Posts

Vinnie Bell, July 28, 1935 – October 3, 2019, RIP

Vinnie and Howard, at Vinnie’s house, a “few” years ago A guitar immortal succumbed to human mortality this week, but his music will long outlive him. Legendary studio guitarist Vinnie Bell (Vincent Gambella) passed away on Thursday, but left us an unsurpassed legacy in scores of hit songs, movie soundtracks and even advertising jingles in […]

Speechless!

Nat Daniel, at 80+ years, clowning around with champagne cork cages at a birthday party If my dad were still alive, he’d be marking his 107th birthday tomorrow (he was born on Sept. 23, 1912). Nat Daniel was a smart, innovative guy.  He was also very funny. So I’ll celebrate on his behalf by regaling readers […]

Governor’s Speechwriter — Who, Me?

Gov. John Waihee with speechwriter Howard Daniel on the morning of “the Guv’s” last day in office, Dec. 5, 1994 Last week I wrote about why I love the work I do. This week, readers might be interested to learn how it was that, a quarter century ago, I found myself working as speechwriter to […]

Creating a Coffee Table With My Dad

For most of my childhood, we lived in a small house in Wanamassa, an unincorporated neighborhood just across the lake from Asbury Park, N.J. To my mom, at least, the smallest room in that house was the one in which she spent the most time – the kitchen. How she wished it were a little […]

Sidney!

The headline is the punchline. The backstory goes a long way back – to my childhood in New Jersey. One fine summer’s day when I was around 10-12 years old, my dad and I went to buy a gallon of ice cream to bring home to our new refrigerator – the first one we’d had […]

Father’s Day Memories

Dad, in a characteristically playful mood, horsing around with champagne cork cages at a birthday party (at about age 80) On Father’s Day, as spring gives way to summer in the Northern Hemisphere (and a heat wave here in California), we can all appreciate the pleasure of a nice, cool shower. I have a little […]

They’re Not Actually Birdbrains

Blinky with my dad (I was perhaps 10 years old when I took this Polaroid shot; Dad would have been about 42) Most of my friends and family love dogs and cats. My preference, however, has always been birds, the parrot family in particular. I’ve always thought it would be cool to have a beautiful, comic […]

Advance Man for the Grim Reaper? No, Thank You!

Stereotypical obit writer I recently read an article in The Economist about Obit, a documentary on the obituary writers at the New York Times. As someone whose writing credits include several obits, I found the article of considerable interest. I got my start in the genre when I was working as publications manager for Alexander […]

Mother’s Day Memories

As I write this post in the week preceding Mother’s Day, I’m sifting through memories of my mom, trying – but failing – to come up with something as amusing, or at least as memorable, as some of the stories I’ve told in this blog about my dad, who was a certifiable character. Mom – […]

Cowcatcher Evolution

The ultimate cowcatcher When I was a kid, the railroad that linked my hometown – Asbury Park, New Jersey – with New York City, about 90 minutes up the line to the north, ran on steam. That’s right, for years – until diesels took over – the trains were pulled by steam engines. I’d often […]