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Category Archives: Travel

Panama City Squeeze

At the international airport in Panama City scores of designer stores form glittering hallways to tiny bathrooms where long lines point to few urinals and but two stalls each hosting a toilet sans seat. I tried several such places before asking an employee, “Don’t you have any larger bathrooms and with seats?” The man was […]

Also posted in Airports, Panama, Panama City, Planes, Short Pieces - GTC

Valley of Cumbaya

This story appears in the collection “In Other Hands”

Also posted in Crime, Ecuador, George Thomas Clark, Quito

Winton, Not Winston, in Quito

A travel newsletter I subscribed to occasionally offered stories by a guy named Winton Churchill. Oh, a wise guy, I concluded. Despite groaning about his humor, and perhaps his stability, I did conclude Churchill knew plenty about computers. He’d worked for Apple, knew Steve Jobs, toiled for other Silicon Valley concerns, some of which flamed […]

Also posted in Computers, Ecuador, Immigration, Quito, Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill, World War II

Bag in Stall

In a crowded holiday airport he long waited for a stall and was thanking god when, fast as he blinked, a hand reached under the door and yanked his bag.

Also posted in Airports, Crime, Short Pieces - GTC, Theft

Drink Vacation

had too much last night or wouldn’t have left underwear stacked in motel rushing to early mexico city flight * * * proud had attracted beautiful senorita in loud bar but regretted smile disappeared shortly before she did

Also posted in Alcohol, Mental Health, Mexico, Mexico City, Poetry - GTC

Dining at the Hotel Ritz in Madrid

The double-deck tour bus with top open had just completed its modern Madrid route north of downtown on shady Paseo del Prado into the chic Salamanca neighborhood where renowned Real Madrid plays soccer in a massive stadium and the most exclusive shops are found, and then back down Calle Serrano past several elegant foreign embassies […]

Also posted in Food, George Thomas Clark, Hotels, Madrid, Madrid Vacation, Spain

Getting to Madrid

My journey to Madrid began on a Sunday morning as I drove from blistering Bakersfield down Highway 99 toward Los Angeles and punched sports talk radio but heard an ESPN guy strain to be funny and cool but sounding lame: most jockeys lack comedic skills and can’t sustain the purported subject matter of their shows. […]

Also posted in Bakersfield, Barack Obama, Dennis Miller, George Thomas Clark, George W. Bush, Los Angeles, Madrid, Madrid Vacation, Mexico, Michelle Williams, Movies, Pornography, Radio, Ryan Gossling, Spain

From Tennessee to California

In the summer of 1978 I lived in a small old room at the rear of a dreary house in north Sacramento, one of the worst parts of the Golden State’s capital city. Fortunately, I didn’t know I’d have to stay there several more years until a modest inheritance temporarily rescued me, and was delighted […]

Also posted in Albuquerque, Amarillo, Arizona, Arkansas, Asia, Bakersfield, Barry Switzer, Baseball, Basketball, Buck Owens, Cars & Driving, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dogs, Doug Atkins, Elvis Presley, Football, George Thomas Clark, Johnny Bench, Memphis, Nashville, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pete Ranzany, Pipino Cuevas, Rivers, Sacramento, Southeast Asia, Tennessee, Texas, Vietnam

Spring Break in Cuba

In the twilight of their lives the once-intransigent Castro brothers, Fidel and Raul, have begun behaving in at least moderately encouraging ways. Fidel recently summoned writer Jeffery Goldberg of The Atlantic magazine and told him President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran was outrageous for demanding the destruction of Israel and a nincompoop for continuing to insist […]

Also posted in Angola, Baseball, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Ernest Hemingway, Ethiopia, Fidel Castro, George Thomas Clark, Havana, Health, Holocaust, Iran, John F. Kennedy, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mickey Mantle, Nicaragua, Nikita Khrushchev, Raul Castro, Roger Maris, San Francisco, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Writers

Cruising in My First Car

I wish I’d been more on the ball and returned to somehow punish the scoundrel who sold me my first car. The deed occurred on an ominous weeknight when my stepfather drove me east of Sacramento to a fine suburban home where a slender dorky old man at least forty-five opened the door and said, […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Babe Ruth, Baseball, Basketball, Cars & Driving, Civil War - American, Elvis Presley, Football, George Thomas Clark, Grambling University, Grapevine, Highway 99, Jim Cleamons, Kentucky, Lebron James, Los Angeles, Louisiana, Luke Witte, Mississippi, New York City, Niagara Falls, Notre Dame, Ohio, Ohio State University, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Racism, Roberto Clemente, Sacramento, Siege of Vicksburg, Tennessee, Texas, Ulysses S. Grant, Vanderbilt University, Western Kentucky University, Woody Hayes

Memo to David Stern

This story is in the collection “Basketball and Football”

Also posted in Basketball, David Stern, Demarcus Cousins, John Wall, Las Vegas, Los Angeles Lakers, Nevada, Sacramento Kings, Tyreke Evans

Basketball and More in Las Vegas

This story is in the collection “Basketball and Football”

Also posted in Art Galleries, Basketball, Blake Griffin, Brock Lesnar, Eric Gordon, Fedor Emilianenko, Gambling, George Thomas Clark, Las Vegas, Liberace, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Mixed Martial Arts, Music, Nevada, Russell Westbrook, Sacramento Kings, Tyreke Evans, Wayne Newton

Preps Speed in Beautiful Fresno

Don’t roar by Fresno on Highway 99, especially if you’ve just come up from Bakersfield.  Head east on Highway 180 through a growing city then turn north on 186 until you exit and move into leafy suburban Clovis highlighted with custom homes and spotless stores and offices.  Then follow temporary signs where to park for […]

Also posted in Fresno, George Thomas Clark, Highway 99, Track & Field

Showdown in Fresno

This story is in the collection “Basketball and Football”

Also posted in Football, Fresno, George Thomas Clark, Highway 99, PBS, Ryan Mathews

Fantasizing on Highway 99

Pretty soon you’ve got to drive from Bakersfield to Sacramento.  You are, of course, thankful you don’t have to start further south in Los Angeles and thus crawl up and down scorched and barren mountains that separate the city of glamour and poverty from the rest of the state.  Your journey, instead, will take you […]

Also posted in Bakersfield, California, Fresno, George Thomas Clark, Highway 99, Sacramento, Sports