John McGraw, Baseball, and Lynching Souvenirs

1912 image of John McGraw by Charles Conlon/Wikimedia Commons

Major League Spring Training is going on now, and though the pandemic has made the thought of going to a ballpark all but unthinkable before I’m properly vaccinated (and even after, maybe), a lifelong love of the game has sent me back to Ken Burns’s 1994 PBS series Baseball. It’s been a long time since … Continue reading John McGraw, Baseball, and Lynching Souvenirs

What Happened When I Binged China Beach

My girlfriend Angie and I have binged a lot of television series over the past pandemic year—comedies, dramas, and reality. We’ve bounced from Netflix to Hulu to Amazon Prime to Pluto to Tubi to BritBox to CBS All Access to Disney+, with mixed results. We were between series discussing something I don’t recall when I … Continue reading What Happened When I Binged China Beach

The Bitter Defeat of Donald Trump

Like so many other men and women who had been at war physically and emotionally, exhaustion, rather than exultation, was my first reaction to victory in Europe. -General Dwight D. Eisenhower I first starting thinking about this quote, which is from Ike's memoir Crusade in Europe, around the time it became clear Joe Biden had … Continue reading The Bitter Defeat of Donald Trump

Book Review: ‘Flight 7 is Missing: The Search for my Father’s Killer’

In early May, the book Flight 7 is Missing, by Ken H. Fortenberry (Fayetteville Mafia Press) came out. It’s surprising that is the first definitive account of one of the worst unsolved aviation accidents in U.S. history—the loss of the Pan Am airliner Romance of the Skies, which was flying from San Francisco to Honolulu … Continue reading Book Review: ‘Flight 7 is Missing: The Search for my Father’s Killer’

‘He Didn’t Go Away’–10 OC Women Describe Their Stalking Experiences

[NOTE: This story was first posted on OCWeekly.com on Nov. 27, 2019. It was one of the last stories to go up before the paper shut down after nearly a quarter century. Since then, former owner Duncan McIntosh Inc. has scrubbed the website of all online-only stories, which included this one. While the story is … Continue reading ‘He Didn’t Go Away’–10 OC Women Describe Their Stalking Experiences

People-Watching on the Disneyland Railroad

My girlfriend Angie and I recently purchased annual passes to Disneyland, so these last few weeks we’ve probably spent more time in the park than in all my previous visits combined. Each time we go I’m amazed at how many people there are–crowds and crowds of people spilling over every walkway and through every threshold. … Continue reading People-Watching on the Disneyland Railroad

My story’s done, but the ‘Romance of the Skies’ is still giving up a few secrets

It's been a few weeks since MauiTime published what's probably the most surreal story I've ever written. Written to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the mysterious, still officially unsolved crash of Pan Am Flight 7, it also revealed unexpected connections between me and the aircraft's then-26-year-old Flight Engineer, Albert Pinataro (my first cousin once removed). … Continue reading My story’s done, but the ‘Romance of the Skies’ is still giving up a few secrets

Remembering the only time I ever partied with Hugh Hefner

It didn't surprise to me to see that Playboy announced that Hugh Hefner, its founder, longtime publisher and self-appointed icon of modern maleness, died of "natural causes" at the age of 91 (click here for his obituary in the Los Angeles Times). The phrase brought back bitter memories from 15 years ago, when I criticized … Continue reading Remembering the only time I ever partied with Hugh Hefner

Here’s what happened when I decided to write one of those custom adult videos

So last month I wrote a short film. Okay, a short custom video. It's a comedy about, well, custom videos. Let me back up. Recently I listened to journalist Jon Ronson's excellent podcast The Butterfly Effect, which explores the ramifications of websites like Pornhub inundating the internet with free (i.e. stolen) porn films. The podcast … Continue reading Here’s what happened when I decided to write one of those custom adult videos