April 25, 2021

The Camino: A Personal Journey

It’s been a few short weeks since we returned to California. The hummingbirds are still where we left them–at their feeders. The red-tailed hawks are soaring above the hill behind our house, doing what hawks do best. Everything is as we left it. Yet something was amiss—we had just returned from an epic journey, a sacred pilgrimage, but I could […]
February 11, 2021
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Land of Sand

It’s been over a month since I forwarded my law enforcement memoir “FEDS: From Silence of the Lambs to the Castro Brothers” to the FBI’s Pre-Publications Unit for review. Mind you, I don’t expect to have it back any time soon. The reviewer told me the manuscript would be forwarded to the Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General, another […]
January 30, 2021
Sophia Scholl


When the author joined the Siemens Corporation in 2010, he was assigned temporarily to Munich, Germany where he learned from a German colleague about the little known resistance to Hitler and the Nazis. Cold and dreary, a slate sky hung over the city.  Snow lay in patches on the ground. Europe’s continental winter refused to loosen its icy grip on on […]
January 10, 2021

The Greatest Gift

My mother was a gentle soul. Overly protected by Irish-American parents, she was taught to be polite, demure and avoid Norwegian (American) boys in their Brooklyn neighborhood at all costs. This was indeed amusing because whenever I asked why, she would respond that these boys were ‘given to drink.’ “But Mom, isn’t that the reputation we Irish have?” Mom’s silence […]
December 3, 2020
FEDS: From Silence of the Lambs to the Castro Brothers

I’m in the ‘Big Leagues’ now…well…kind of…sort of…maybe not.

If somebody had told me how difficult it would be to find a literary agent, let alone one who might exude some interest in my non-fiction book, I would never have gone down this road. But, too late, here I am with a book proposal that is one edit short of submission. Best not to overly complain. I got myself […]
November 3, 2020

Todos Los Santos (All Saints)

If Father Rocha, our parish priest, can do anything well–it’s deliver a memorable Sunday homily. Say what you may about the corpulent cleric–he may not be the most cuddly clergyman in the rectory, but when he talks, the congregation listens. It being All Saint’s Day, Father Rocha waxed melancholy about his childhood talking about how the Sisters of the Immaculate […]
October 17, 2020

African Reflections (Mali)

The Mali assignment finished, I headed off to the Bamako airport with Pierre, the good-natured driver who, upon learning I had spent the morning with the Salesians of Don Bosco, whispered that he, too, was a Catholic.  Pierre had been my driver for three evenings quietly sharing his collection of African hip hop music.  One song in particular, Time is Now, a duet by […]
October 5, 2020

Death on the Mountain

The third time had been a charm.  I found myself precariously balancing atop Mexico’s fourth largest mountain–Nevado de Toluca—reaching out gingerly for a congratulatory shake of our guide’s hand.    I could not help but betray my feelings to Salvador and the other climbers as their happiness for my achievement seemed to eclipse their own.  Drained from the effort to summit, diminished by the […]
September 6, 2020

A Small World (Un pequeño mundo)

In writing “Madrid Nights” a few weeks ago, I never thought the past would catch up with me. It did so, recently, as a pleasant surprise. You might recall the story described an American abroad (me) running with a pack of Spaniards (including the Tejeiro brothers, José Manuel and Ramón) back in the days when Spain had “Serenos”–a centuries old […]
August 15, 2020

My ‘Rosebud’ Moment

Pity the poor person who wakes in the pre-dawn hours and decides to follow so many loose and disjointed thoughts into the rabbit warren of the past. Which is where I found myself amidst the shadows and the aurora. Perhaps it was triggered by the loss of Janet, our faithful friend and neighbor from church who, my wife reminded me, […]