Monday, April 30, 2012


     I've been thinking a lot about the lake be honest, I've thought about her since I left. I live near a "lake", one of those gynormous turf-scars that the Corps of Engineers was so fond of digging way back when. It's nice, and I've heard that the fishing's good-but it's not Erie.

     Oddly enough, I've never been out on her water. I last swam in her about thirty-five years ago, and I've never gone boating on her. The furthest out I've ever been is to the end of the Mile-Long Pier. Still, she sings in my blood, and I never knew until I was gone.

     She's claimed five friends over the years, but I bear no grudge-she is what she is, and often, she's dangerous. My brother almost drowned in her waters about a couple months after two kids we knew drowned riding a bike off the Pier, back in March of '68. She's the reason we have the kick-ass winters we do, the famed "lake effect" found in few places on the globe, according to Dick Goddard.

     She was my friend, on quiet, sleepless nights. I could hear the waves tumbling in, the hiss of churning pebbles in the surf, the whispering sound, so like the human voice, that always gave her nighttime shores a haunted quality. The moon, like a giant medusa jelly, glowing over her reflecting surface, dominating the fainter light of vessels going to ports far and near.

     She has mystified me, with glowing fogbanks that traveled against the wind, sounds when nothing is visible to make them, first-hand accounts of strange aquatic reptiles from ages past, showing up to unnerve fishermen. I've played in her surf, tried to surf on old doors at Lakeview, sat on the sand at one am, listening to a radio station from almost directly across the water, and had a thousand adventures on and near her.

     Some nights, after a 40-ounce or a Cuba Libre,  I'll call the Coast Guard station at the mouth of the Black, and ask after her. The Coastie can't give me specific data, Homeland Security and all, but we generally talk for a few, and it's good to hear someone from "up home".

     Lord willing, I'll take my wife and daughter to meet her someday....I think they'd love her, as I do.

Friday, April 13, 2012


I Googled my Aunt Glenna recently, and ran across an article about her

She was a professional photographer, often doing publicity shots and album cover photos for people like Dean Martin, Hal Holbrook, and many others.

I haven't seen my aunt in nearly thirty years, as she tends to keep to herself, family-wise. I last heard from her about eight years ago, when she answered a letter I wrote to her.

I remember how exciting it was, when she'd come to visit back in the 60's, driving to Cleveland Hopkins Airport to pick her up, and the fun we'd have while she was with us, particularly at Christmas, when she brought the coolest presents-one year, she gave me a dart gun shooting gallery, with targets that spun and made noises when you wound it up.

Over the years, her visits became less frequent.

I've left her her privacy, as I understand the need.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I don't remember which step in AA is about making amends, but I've thought at times about apologizing for some of my youthful misdeeds whilst in angel, I wasn't.

To all the store owners who were victims of my five-finger discount policies, I'm sorry-generally, it wasn't even something I needed, but simply wanted.

To the owners of the dozens of windows I broke over the years, I've no explanation, even one that satisfies me.

To the other kids whose bikes I stole, it wasn't about you, just about me being selfish.

I once caused a power outage in Lorain; that was an accident. I once keyed a lady's beautiful car because her son wouldn't come out and fight me; that was deliberate.

To those who saw fit to throw me out of their establishments for asinine behavior, you were right.

To Sheriff Phil Stamitti, no, I didn't win the sword cane in a card game, and yes, I knew the sword was in there. When you were with the LPD, you always treated me okay, and you didn't deserve the lie.

To those people I disappointed by not trying, running from responsibility, from life, forgive me; you saw something in me that I didn't.

My best to all, and here's to the statute of limitations. BTW, is my spray-painted scorpion still on the (NW) alley wall near 20th and Broadway?