Category Archives: Cars & Driving

Must Sell

I’m just the old night watchman, now called security guard, making sure no one steals or vandalizes the cars. I’m not against Joe. I’ve often seen him pushing his grocery cart by the lot very late, and sometimes we said hello, but he always kept going, until tonight when he stops and brings wire-cutters out […]

Also posted in Boxing, Guns, Homeless, Mixed Martial Arts, Poverty, Sales

Red Light Rumble

Food and decorations rolled into the house for my wife’s birthday party that evening, and I, a preoccupied sort, only then realized I hadn’t chipped in. “Sorry, I’ll go to the bank.” “No, tomorrow,” she said. “Right now.” “Later.” I was already opening the interior door to the garage, a little after noon, and drove […]

Also posted in George Thomas Clark, Insurance

Careful, Justin Bieber

I’m surrounded by lots of nasty newspaper and magazine articles and insulting letters and want you to understand this deluge on my doorstep is the same or worse than cyber bullying. Not many understand. I’m nineteen and make fifty million a year and fans love me and I’m doing things most my age would do. […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Bakersfield, Calabasas, Drugs, Housing, Justin Bieber, Miami, Music, Neighborhoods

Saudi Woman Driver

Last night as aroused husband attempted to mount I closed legs and said, “Give me the keys. I’ve places to go in the morning.” “I’ll take you.” “You’ll be at work.” “My brother’ll drive.” “He’ll be late if he comes at all. Give me the keys.” “You can’t drive. It’s contrary to Saudi law and […]

Also posted in Marriage, Saudi Arabia, Short Pieces - GTC

Car Talk

Jim and Evelyn were lost in new town. Damn it, stop and get directions. He turned and said, button up while I’m driving, and pickup truck on big wheels ended discussion.

Also posted in Marriage, Short Pieces - GTC

Lawn Jobs II

This story is now in the collection “Tales of Romance”

Also posted in Dating, Mental Health, Romance, Short Pieces - GTC

Lawn Jobs I

Clyde started lawn jobs several years earlier but never gave good one since car old and weak. Late on rainy Saturday night friend loaned high horsepower machine. Clyde eased onto large lawn with no trees, power braked with left foot, gunned engine with right, shifted automatic into low, and floored accelerator. Car roared and rear […]

Also posted in Michele Bachmann, Short Pieces - GTC


twelve foot tires grind trucks into open pits

Also posted in Mining, Poetry - GTC

Pico y Placa in Quito

“I can’t drive tomorrow,” said an independent taxi driver in Quito, Ecuador. “Why not?” I asked. “Pico y placa.” “What’s that?” “Traffic control.” “Traffic’s pretty bad.” “Without pico y placa, it would be much worse.” “What’s the program?” “One day a week most people can’t drive. Public taxi drivers are an exception. It’s based on […]

Also posted in Ecuador, Quito


Pushing hand between armrest and cushion of ragged sofa, I searched for unknown artifacts and pulled out faded savings pass book revealing thirty years ago had opened account with hundred dollars, inauspicious total for man in twenties. Two weeks later I needed ninety dollars. That happens when make few hundred monthly. I still rebuilt balance […]

Also posted in Economics, George Thomas Clark, Housing, Short Pieces - GTC

Late Night Howl

damn neighborhoods without streetlights make me get lost and run right over darting dogs can’t stop in dark since howls unsettling and owners might do something

Also posted in Animals, Dogs, Neighborhoods, Poetry - GTC

Freeway Flow

another gridlocked nightmare on hot 405 south in santa monica mountains needing to pee late for work ready to drive on shoulder or in emergency lane must get hell out to civilized community would’ve imploded when whitecaps whooshed me through cloudy cold canyon flowing too fast to stop

Also posted in Dreams, Los Angeles, Poetry - GTC, Sleep

Night Lights

what beautiful strange lights those are illuminating me on this hard surface think i’ll look into them

Also posted in Animals, Deer, Poetry - GTC

Road Warrior

suv dusted right door frantic to tailgate sped to catch and gore wanting a missile

Also posted in Mental Health, Poetry - GTC

Material Handler on the Road

I still wonder if my adult working career for many years progressed like a tortoise in sand because of apathy or a reflexive hatred of manual labor that began too soon, at age nine, when my mother remarried and her new husband, a drill sergeant masquerading as an electrical engineer and contractor, drafted my stepbrother […]

Also posted in Abraham Lincoln, Alcohol, Auburn, Babe Ruth, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Burbank, California, California Youth Authority, Carmel, Chico, Clint Eastwood, Coast Ranges, Construction, Drugs, Electricians, Errol Flynn, Families, Frank Lloyd Wright, Fresno, George S. Patton, George Thomas Clark, Grass Valley, Hollywood, Interstate 5, Los Angeles, Manual Labor, Marijuana, Media, Mental Health, Monterey, Newspapers, Pacific Ocean, Rocklin, Rolling Stones, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, Sierra Nevada, Stephen Stills, Stockton, Television, Unions

Death on the High School Website

Last fall, just before deadline, I bought a ticket to the forty-year reunion of my high school class in Sacramento. I wanted to see about ninety percent of the people on the party list but had hesitated, fearing that a few of the rest might say something insulting and there’d be unpleasantness so a few […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Cancer, Education, Energy, George Thomas Clark

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, 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, Travel, Vietnam

Skipping Toll on the Golden Gate Bridge

Oh, what a foolish risk it was. It really should be illegal. I don’t know why it isn’t. All rational people understand it’s dangerous to drive while listening to Jim Morrison sing “Light My Fire.” Actually, I had been thoroughly reasonable all day, easing out of my motel in San Francisco and carefully driving through […]

Also posted in Art, Bay Area, George Thomas Clark, Golden Gate Bridge, Jim Morrison, Marin County, Music, Painters, San Francisco, The Doors

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, 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, Travel, Ulysses S. Grant, Vanderbilt University, Western Kentucky University, Woody Hayes

Speeding on Interstate 5

For three days Robert chased fun in the Bay Area then realized he had nowhere to go but the home he’d been so anxious to leave.  Driving back on blistered and dreary Interstate 5, he repeatedly inserted and ejected rock and classical CDs that no longer roused but irritated and urged him to conclude seventy […]

Also posted in George Thomas Clark, Interstate 5