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A long time ago in a summer far, far away…

It’s hard to believe that it’s been thirty years since Star Wars first came out.I’ll never forget what it was like seeing Star Wars for the first time. Back in July of 1977 I was home on leave from the Air Force and had gone to Chicago for a few days where I had the […]

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Another gem from Bill Bryson

A few years ago—when I was looking for a good book to read when I was on holiday—one of my colleagues lent me his copy of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. I had often overheard some of my colleagues talking about Bryson and had even seen some of Bryson’s books on sale in […]

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Paint Crew — Eureka College, 1987

One of the best summer jobs I’ve ever had was the summer after I graduated from Eureka College in 1987 when I worked on the college paint crew with my best friend and former room mate Luke McQuade. I was headed to Western Illinois University in the fall to start graduate work and instead of […]

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When the carnival came to town

Growing up in a small town in the Midwest, summers were always a time for picnics, outdoor barbecues, riding one’s bike to the local A&W, playing whiffle ball until late in the evening and carnivals.It was usually in June or the middle of August when the carnival pulled into town. Sometimes it was some local […]

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It all started with Archie Comics

I am always flattered when someone tells me that I am a good writer. Just the other day I got an email from one of my best friends and former FLI colleagues Mike Gibb who mentioned among other things how good a writer I am (thanks Mike!) and not to give up my writing pursuits. […]

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“Thou hast it now; King, Cawdor, Glamis all…”

Of all the memories that I have of the two years I attended Eureka College (1985-1987) one of the more enduring and fondest ones was my involvement with the Theatre Department’s production of Macbeth in 1986.It was a very ambitious undertaking on the part of Kevin McQuade whose theatrical vision made the production all the […]

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On the Road with The Jerks — Part IV

For almost a year in the early 80s I was sort of a roadie and light technician for The Jerks, a rock band in the Illinois Valley.We left for Atlanta the same night (actually early in the morning) we finished our three-day engagement in Carbondale. We broke down the equipment, loaded it in the truck […]

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Some Sons of Gunz — Fall 1987

Luke McQuade, Phil Stiles, Tony Howe and Me hanging out in Gunzenhauser Hall, Eureka College, October 1987 Got an email from Luke McQuade the other day with a link to some of his family photos. It’s weird when you photos of people, especially friends whom you have not seen for many years. The last time […]

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Crossing the Isthmus of Panama with Howard and Other Stories — Part II

Hanging out at the Foxhole Bar in Panama, December 1976. From left, Lee Wilson, Howard, myself and John Grimshaw. I had been at Howard Air Force Base for just a little over a month before my friend Howard Hakkila arrived. It was great to see him again and we quickly started hanging out and having […]

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Are You A Stooge?

It was 30 years ago today when I started my Air Force basic training at Lackland Air Force Base. Anyone who has ever served in the military at one time or another is bound to have at least one or two interesting stories about basic training—whether something that might have happened to themselves or somebody […]

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