Be the Dad

Father’s Day is not unlike a lot of holidays. I wake up no different. Yea I’m a Dad, it’s who I am and what I do, but my little family gets to say “But you’re our Dad.” On my birthday I think no woop, I was born, a year latter and I didn’t die, but thanks for noticing. And my family gets to say, “Thanks for sticking around.” On Veteran’s Day I think, I served, I...


Living With Hope and Grief

After my son died, I simply did not know what to do, what to say, where to go, or how to do it. We often say, “It left me speechless, I just don’t know what to say,” yet we then go on and on describing the sensation. In this case, I truly did not have the words, I didn’t know what to do, I was absolutely lost. Gone was my voice, my inner voice, in a swirl of...


How a Moment In Time Can Add Up to Lifetime of Memories

I milled about, hoping to see someone I knew, hoping someone would know me.
“2015?” I asked.

“Yea, I’m Backdraft.”

“I’m Andy, uh Phantom,” I replied.


And I was back in the community that enveloped me four years ago as I walked from Georgia to Maine. We were at Trail Days in Damascus Va, the granddaddy of Appalachian Trail hikers. We stood awkwardly, made weak conversation then, “Hey I know you.”



Let Go? What it means–What It Doesn’t Mean

Letting go. Simple enough. Just let go. But not easy enough. Letting go means letting go of the control. It doesn’t mean letting go of the memory. Memories are distorted as the need for control increases. Because the need for control makes us see things through our self-meter. We see things the way we want to see them and not how they really are.

And control? What’s that all about? Hasn’t death shown us that control is...


Surviving the High Dive

The sun shines, the breeze breezes and the temperature temps. But the keyboard calls so I sit at the picture window watching life in 3-D. Happy behind glass, it’s National Sibling Day. I know because I was on "the book." Seems Facebook has replaced the other book we used to call “The Book.” We have a national day for just about everything from hemorrhoids to hotdogs. I’m thinking we need a National Everything Else Day...


The Tree Fort

Kids talked back then. We’d sit under the street light, sometimes on someone’s stoop when their old man wasn’t drinking a bottle of Shlitz, and sometimes in our tree...


Elmwood Ave

  It was a street. Not a wide street. They put up signs for parking only on one side. But it was a long street, stretching through four towns, from my corner to Curtis Printing. Long, skinny, and straight. The towns weren’t marked so when you cross from one corner you could be in a different town which was like a different country in those days.

There were enough kids on your own block to keep...


When Sunday Smiled

        This entry is the ATC my story of the year 2017. I am republishing it because the book, When Sunday Smiled, is now published.

“If you aren’t at Katahdin, you ain’t nothing,” a hiker told me. But I found that it’s not about the destination, it’s the journey. The journey that took me to grand mountains and to deep despair. And the journey brought tears as I witnessed great vistas knowing how small...