years since Norma Lyon, the pre-eminent practitioner of a uniquely American art form–butter sculpture–died, and the deep impact of her demise becomes more clear with each passing day.
“I can’t believe it’s not Jesus and the 12 Apostles!”
Lyon’s death was noted in The New York Times and on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. She had appeared on the Today…Continue
HO-HO-KUS, New Jersey. This borough of Bergen County has an identity problem according to Mayor Tony Latanzio. “Ever since I was a little kid,” he says ruefully, “we’ve been in the shadow of Paramus,” an adjacent municipality that skyrocketed to national prominence in the 1960s as a result of “Make That Spare,” a televised bowling show.
“Forget about New York,” says local Department of Public Works Supervisor Mike Dibasi. “How’d you like to have some mook from…Continue
Added by Con Chapman on August 1, 2017 at 4:40am — No Comments
GREEN RIDGE, Mo. Sam Jones has been a grain buyer in this small town for nearly four decades, but he wears an expression of concern as he watches farmers arrive at the local grain elevator to sell their crops. “If I had the money right now, which I don’t,” he says with a knowing look, “I’d be buying up all the croutons I could find.”
Ripe croutons, ready for harvest
Croutons–sauteed or rebaked bread that is seasoned, cut into cubes and added to…Continue
Added by Con Chapman on July 31, 2017 at 4:24am — No Comments
EASTHAMPTON, N.Y. Mornings are chilly in this upscale town on Long Island even during the summer, but by eleven a.m. temperatures are positively torrid. “I can hardly wait for five o’clock,” says Clifton Felton-Day, chairman of the annual Summer Fling for the Cure for Long Island Lockjaw here. “I so look forward to my gin and tonic.”…Continue
Added by Con Chapman on July 30, 2017 at 1:53pm — No Comments
QUESADILLA, Texas. Vikki Flores is an 80 year-old chanteuse who has sung for five vice presidents, but she hasn’t had a top-selling record in over two decades. She hopes to end that losing streak with her new CD “That Crazy, Wacky Thing We Call the Internet,” an attempt to re-position herself for a youthful audience “hip” to technological innovation.
Vikki, in her salad days.
“I was in my urologist’s office and I read an article that said the…Continue
Added by Con Chapman on July 29, 2017 at 7:39am — No Comments
NEEDHAM, Mass. It’s only ten o’clock in the morning, but Mort Klark is sitting down at an outpatient clinic here to eat a heavy meal that looks like a picture from a TV dinner box; Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, and apple crisp for dessert. “I don’t usually fill up early in the day like this,” he says, “but it’s for a good cause.”Continue