What Exactly Is It That Begins at 40?

When I was a teen, I would occasionally hear my parents and their contemporaries say “Life begins at 40,” a reference not only to advancing middle age, but – whether they were aware of it or not – to the title of a book, song and film from the 1930s. The phrase came back to […]

Ever Lingered So Long After Dinner That the Restaurant’s Emptying Out?

Yeah, that’s happened to me. Several times. But the time I’m about to describe takes the prize. Like a few other stories in this blog, this one took place when I was working at the U.S. consulate-general in Leningrad, 1976-78. One fine early summer evening, my wife and I went out to dinner with Ilya, […]

Taking Off: Relief for the Transportation Blues

I wrote this article last October for the 2017 edition of the annual Santa Rosa Metro Chamber directory (aka Community Resource and Business Guide), which was published on Friday, Feb. 17, in connection with the Chamber’s annual luncheon meeting, when the Chamber’s rebranding was unveiled. (Until then, the Chamber was called the Santa Rosa Chamber […]

Have You Ever Run Out of Gas?

Troitsky (Kirovsky) Bridge I have. Probably more often than you. I believe it’s in my genes. My dad told me he was notorious, as a young man, for returning home on fumes after an outing in his father’s car. On at least one occasion, according to these stories, when my grandfather went out in the […]

Sky’s the Limit for Hotel Tax? Ask Icarus!

  I wrote this opinion piece (op-ed) in response to an article that appeared in the Jan. 9 issue of the North Bay (California) Business Journal. It was published this week’s (Jan. 23) issue, which was delivered to my mailbox yesterday Jan. 21. (The published version appeared under an additional headline – “Visitors pay hotel […]

Beethoven Would Not Have Survived This Recital, But …

the pianist did, and so did I – barely! This was the piano recital to top them all! No, it wasn’t exactly Vladimir Horowitz or Arthur Rubenstein at Carnegie Hall. In fact, it took place long enough ago (1974 or thereabouts) that the stalwart pianist’s name has, regrettably, faded from memory.1 But I retain a […]

A Delightful Collaboration

Dr. Richard R. Kelley with Howard and Sandra Yesterday, December 17, 2016, was the conclusion, for me, of a 14-year editorial collaboration* with a remarkable man, Dr. Richard Kelley, who, on the eve of his 83rd birthday, has just put down his pen as “scribe, editor and publisher” of a remarkable corporate newsletter. Saturday Briefing, […]

Gauze Pads Are Not Just for Bleeding

For the past couple of years I’ve been editing a semi-annual magazine, Marin Medicine, the journal of the Marin (California) Medical Society. Unfortunately, I’m now losing this interesting client because the Society has just voted to merge with the San Francisco Medical Society, which publishes its own magazine. This development somehow triggered the long-lost memory […]

My Most Memorable Thanksgiving

The most memorable Thanksgiving I’ve ever experienced1 took place in 1970 in Pawarkheda, pretty much in the geographic center of India.2 It was the site of a training facility belonging to the government of Madhya Pradesh (M.P., or Central State), which was made available to the Peace Corps to train a new group of volunteers […]

The Best Language-learning Experience Ever

Prabha (back to camera – unfortunately this is the only photo I have of her) Part of the good fortune I’ve had in a career that afforded me the opportunity to live and work in several other countries has been the chance to learn other languages and use them while living and working abroad. I […]