Historical / Personal Musings

  • Some Impressions of Japan
      A short trip to a foreign county is hardly enough exposure to develop a well-informed understanding of the culture.  But impressions require no such universe of knowledge.  Here’s what I found remarkable during our family’s 12-day trip through the land of the rising sun.  My reflections on Japan are based on a limited sample […]
  • Ten Album Turning Points – Desert Island Discs
    In Tom Stoppard’s play, “The Real Thing,” the lead character, Henry can’t figure out which songs to pick when he’s slated to appear as the castaway on Desert Island Discs.  The problem is Henry likes mindless pop music, but he’s a snob who’s afraid to admit he like pop music, so struggles to find songs […]
  • Alone Again, Naturally
    Fifty years ago, a schmaltzy song by an Irish balladeer topped the pop charts for six weeks.  Gilbert O’Sullivan’s surprise hit, “Alone Again, Naturally” ranked number two on Billboard for the year 1972.   Because it doesn’t fit into the classic rock genre, the tune soon faded in popularity and is generally unknown to anyone born […]
  • Back in the Summer of ‘69
    I didn’t get my first real six-string.  And Enumclaw’s five-and-dime was the last place this teenager wanted to be.  The allure of candy cigarettes and cheap toys had long since passed.  They may have been the best days of Bryan Adams’ life, but for me the Summer of ’69 was a middling byway on a […]
  • Come Saturday Morning
    One’s 15th year of life is particularly fraught with change.  Childhood dreams give way to adult realities.  Adolescent collections such as baseball cards, coins, and comics sadly fall out of style – better left to tweens and those still trapped by out-of-fashion obsessions.  Jobs and college take center stage.  College prep means growing loads of […]