« Archives in September, 2012


Read an article in the newspaper the other day about Baltimore’s City College High School, one of America’s oldest high schools, getting a new artificial turf football field. Predictably, the article referenced several current and former players recalling the trials and tribulations of playing on the old field, more accurately, the old dirt patch—a hundred yards of “rocks and dirt” where “grass never seemed to take hold,” where the line markers “just blew away with the dust,” and you were never “sure you were in the end zone” until you ran past the goal posts. »Read More


We were on Kevin Road in West Baltimore, probably 1957, Mike and I walking home after a tough day in 6th Grade at St. Bernardine’s parochial school. Mike, just six months my senior but always seeming years older and wiser, suddenly declared, “We’re democrats.” I have no recollection what preceded that statement, or why two 11-year olds would be discussing anything even remotely hinged to political dialogue in the Leave It To Beaver world of the 1950s, but I very clearly recall the conviction with which Mike spoke. Not a comment; rather, a declaration of fact; the “we” not a reference to Mike’s family but rather our entire neighborhood.

We are? I wondered. I hardly knew the difference between a democrat and a Phillips head screwdriver but, curiously, I then found myself thinking, Says who?

For the past fifty-odd years, I’ve been doing my best to avoid facile, submissive categorization—and not just politically. Yet, today’s world is so categorically splintered as to call to question how it remains whole.

We take sides and brutally demonize one another on a conceptual level. Yet, we somehow manage to care for and support one another on a personal level. We all have friends and family who hold views in total contrast to our own–views we vilify from afar and literally want to defeat. Yet, up close and personal, vilification gets a sense of humor. It’s softened by good-natured ribbing, if somewhat snarky debate.

Today’s politicians could do with a dose of that. Perhaps that’s why I hear certain commentators wistfully recall the days when Ronald Reagan was President and Tip O’Neill was Speaker of the House. Two men with sharply different views on how best to serve the nation; they could respectfully arm-wrestle all day and still hoist a beer together at its end.

We could use those guys right now.



#4. Sell it before you show it.

#5. It sure beats plumbing.

#11. Successful business relationships are as much about the relationship as the business.

#3.  Great ideas are rarely killed outright; they’re nibbled to death.

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1.   Freedom. Temptation. Gratification. Addiction. Withdrawal. Reality.

2.   Discovered truth. Confronted prejudice. Stood firm.

3.   Mad man. Two meanings. One man.

4.   But it worked for Jerry Maguire.
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“You have the pulse of a runner and the heart of a lion,” my doctor enthusiastically reported, following a recent physical. To which my wife quickly added, ”And the pain threshold of a five-year-old girl.”

What is it that makes women think they are so much tougher than men?

Sure, women are capable of squeezing seven-to-ten pounds of humanity out of their bodies on occasion, but that’s hardly an everyday occurrence.

It’s not bad enough that my wife thinks I translate every ache and pain into high drama, but she and her friends love to compare notes about what weenies their husbands can be, thus baring my idiosyncratic behavior (over-stated in my wife’s telling for maximum comedic effect) for others to comment on. And the Snarky Comment Award definitely goes to my self-described “long-lost baby sister.”
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