When You Meet Your Demon, Please Be Gentle

The summer of 1969 found me in McGrath, Alaska, which is only a little further from the moon than it is from Woodstock, New York. I was working for the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) as an EFF (Emergency Fire Fighter), being dropped by helicopters into the middle of active forest fires throughout the state. […]

Show Time Is No Time For Mercy

For twelve consecutive years I occupied space in an academic hothouse we’ll call Throckmorton Academy, an oasis of genteel entitlement located, improbably, in a Philadelphia neighborhood called Germantown. Germantown was very chic in the horse and carriage days, today it is known for its cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, urban decay, and crime. All Throckmorton Academy […]

Escalator Broken Use The Steps

In the damp church basements of recovery it is often observed that the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous are in the order they’re in for a good reason and one should work them sequentially. This tenet is underscored because, as a rule, alcoholics are belligerent, defiant, and rebellious in an infantile, pointless sort of way. […]

Righteous Rage In The Sky

On April 4, 1968, my father was returning home from a speaking engagement in Grand Junction, Colorado – connecting with a flight from Denver to Philadelphia. His regular flight had been cancelled and he’d been forced to hop a twin-engine puddle-jumper. A volatile storm system had parked itself over the continental divide, a two-mile high […]

It Isn’t The Caboose That Kills You

Even as a kid I had difficulty managing money. Along with my sketchy friends I’d go to the nearby abandoned coal yard and lay pennies out on the railroad tracks, collecting what remained once the trains were gone. If you’ve ever done this yourself you know that Lincoln is no longer recognizable, what’s left looks […]

Manic Depression: Jimi Hendrix

I was just 17 on March 31, 1968, the night I saw Jimi Hendrix in a tiny, converted tire warehouse in Philadelphia. Hendrix is iconic today, so I don’t need to describe the show. But back then he was absolutely new, unlike anything anybody had ever seen before. Playing with the guitar behind his head, […]

Don’t Raise The Bridge, Lower Your Expectations Of The River

You may find that recovery road is every bit as lonely as the road to ruin; but do not let this deter you. It all comes back to expectations, if you don’t expect a parade you can’t be disappointed when the boulevard is empty and there is no confetti in the air. “Why raise the […]

Texas Introduces Whites Only Death Penalty

In what has been called, “a milestone of reverse discrimination”, “social engineering at its absolute best”, and “political correctness on steroids”, the Texas Department of Corrections announced today that the death penalty will now be reserved exclusively for white inmates. Bubba “Bar-B-Q” Brewster, Warden at Armadillo Flats Supermax Security Center & Rehabilitation Facility explained, “We […]

The Great Affirmation Quiz

The Internet seems to be surfing on an endless wave of affirmations. It’s as if everyone on the web is eager to tell everyone else how to achieve happiness, which, presumably, is a lot easier than finding it for themselves. These uplifting sentiments are almost always retreads, snatched from questionable sources and presented so that […]