That’s how I had to answer the phone when Dad was still on active duty in the Air Force. Even my mother did. For his part, when I entered the house in Tucson the night before he died, all he could manage from the bed was a softly croaked “Johnny…” and that was all I [...]
This morning was hard. My wife looked at me and asked how we got trapped in this “funny little town.” I thought but did not say: because we didn’t plan for the future and I let you down and prices have tripled. Silence was sufficient and the moment soon passed. Later I did speak. We [...]
A JHF classic from June 7, 2004. My wife was living in Dubuque, IA taking care of her mother and teaching music. I wrote this after a visit. We were only able to get together several times a year back then. “What do black widows look like?” asked the special guest from northeast Iowa. The [...]
A JHF classic! Originally published as “Pall of Flame” on 11/24/2003. Hard to read, even now that everyone is dead. The bitterness, the deprivation, oy. This was me, though, 16.5 years ago, when I lived here by myself. Can’t believe we haven’t moved yet. Where’s the intervention? It’s 19 degrees at noon here in el [...]
A JHF classic! Originally published 12/8/2003. Maybe I should have been afraid, but I just wasn’t. The fact is, most mornings when I walk out to the road to get the paper, I do a special thing. Taking in the 80-mile view is one way to go to church, I guess, and the little ritual [...]
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