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Category Archives: George Thomas Clark

Feature Published about My Career

Jamie H. Vaught of KySportsStyle.com Magazine just posted a feature about my career. Here is the first paragraph and a link to the magazine: “When I contacted author George Thomas ‘Tom’ Clark about his recently-published books, I was stunned to learn that he was originally from Kentucky and partially grew up in Bowling Green. It’s […]

Also posted in Barack Obama, Basketball and Football, Echoes from Saddam Hussein, Movies, They Make Movies

THEY MAKE MOVIES is Published

The eternal writing and revising and formatting of THEY MAKE MOVIES have been completed. The marketing plans are in place. It’s time to play ball, and I’m feeling a little tense. So let’s throw out the first pitch and see what happens. Introduction This fast-moving collection blends fiction with history to illuminate the lives and […]

Also posted in Cate Blanchette, Clark Gable, Claude Rains, Clint Eastwood, Kate Winslet, Louise Brooks, Lupe Velez, Marilyn Monroe, Spike Lee, They Make Movies

The Book Cover Has Arrived

I knew 100 Covers would do a great job but was still on edge until yesterday when they sent me this image. I’m delighted, and that energy prompted me to shorten a too-long introduction to They Make Movies and make it read like this: This fast-moving collection blends fiction with history to illuminate the stimulating […]

Also posted in Alfred Hitchcock, Cate Blanchette, Errol Flynn, Hollywood, Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, Joan Crawford, Kate Winslet, Marilyn Monroe, Martha Hyer, Woody Allen

Revisions – Revisions – Revisions for “THEY MAKE MOVIES”

Authors know how difficult it is after writing a book for months or years, and doing plenty of revising as they go, and then facing the long stretch run that requires more revisions – far more than they’d imagined were still necessary. I’ve learned that doing each successive revision in a different medium helps catch […]

Also posted in Movies, They Make Movies, Writers

My Second COVID Vaccination

Yesterday I had my second COVID vaccination and, though my left shoulder is a little sore and I can’t sleep on it yet, I’m delighted to be moving into a stage that theoretically makes me much less vulnerable to the dangers of the coronavirus. It’s time to keep pumping in those injections and get at […]

Also posted in Coronavirus, YouTube

Net Galley Reviews “Paint it Blue”

I’m honored that my book Paint it Blue just received the following insightful review by Net Galley member Susan D. Net Galley is one of the world’s most prominent online reviewers of books. “This is the first time that I have read a book by George Thomas Clark and it is like nothing I have […]

Also posted in Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Paint it Blue, Painters, Vincent Van Gogh

Who Really Has Produced the Most Jobs?

Why has the U.S. economy fared so much better under Democratic presidents than Republicans? The New York Times offers data proving what many of you have periodically read over the years. During Democratic administrations far more jobs have been created than under Republican presidents. Is that a coincidence? Not when the data cover Franklin Roosevelt […]

Also posted in Donald Trump, Down Goes Trump, Economics, Employment, Franklin Roosevelt

“Down Goes Trump” Now on Sale – Read the First Story Here

Trump Interviews Romney Mitt Romney, handsome and trim, marches into Trump Tower and rides high the elevator to the office of President-elect Donald Trump. After security guards strip search the former governor of Massachusetts, a secretary tells him, “Please have a seat. The president will be with you directly.” Romney sits in a soft chair […]

Also posted in Donald Trump, Down Goes Trump, Mitt Romney

“Down Goes Trump” is Published

The four-year wait has ended. George Thomas Clark just released his superb account of the four-year administration of President Donald Trump – Down Goes Trump Introduction Down Goes Trump is a collection of satirical stories, based on news, about the entertaining but absurd and often quite dangerous events following the election of President Donald J. […]

Also posted in Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, Vladamir Putin

New Review of “Basketball and Football”

We’re Proud to Present this New Review of Basketball and Football “As a guy who coached in the NBA, I enjoyed the basketball stories very much. Clark certainly has a good feel for the game.” Jerry Reynolds Former coach of the Sacramento Kings March 20, 2020 For thirty-five years Jerry Reynolds has been a warm […]

Also posted in Basketball, Basketball and Football, Donald Rogers, Jerry Reynolds, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James

Escape from Bondage

This is the first story of In Other Hands: Revised Edition, a collection of literary nonfiction about sex trafficking, prostitution, poverty, and homelessness. I was born in Ridgecrest, out in the desert two hours from Bakersfield. There’s a lot of meth there and not much to do. My mom smoked and snorted it and was […]

Also posted in Homeless, Human Trafficking, In Other Hands: Revised Edition, Prostitution

80th Anniversary of Start of World War II – Excerpt from “Hitler Here’

World War II in Europe began 80 years ago, on September 1, 1939. This excerpt from my biographical novel “Hitler Here” deals with the first several weeks of what would become the bloodiest conflict in history. PREPARATIONS By A Polish General An alarmed and resolute Poland prepared to meet the enemy. We had defeated the […]

Also posted in Adolf Hitler, Germany, Hitler Here, Joseph Stalin, Poland, Russia, World War II

75th Anniversary of D-Day

This excerpt, commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day, is from my biographical novel Hitler Here. ATLANTIC WALL By Field Marshal Erwin Rommel The enemy was soon going to strike, probably somewhere on the Atlantic coast of France. Maybe that place would be Pas de Calais, the shortest point across the Channel from England. The Fuehrer […]

Also posted in Adolf Hitler, D-Day, Erwin Rommel, Hitler Here, World War II

Dedicated ESL Teacher Retires

(I wrote the following announcement about the retirement of my friend and former colleague Gary Christiansen and, without byline, it was published in the Bakersfield Californian on May 24, 2019.) Long ago friends and colleagues of Gary Christiansen began to wonder how he could teach a four-hour English as a Second Language class five mornings […]

Also posted in Bakersfield, Education, English

HITLER HERE – On Sale All Week

Hitler Here is a well researched and lyrically written biographical novel offering first-person stories by the Fuehrer and a variety of other characters. This intimate approach invites the reader to peer into Hitler’s mind, talk to Eva Braun, joust with Goering, Goebbels, and Himmler, debate with the generals, fight on land and at sea and […]

Also posted in Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, Holocaust, World War II

In Other Hands: Revised Edition – On Sale

IN OTHER HANDS: REVISED EDITION – eBooks on Sale – $0.99 Riveting stories about victims of human trafficking, prostitution, poverty, and homelessness. Amazon.com Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Kobo Books, and wherever books are sold

Also posted in Homeless, Human Trafficking, In Other Hands: Revised Edition, Poverty, Prostitution

Doncic Blitz Fuels Bagley Debate

Dallas trailed Houston by eight with three minutes left when Luka Doncic, who had been shooting errantly, nailed a three-pointer from the left corner and another out front and a floater in the lane and then the pièce de résistance, a step-back three to lift his team to victory. I assume most viewers of the […]

Also posted in Basketball, Basketball and Football, Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley, Sacramento Kings

Bobby Quarry in the Bookstore

I feel good this morning after putting on my burgundy workout clothes and running a few miles, like when I was a pro, and now I’m going to be interviewed by George Thomas Clark who wrote “Jerry Quarry from Boxer’s Heaven,” an article I enjoyed about my late brother, the top ranked heavyweight contender years […]

Also posted in Bobby Quarry, Books, Boxing, Death in the Ring, Dementia Pugilistica, Jerry Quarry, Joe Frazier, Methamphetamine, Mike Quarry, Muhammad Ali, Prisons, Stein Steinbeck, Stephen King, Theft

Little League Blast

Watching the muscular Red Sox crush four homers and the Dodgers in game five to win the World Series, I’m reminded that at age ten I was the youngest and skinniest boy on our Triple A baseball team and didn’t play much and when I did I always struck out. Late in the season I […]

Also posted in Baseball, Boston

Summertime Love for Sacramento Kings

I like living in Lubbock year round and rooting for my alma mater Texas Tech Red Raiders in football and basketball but recently surrendered to my fifth wife, Melanie, who’s from Sacramento and during the seven months I’ve known her has been pestering me to buy a second home here so we can watch her […]

Also posted in Basketball, Basketball and Football, De'Aaron Fox, Lebron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento, Sacramento Kings

LeBron Declares: Referees Robbed Us

Following game one of the NBA finals, it’s unfortunate fans can’t celebrate my masterful fifty-one points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to an upset over the formidable Golden State Warriors. Instead, we’re talking about obtuse referees who turned a great game into a farce. Late in the fourth quarter, I cleanly stripped the ball from […]

Also posted in Basketball, Basketball and Football, Cleveland, Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant, Lebron James, Stephen Curry

LeBron Previews NBA Finals

I’m thankful to be drowsy en route to dreamland where I can forget my body’s thirty-three-years old and tired from playing more minutes than anyone in the league and twice carrying us to playoff victories in game seven, and that almost everyone’s saying the Warriors are too good no matter what LeBron does, they’ve got […]

Also posted in Basketball, Basketball and Football, Boston Celtics, Cleveland, Dennis Rodman, Golden State Warriors, Jose Abeto Zaide, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippin, Stephen Curry

Stephen Stills Fifty Years Later

Stephen Stills became a rock star when he was twenty-two and wrote “For What It’s Worth,” a political anthem of the era and a song graced with several exceptional lines such as “Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep,” and as a prodigy and friend of many stars he probably couldn’t relate to […]

Also posted in Judy Collins, Music, Stephen Stills

Gilbert Demands Examination of LeBron

In a lather, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert calls and tells me to get online and click the link he just sent. I do so and listen as he says, “Who the hell’s that little dude standing next to Joel Embid after the game? Looks like he’s smiling up at his hero. And check out poor […]

Also posted in Basketball, Basketball and Football, Ben Simmons, Cleveland, Dan Gilbert, Joel Embid, Lebron James, Philadelphia

LeBron’s Championship Dreams

Am I dreaming? I hope so and we aren’t really getting bushwhacked by Oklahoma City and surrendering forty-three points in the first quarter to trail by nineteen. Despite shooting well we’re down sixteen at halftime and twenty after three quarters and let the gathering Thunder hit fifty-eight percent while they hang a hundred forty-eight on […]

Also posted in Basketball, Basketball and Football, Bill Russell, Dan Gilbert, Donald Sterling, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Lebron James, Magic Johnson, Stephen Curry

5-Star Review for “Basketball and Football”

I would like to thank Lance Smith, the Sports Book Guy, one of the top reviewers of sports books in the nation, for his kind words about my most recent book, “Basketball and Football.” Sports Book Guy Lance Smith January 20, 2018 “With one of the simplest titles for a sports book, ‘Basketball and Football’ […]

Also posted in Basketball, Basketball and Football, Football, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, O.J. Simpson

Therapy – A Short Story about a Basketball Player

The basketball bounced long into Jimmy Barton’s strong hands, and he dribbled straight at the player who’d shot and was now backpedaling, and as he passed half-court Jimmy planted his right foot and drove left but instantly cross-dribbled, twisting the defender onto the floor, and glided in for a lay-up. Haggin, the center, ran up […]

Also posted in Basketball and Football, Depression, Mental Health, The Bold Investor, Therapy

A Dawn

Packed in a dark city canyon we march with bayonet faces to the Great War. We march for our country and those who say we must fight. We march toward bullets, shells, and trenches. We march to A Dawn many never see. Notes: A Dawn was painted by C.R.W. Nevinson in 1914. A Dawn by […]

Also posted in C.R.W. Nevinson, Paint it Blue, Painters, World War I

Young Kings Routed

Sunday afternoon as I tried to nap I received a call from an aggrieved Sacramento Kings fan who upbraided me because the coach, Dave Joerger, had finally started the young, potential-laden five I’d been demanding for weeks, and look what happened: the Washington Wizards outmanned, outmaneuvered, and outshot the local lads to lead at halftime […]

Also posted in Basketball, Basketball and Football, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield, Dave Joerger, De'Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings, Skal Labisierre, Willie Cauley-Stein

Letters from Two Basketball Coaches

Launching a book isn’t as prolonged as writing one, but it’s a tension-filled time of making sure the cover and text are editorially and graphically sound, that plenty of electronic and physical copies are sent to readers and potential reviewers who may be interested, and that internet advertising options are chosen to disperse the new […]

Also posted in Basketball, Basketball and Football, Duke, Mike Krzyzewski, Steve Alford, UCLA

“Basketball and Football” is Published

In a rousing trip through the worlds of Basketball and Football, George Thomas Clark explores the professional basketball league in Mexico, the Herculean talents of Wilt Chamberlain, the difficulties and humor of attempting to play basketball in middle age, and observes that coaching at Caltech can be more painful than studying all night for a […]

Also posted in Basketball, Basketball and Football, Bill Walsh, Donald Rogers, Football, John Wooden, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Kristaps Porzingis, Kyrie Irving, Lebron James, O.J. Simpson, Stephen Curry, Wilt Chamberlain

Lube Job

This short story originally appeared in the collection “The Bold Investor” They were in his backyard, and she was smiling at him. He knew what she wanted. He wanted it, too. But not now. He wanted to wait. He needed to drink some more, and lifted the bottom of a cold can toward branches of […]

Also posted in Abortion, The Bold Investor

Clark Interviewed on Boxing Podcast about Teofilio Stevenson

Clark Interviewed on Podcast about Teofilio Stevenson – Click here to listen Warren Rogan interviews George Thomas Clark about great Cuban heavyweight boxer Teofilio Stevenson – a fascinating exchange.

Also posted in Boxing, Teofilio Stevenson

Spring Break in Cuba

For more reading related to the late Fidel Castro and vibrant Cuba, click here to read Spring Break in Cuba, a story written in 2010 about my 1992 trip to the forbidden island.

Also posted in Cuba, Fidel Castro

In Other Hands – The First Review Arrives

In Other Hands: Revised Edition Amazon.com – Top Customer Reviews 5.0 out of 5 stars Drugs – Homeless – Prostitutes- Human Trafficking and more By Charles Halter on September 23, 2016 I thought I knew all I wanted to know about drugs, the homeless, prostitutes, human trafficking and the poverty stricken. Well, I’ll tell you […]

Also posted in Human Trafficking, In Other Hands, Poverty, Prostitution, Sex

Tales of Romance is Published

In compressed language George Thomas Clark presents “Tales of Romance,” a compilation of short stories and creative columns about relationships between men and women. The four chapters are Dating, Swingers, Issues, and Breakups. The book is comprised of 50 new stories and 12 from the critically acclaimed collection “The Bold Investor.” There are many highlights […]

Also posted in Dating, Marriage, Sex, Tales of Romance

Moonshine Sip

The moonshine, clear and innocuous as water, is offered in rustic form, in a jar. I inquire about its potency and Mike says: two hundred proof plus. That alarms me since tequila, an unforgiving force from the hallucinogenic mescal cactus, only packs eighty proof. Intrigued by the spirit of youthful experimentation, I sip a little, […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Drugs

Netanyahu Young and Old

A generation ago young Benjamin Netanyahu, then Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, appeared on numerous American news telecasts, and I recall thinking what a bright and articulate fellow he was, and considered him reasonable in asserting Israel’s right of self defense while also at least suggesting the Palestinians had rights and legitimate aspirations in […]

Also posted in Adolf Hitler, Apartheid, Benjamin Netanyahu, Hitler Here, Holocaust, Palestine

Where did Hitler Die?

I spent twenty years researching and writing a biographical novel called Hitler Here and hoped, after some post-publication interviews, I’d never have to answer any more related questions, which tended to be either of the “Did Elvis really serenade Hitler on Mars?” or “We sure need another guy like him, don’t we?” variety. Most such […]

Also posted in Adolf Hitler, Donald Trump, Eva Braun, Hitler Here, Holocaust, Joseph Goebbels, Joseph Stalin, World War II

Crazy Return to Golf

I didn’t know whether to blame Jason Day or Davis Love so I rebuked both for casting a curse I thought would never return. Only in hindsight did I realize I should’ve blamed myself. I’d chosen not to write or go out and do something fun on a recent Sunday, and instead reclined on the […]

Also posted in Bakersfield, Golf, Marriage, Weather

Bathroom Slip

At age eighteen Bill tossed everything into his old car and moved to L.A, yearning for a life of wealth, women, and major league sports close up. He knew he was destined for distinction, he just had to figure how to proceed. He’d gotten a job sweeping concrete floors and stacking boxes in a south […]

Also posted in Falling, Health, Insects, Los Angeles

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 Cars & Driving, Insurance

Art Appraisals

To an interviewer who asked Mick Jagger if he had any art, the slender septuagenarian said, well, I just have several paintings people have given me and a few I’ve bought, but it’s definitely not what you’d call a collection, and they (the bad guys) know that so they never bother coming to my place. […]

Also posted in Adonay Duque, Andy Warhol, Art, Art Galleries, Auctions, Bakersfield, Bonhams, Jerry Hall, Lucian Freud, Mick Jagger, Painters, Pasadena, Rose Bowl, Sotheby's, The Rolling Stones

Grady Harp Reviews “Paint it Blue”

Amazon.com Hall of Fame reviewer Grady Harp recently posted this review on Amazon.com and Goodreads.com Paint it Blue by George Thomas Clark 7 of 7 people found the following review helpful 5.0 out of 5 stars Oh to be a fly on the wall…. May 6, 2015 By Grady Harp HALL OF FAME TOP 100 […]

Also posted in Art, Grady Harp, Paint it Blue, Painters

Head on Rim

I was a newspaper correspondent in the summer of 1979 and assigned to go to a dormitory across the American River from Sacramento State University and get a story about any of the athletes preparing to compete the next day in the Golden West Invitational track meet for high school all stars. A meet official […]

Also posted in A'Darius Pegues, Basketball, Cocaine, Facebook, Kansas, Modesto, Track & Field, Tyke Peacock

The Plan

what’re you gonna do retire then what write all day

Also posted in Poetry - GTC, Retirement

Almost Missed Manny and Money

I realize most sports fans and other seekers of excitement planned to watch the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight at cool places like the MGM Grand Arena or packed sports bars or at least at big private parties enlivened by booze. My intention was far more mundane: I’d view the eternally-hyped showdown with my Philippine wife […]

Also posted in Al Bernstein, Bakersfield, Boxing, Bright House, Floyd Mayweather, Jim Lampley, Jimmy Lennon, Joe Frazier, Kern River, Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao, Michael Buffer, Muhammad Ali, Philippines, Roy Jones

My Interview about Death in the Ring

“The Guy Who Reviews Sports Books,” Lance Smith, recently interviewed me online for his popular blog. We discussed my boxing book, “Death in the Ring,” and related subjects. Here’s a link to our electronic chat.

Also posted in Boxing, Death in the Ring

First Review of Paint it Blue

The first review of “Paint it Blue” has just been posted on Amazon.com, and I’m honored that painter and writer Peter Wood gave the book five stars. Here is the review: Most Helpful Customer Reviews 5 of 5 people found the following review helpful 5.0 out of 5 stars — Painters Exposed As Never Before! […]

Also posted in Art, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Paint it Blue, Painters, Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh

Gasthaus Stiefler

Entering a solid two-story building that houses Gasthaus Stiefler on the ground floor, I survey several morning drinkers before walking to a stocky mid-sixties man made sterner by a frowning gray mustache, wait for him to take another sip of wine and set the glass down, and say, “Herr Customs Official, I have most important […]

Also posted in Adolf Hitler, Genocide, Hitler Here, Holocaust, Jews, World War II

100th Anniversary – Start of World War One

These stories are from the biographical novel “Hitler Here”

Also posted in Adolf Hitler, Germany, Hitler Here, World War I

The Bold Investor – Published

INTRODUCTION TO “THE BOLD INVESTOR” In these thirty-eight luminous short stories George Thomas Clark presents a smorgasbord of mysteries, adventures, and issues. Edgar Allan Poe may have been murdered. Promising actor Martin Stevens drinks and drugs himself from Hollywood to the streets. Extraterrestrials benignly dominate the earth until they suddenly demand humans make Bakersfield the […]

Also posted in Short Stories - GTC

French Antisemitism

Husky librarian lectured members of historical society about vast news and photo archives and then discussed college background, emphasizing in grad school had researched paper about nineteenth century French anti-Semitism. As author of “Hitler Here” I approached and said, that’s obscure subject. Yes, but fascinating, he replied. I focused on Edouard Drumont, Adolf Hitler of […]

Also posted in Adolf Hitler, Dietrich Eckart, Hitler Here, Jews, Racism, Short Pieces - GTC

The Tumble

An old woman carefully descended steps of a museum amphitheater, stopped at the second row from the front, and said, “Excuse me.” I immediately rose, and she planted about half her foot on the step, a semi-high heel hanging over, spun ninety degrees and fell, her hips landing on the first step and then her […]

Also posted in Falling, Health, Los Angeles, Short Pieces - GTC

Savings

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 Cars & Driving, Economics, Housing, Short Pieces - GTC

Baby Frogs

At school the lawn banks toward a shady northern wall by a sprinkler oozing puddles where every spring male frogs mount female backs and fertilize eggs as they’re laid in water. We never notice the tadpoles that first emerge but are delighted by the sudden appearance of hundreds of baby frogs. Initially they’re fingertip-size and […]

Also posted in Education, Frogs, Reptiles

Maris Prime Rib

In mid-sixties Sacramento a restaurateur, exhibiting either grand generosity or manifest ignorance of human hunger, offered eat all you want prime rib lunch on Sundays. Two fast-growing adolescents and I, salivating after a hot afternoon of schoolyard baseball, scurried into an establishment that, a few years earlier, had presented Roger Maris the baseball he hit […]

Also posted in Adolescents, Babe Ruth, Baseball, Food, New York Yankees, Roger Maris, Sacramento, Short Pieces - GTC

Adolf Eichmann Appears at Film Festival

On the final afternoon of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, before a near capacity audience in the large theater, Adolf Eichmann – looking typically banal, bespectacled, and grim – was wheeled in a glass cage onto a stage in front of the screen after completion of “Eichmann’s End: Love, Betrayal, Death,” and he demanded: […]

Also posted in Adolf Eichmann, Adolf Hitler, Auschwitz, Europe, Heinrich Hmmler, Hitler Here, Jewish Film Festival, Jews, Poland, Reinhard Heydrich, Rudolf Hoess, San Francisco, World War II

Death of a Teacher

Immersed in my own trivial but heartfelt concerns, the principal of which was that my six-week summer vacation had, as ever, lasted at least a fortnight too long and, despite a couple of stimulating vacations, left me feeling isolated and resentful and anxious to return to the camaraderie and energy of a large adult school. […]

Also posted in Education, Health, Insurance

Impressions of Madrid

Would I ever want to live in Madrid? I didn’t know. I hadn’t been there so before going prepared vigorously, studying maps and scouring cyberspace and printing out stacks of material that bulged from three folders. In Madrid I annotated my reference material and encouraged local citizens to also do so. I jumped into dozens […]

Also posted in Immigration, Madrid, Madrid Vacation, Restaurants, Spain

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, Hotels, Madrid, Madrid Vacation, Spain, Travel

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 W. Bush, Los Angeles, Madrid, Madrid Vacation, Mexico, Michelle Williams, Movies, Pornography, Radio, Ryan Gossling, Spain, Travel

Willie Mays is Eighty

I can recall no adolescent experiences nearly as vivid and pleasurable as going to Candlestick Park, that cold and blustery point on San Francisco Bay, and watching Willie Mays play baseball. I first saw him live the last game of the 1962 season. With but three games to play, the San Francisco Giants had come […]

Also posted in Babe Ruth, Baseball, Hank Aaron, Juan Marichal, Lon Simmons, Orlando Cepeda, Russ Hodges, San Francisco, Uncategorized, Warren Spahn, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey

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, Cars & Driving, Chico, Clint Eastwood, Coast Ranges, Construction, Drugs, Electricians, Errol Flynn, Families, Frank Lloyd Wright, Fresno, George S. Patton, 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

The Eternal Jack Lalanne

On a fall late afternoon in 1975 I was watching the news when legendary master of fitness Jack Lalanne celebrated his sixty-first birthday by performing a physical feat unimaginable to most. For the ensuing thirty-five years I recalled that he’d swum handcuffed from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf while towing a thousand-pound boat. But, reviewing […]

Also posted in Bodybuilding, Exercise, Food, Jack Lalanne, San Francisco

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, Cars & Driving, Education, Energy

High on Hallucinogens

I must begin by warning you not to try hallucinogens because they’ll transport you to very strange places there’s no good reason to be but where curiosity and the devil may compel you to venture again. I remember my first trip, in the summer of 1970. I’d just graduated from high school and was already […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Drugs, Hallucinogens, LSD, Mental Health, Mexico, Mexico City, Mushrooms, Oaxaca

Letter to my Cable Company

Dear Cable Company, Please excuse me for annually asking you to send a technician to upgrade my service from a “limited-basic” menu of twenty-one channels to the still-merely-“basic” package of seventy-five, and then a few months later recalling your cable guy, always a different one, to climb the telephone pole in my back yard and […]

Also posted in Advertisements, Alaska, Basketball, Blake Griffin, Commercials, Glenn Beck, Internet, Jerry Springer, Media, Sarah Palin, Television

Shooting Baskets in Dreams

Generation after Hal moved from two small dingy rooms connected to old house in battery-stealing part of town, he thought dreams had disappeared so was saddened to see himself there shooting baskets. Old friend sat behind and watched errant shots. Damn ceiling’s too low to shoot right. Friend should’ve agreed but only stared as Hal […]

Also posted in Alcohol, Basketball, Dreams, Drugs, Housing, Mental Health, Sacramento, Short Pieces - GTC, Sleep

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, Johnny Bench, Memphis, Nashville, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pete Ranzany, Pipino Cuevas, Rivers, Sacramento, Southeast Asia, Tennessee, Texas, Travel, 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, Havana, Health, Holocaust, Iran, John F. Kennedy, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mickey Mantle, Nicaragua, Nikita Khrushchev, Raul Castro, Roger Maris, San Francisco, Travel, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Writers

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, Cars & Driving, 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, Cars & Driving, Civil War - American, Elvis Presley, Football, 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

Avoiding Rape

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

Also posted in Islam, Religion, Sex, Women's Rights

Eyewitness Account 1975: Lynette Fromme Tries to Assassinate President Ford

I witnessed the following incident on September 5, 1975, and this article  appeared four days later in the student newspaper at California State University, Sacramento.  A few revisions have been made. SACRAMENTO – Blinds were drawn over the windows on the east side of the hotel, keeping out the glare of the mid-morning sun.  Some […]

Also posted in Assassinations, Charles Manson, Crime, Cults, Gerald Ford, Lynette Fromme, Murder, Sacramento

Boat Ride

Mount Baker, shining like a big dish of vanilla ice cream in the sky, beamed instructions to two seals swimming noses just above the surface in Everett Harbor where many boats were docked. As a twenty-five foot, open-cabin craft moved out the seals followed a safe interval behind the propeller and then signaled that four […]

Also posted in Birds, Boats, Islands, Seals, Seattle, Whales

Historian Offers to Write Screenplay about Hitler Here

How pleased I recently was to receive an email with the subject “Screenplay” and addressed to “Illustrious Sir”.  The correspondent introduced himself with news he’d been reading my biographical novel Hitler Here and thought it was “great” and “what an ordeal (I) must have gone through to produce it.”  Since the book took twenty years […]

Also posted in Adolf Hitler, Hitler Here, Holocaust, Jews, Movies, Racism, World War II

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 Cars & Driving, Interstate 5

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, Highway 99, Track & Field, Travel

The Moth Strikes

Jason felt foul and too tired to get up when the radio alarmed so he slapped it and cursed the world he still had to wake early because when young he hadn’t done what later enables middle-age men to rise when they want.  On aching feet and tender ankles he stepped to the closet, retrieving […]

Also posted in Insects

Edna Wallace: 1916-2009

This is a tribute I wrote for a family anthology about my Aunt Edna Wallace, whose memorial tribute is Saturday One of my most exciting memories as a kid came when I was about 12 in the mid-1960’s and visited the Wallaces in big L.A.  I thought it was cool I had an aunt, Edna, […]

Also posted in Aging, Death, Families

Blockhead

Riding bull market Bob bought stocks appealing to addled brain and sold U.S. bonds guaranteeing 13.5 percent annually he planned to beat every month. He should’ve begun treatment. After binge phone woke him five p.m. October 19, 1987 when man said, “I heard rumor market dropped 500 points. Possible?” “No, recent weeks stocks down about […]

Also posted in Debt, Economics, Housing, Stock Market

Obama Activists Target Graffiti

The afternoon before President Barack Obama raised his right hand and strode into history, a few thousand action groups, summoned by an email Obama transmitted through his website, gathered in communities across the nation for the spiritual purpose of expressing unity and the utilitarian one of helping to rebuild a crumbling infrastructure.  In Bakersfield, California […]

Also posted in Barack Obama, Internet, Politics, Poverty

Elbow Revolt

Late last summer my left elbow all at once began aching when I dressed and undressed or opened and closed a door.  It groaned during light exercises, throbbed as I sat with bent arms poised over the computer keyboard, and wailed in the bleak hours of night.  You can no longer deny it’s a problem, […]

Also posted in Health

Crisis in the Sink

Harold wasn’t going to let them blame this crisis on shoddy housekeeping.  Granted, the aged food covered with starving ants on the floor between refrigerator and cabinet must have been his responsibility since he didn’t see anyone else throw it there and couldn’t plausibly explain who might’ve committed such an act.  That, at any rate, […]

Also posted in Insects, Short Pieces - GTC

Taxi Tips In Mexico City

In order to help you avoid being overcharged, introduced to sexy but unscrupulous companions, ensnared in business ventures by smooth talkers, or kidnapped and robbed, I have compiled a nearly foolproof list of advice about how to deal with Mexico City taxi drivers, who, during my several trips to this magnetic metropolis, have been unsuccessful […]

Also posted in Mexico, Mexico City

A World of Protests in Mexico City

“To the Museum of Modern Art, please,” I told the taxi driver. “I can’t go there.  The street’s closed.” “Paseo de la Reforma?” “That’s right.” “What’s going on?” “A big demonstration.” “What are they protesting?” “Don’t know.  I can’t keep track of all the protests.” “Please drive as close as you can, and I’ll walk […]

Also posted in Agriculture, Mexico, Mexico City

The Ant versus the Spider

Harold’s apartment was small and messy.  He hadn’t vacuumed the faded green carpet in weeks and its odor suggested dampness and rot.  Even more distressing, books new and worn, tall and short, hardcover and paperback huddled in too many bookshelves, and papers were strewn all over a large drafting board, and all that was a […]

Also posted in Insects

Rev. Al Sharpton in the Pulpit

Later on we’ll talk about Al Sharpton the bold political activist and brazen race baiter, the man who strives to build communities and the one who’s addicted to public controversy.  Right now it’s Sunday morning and none of that matters.  Reverend Al has come to Bakersfield and is somewhere in the church.  The pews are […]

Also posted in Al Sharpton, Racism

Breaking the Fast of Ramadan

Dawn till dusk Ramadan adherents forsake food, drink, sex, and destructive behavior to “cleanse bodies and souls, empathize with less fortunate, embrace self-purity and self-restraint, cut themselves off from worldly conflicts, and focus on purpose of life by constantly being aware of God.” Month of rigor ends with consumption of dates followed by feast. Afterward […]

Also posted in Islam, Religion, Women's Rights

The Most Difficult Choice

Only yesterday did I realize how harsh and mistrusting I’d been.  Only then did I understand I should have helped in December 2004 when I received an urgent email from Mrs. Rita Savimbi, wife of heroic Angolan revolutionary and guerilla leader Jonas Savimbi.  The erudite Mr. Savimbi, who lyrically spoke seven languages, dedicated forty years […]

Also posted in Internet, Spam

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, Highway 99, Sacramento, Sports, Travel

Letter to Holocaust Deniers

A few days ago I received several e-mails from a group that says it didn’t happen. To the RePorter NoteBook: Your insinuations and assertions that the Holocaust never happened are preposterous and insulting, and your general explanation of how the ruse was pulled off is pitiful: Americans in the conquered West and Russians in the occupied East lied about the […]

Also posted in Adolf Hitler, Hitler Here, Holocaust, Jews, Racism, World War II

Navigating the Amazonian Universe

“Find Hitler Here,” I said to the computer expert. “It’s right there,” he said. “Not the old, out-of-print edition with the swastika on the cover. The current edition, with Hitler’s menacing portrait on the cover, the one you designed.” The expert, who in his living room has two monitors as large as respectable television screens […]

Also posted in Amazon.com, Hitler Here, Media