November 3, 2020

Todos Los Santos (All Saints)

If our parish priest, Father Rocha, 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, […]
July 18, 2020

What Does This Blog Have To Do with Writing? Nothing. But read on…

Just when we were to emerge from the specter of the “invisible enemy,” it seems to be lingering, toying with us.  We’ve been asked by the politicians once again to hold off from the gym, from church and, most importantly, the hair salon for another three weeks. On the plus side, it’s given me some time to tinker on things I […]
June 27, 2020

Not a Moment to Waste

Last week, I procrastinated in writing about “Bad Reviews” on Amazon. I had recently received my first bad review and was stung by its tenor and content. The review came across as scolding–like “why did you waste my time with this book–so full of shallow characters, too many footnotes, etc. A real writer would have explored each of these characters […]
June 18, 2020

A Tale of Two Orphans

It has been difficult this week to select a subject worthy of attention. Initially, I wanted to share the pain and trauma that comes with receiving a less than stellar review on Amazon, especially when the most positive comment was “this book was so-so,” the rest of the review precipitously headed downhill. However, because there is a political and cultural […]
June 4, 2020

Losing a Parent

When we arrived in the COVID haunted airport, my sister and her husband were already waiting for us curbside in the car. “Hurry,” exhorted my sister, “he’s going quickly.” Five months earlier, we were hugging my father outside a Courtyard Marriott hotel in Long Island. At 90 years of age, he was still the image of a man in control […]
May 12, 2020


These are strange times (no pun intended)!  This Sinatra tune keeps rattling around in my head—“riding high in April, shot down in May.[1]”  One day I’m looking at a week replete with author events—a book signing at Barnes & Noble, presentations to the Sisters in Crime writing group up the coast, to the students at a local university and Senior citizens […]