Falling down. Getting up.

Windy City Memories


When I recently flew out of Chicago and looked down on the city, it struck me the number of ways in which I am connected to it.  My father was born there and I have childhood memories of visiting relatives and the Brookfield Zoo.  I attended The University of Chicago for a master’s degree from […]


In mid-May, my older son graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in astrophysics.  The next day, his older sister received a master in music performance and harp literature from the University of Illinois.  These two universities granted almost 25,000 degrees this spring.  With 10,000 boomers retiring everyday for the next twenty years, […]

On Cursive


There was a debate in the Tennessee Legislature this winter as to whether to mandate cursive writing in the state’s elementary schools. I’m a cursive fan but supporting such legislation could cast me as a relic, a throw-back, a proponent of horse-and-buggy thinking. Opposition, on the other hand, could result in hate mail written in […]

Brand X Baby


When I look at a picture of my brothers and me, my childhood nickname, “The Brand X Baby” comes to mind.  Lined up shoulder-to-shoulder, I’m the little, fine-boned guy.  My brothers all topped six feet, kept their slender frames, but filled out nicely.  Being The Brand X Baby had life-long consequences. I am the second oldest.  In order […]

Wrapped in Memory

photo (1) 2

It’s just a sweater. Wool, comfortable, classic.  But I never put it on without remembering how I received it as a gift almost three decades ago. The gift was highly practical and symbolic. That sweltering graduation evening in May 1987, my colleague Anne presented me with the gift from the faculty at Benton Hall. I […]