Category Archives: arts

Autumn in Pennsyltucky


Swamp Rabbit and I had just finished another dreary sales trip and were driving home from Pennsyltucky, that vast stretch of Trump country that lies between Philly and Pittsburgh. Billie Holiday was on the radio, singing “Autumn in New York,” … Continue reading

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Donald Trump as Johnny Friendly


You can tell a lot about a president’s background just by his style of speech. Woodrow Wilson spoke like a cold-hearted preacher, FDR like an easy-going aristocrat, Harry Truman like a humble dry goods merchant, Ronald Reagan like a too-wholesome … Continue reading

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Enough about Naipaul the man — read his books


The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it. — V.S. Naipaul, A Bend In the River (1979) Pardon me for breathing! And make no mistake — the … Continue reading

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A white haven for the blues


So I was upstate again last weekend, speeding home from a sales job, when a road sign on the highway caught my eye: WHITE HAVEN 4 MILES. “Perfect,” I said to Swamp Rabbit, my sales partner. “White Haven is a … Continue reading

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OK, you’re in love, but can you sell my novel?


An editor friend just called to apologize, he hasn’t had time to read my new manuscript because he’s having his roof replaced and can’t hear himself think. I said hey, no hurry, it will still be there when you find … Continue reading

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Running out of gas with Steppenwolf


So I was on the highway, on my way to a sales job near Allentown with my stomach in a knot because I knew the job would suck. It was Throwback Thursday on the college radio station and the DJ … Continue reading

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The outsider who made friends everywhere


Anthony Bourdain, who was 61, wrote Kitchen Confidential, the definitive book about working on the wild side in the restaurant business. He created several acclaimed TV series, using food as a device for exploring foreign cultures and making friends with … Continue reading

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