Category Archives: Stories

Passing on 43 on 41

I had pretty much a 100-percent-certain chance to meet George W. Bush today if I’d wanted to do it. I say “pretty much” only because nothing in life is absolutely certain. But I could have done it. Didn’t do it. … Continue reading

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Verizon’s Newbie Android Class Fail

Last night Suzy and I went to Verizon to take a “class” entitled “Beginning Android”. We were almost the youngest people there — and I’m seventy — I’ve arrived at the age where I want to tell people how old … Continue reading

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Not Half Bad

At age 69, my running these days consists mostly of alternating short bursts of slow running with short walks. If I’m rested and have my feet to the fire, I can run six miles or so continuously, but I rarely … Continue reading

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Case Hope Long Executed

Noted ironist author Case Hope Long was executed by lethal injection this morning for a crime neither he nor anyone else could remember. Beforehand, he announced that his last words would be, “These are my last words.” Considered a master … Continue reading

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The Mettle to Medal

At the North Coast 24-Hour Endurance Run in September of last year, Newton Baker placed first in our mutual age group. I logged the second greatest amount of mileage in that age group, but wasn’t a registered USATF runner, so … Continue reading

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About Legacy Posts

As of July 25, 2011, I have migrated over 130 articles from my Neologistics blog, where since August 2005 I have posted many unsorted articles, including items unrelated to editing, writing, or literature. The articles copied from the old site … Continue reading

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Easy Start

If it weren’t so annoying I’d laugh at the words written on my Honda gasoline-powered powersprayer’s engine. It says: EASY START One is led to conjecture they display this expression to convey a sense of contrast with the sort of … Continue reading

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My Visit with Queen Elizabeth II

I had a dream last night about Queen Elizabeth II. Lovely woman, that one. She came to our locality for a visit, accompanied only by a male attendant, whom I presumed to be a personal secretary. She spoke at a … Continue reading

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Giving Away My Roots

When I lived outside the tiny coastal town of Searsport, Maine, I had a nasty tooth problem and had to hightail it to a dentist. I knew of one in Belfast named — I’m not making this up — Dr. … Continue reading

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Running Only Four or Five Hours

Long ago I considered running the Mickelson Trail Marathon. It sounded like a good race to me, and besides, I hadn’t run a regular marathon in years; but running it would have required me to travel from Arizona to South … Continue reading

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The Tempest

My base of operations At 9:00 a.m. on December 29, 2010, I began to run the 72-hour race at Across the Years. By 5:30 p.m., after completing only 81 laps (40.5 km, 25.166 miles), I was packed up and on … Continue reading

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Daughters Are Good —
Columbus Half Marathon 2010

Last spring our daughter Cyra-Lea wrote to ask if I’d be willing to pick out and run a half marathon with her this fall. I hadn’t done that sort of running for several years. My last half marathon race was … Continue reading

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Columbus Half Marathon 2010

I Coulda Had a Medal

It was not until August 25, 2010, that I decided to run the 2010 North Coast 24-Hour Endurance Run (NC24) in Cleveland, Ohio. Up until the day before, I assumed that I would not be able to participate, and have … Continue reading

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My Grandma

My Grandma Newton had no automobile; had no television; had no radio; had no telephone; had an ice box instead of a refrigerator until 1952; had no modern record player; didn’t own a book except a Bible; didn’t think much … Continue reading

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My Buddy Mozart

A friend approached me one evening, an older (but not ancient) woman, wanting to know if she correctly understood what she had heard — that I had at one time been a professional photographer in New York City. Having no … Continue reading

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Festivus 50K 2009

On Saturday, December 12, I ran the Festivus 50K for the second time. The race is an out and back, mostly on the Olentangy River bike path, starting at its northern extremity in Worthington, Ohio, through the streets of downtown … Continue reading

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North Coast 24-Hour Endurance Run 2009

The North Coast 24-Hour Endurance Run (NC24) in Cleveland, Ohio made a spectacular debut in its first edition on October 3–4, 2009. As host to the USA Track and Field/American Ultrarunning Association national championship, it drew a total of 107 … Continue reading

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Rubber Baby Buffer Dumpers

Can you say “rubber baby buffer dumpers” ten times real fast? It is not without reason that this blog has not been updated regularly for the last year. I apologize to all zero readers who have missed it. Once an … Continue reading

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Life in Skool

News from the Land of Educationville is not good. Children of parents who neglect to take a personal hand in the education of their progeny have little hope for any sort of meaningful future, and may as well resign themselves … Continue reading

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Mr. Sniff

My seventh grade assistant principal’s name was Mr. Sniff. The man was as ludicrous as his name. As an underling administrator, Mr. Sniff’s primary duty was to render discipline to recalcitrant students, inevitably boys who wreaked havoc and disturbed the … Continue reading

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My Last Race

Introduction This, my longest race report ever, is the story of my last race—Across the Years 2008. Whether the title means “last ever” or simply “most recent” you will have to read to find out. Were I to list the … Continue reading

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My Last Race

Introduction This, my longest race report ever, is the story of my last race—Across the Years 2008. Whether the title means “last ever” or simply “most recent” you will have to read to find out. Were I to list the … Continue reading

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Nuggets

As I prepare to move in a few days into our new house in the Berwick community of Columbus, these thoughts cross my mind. Long ago I attended a church service on Communion Sunday, when they pass around bread and … Continue reading

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Life at Fancy Dan’s

The drought is over. Today, for the first time, I walked into Fancy Dan’s Hotsy Totsy Downtown Athletic Club, more commonly known as the Athletic Club of Columbus (ACC), as a fully sanctified, card-carrying member. Finally — I can begin … Continue reading

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How to Tell the Difference

On a long walk though Columbus, as I headed up Neil Street, I saw an earnest looking young man sitting on the front steps of his Victorian home. He was holding something close and rocking back and forth rhythmically. As … Continue reading

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On Civility

Today I visited the local Social Security office in order to offer proof in person that I had been born. My life has just entered a new phase, as I have formally enrolled for Medicare. Perhaps I should also be … Continue reading

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Two Running Vignettes

Part One Most every Saturday of my life that I can arrange it, I spend the morning teaching others about the Bible, and then devote the afternoon or more engaged in long runs of varying dimension. At least that was … Continue reading

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Coping with Incompetent Authority

As a freshman at University of Illinois, I took Hawksa boring required course. The instructor was an insufferable moron, a graduate liberal arts student. Early in the semester there was a big snow storm. It was an early morning class, … Continue reading

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Famous Last Words

Dad conducting On the morning my father died, he woke up and told my mother that he didn’t feel well and needed to get to the hospital right away. It did not take long to get him to where he … Continue reading

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Newbie Is as Newbie Does

No one rises to an opportunity to make fun of newbies more quickly than someone, usually young and male, who was himself a newbie just last week and now knows everything. These people like to be alert to opportunities to … Continue reading

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Adena Mounds

So—yesterday I drove up to Highbanks Park, in the north end of the city, and because I’ve been sick for two weeks straight, opted not to do a long run, but wanted at least a token excursion to get some … Continue reading

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Across the Years 2007

On Wednesday, January 2, 2008, I returned to my hole in the wall in Columbus, Ohio, from my ninth annual running of Across the Years, my seventh consecutive year in the 72-hour race, where the question most commonly asked by … Continue reading

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My Gym

I’ve been away from my blog. The following Piece was written in late October, 2007, about two weeks before I moved to Columbus, Ohio, about which I will more to say at another time. I invite you to view some … Continue reading

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San Francisco One-Day Race

This race report lacks literary merit. Besides being endocrine depleted, I’m too busy to make it any better. But some people are hoping to see some sort of a report from the San Francisco 24-hour race, put on by Wendall … Continue reading

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My Bus Trip

“I haven’t been on a bus since I was a child,” I told Ursula, the pleasant, businesslike clerk behind the counter at the Greyhound Station at 720 W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard in Louisville, Kentucky. “What’s the process?” There was no … Continue reading

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Neglected Pianos

Sometimes I hear about neglected pianos, upon which I go on a bit of a rampage. As the owner of a Steinway model K, which I bought brand new from the dealer, an instrument I have always tuned and cared … Continue reading

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Places in My Life

Given an infinite universe, coincidences abound. From the Small World department … Follow this link to a Google map of a block in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. You will see a block long building between 8th and … Continue reading

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I’ve Seen the Future

Yesterday (February 10, 2007) I ran the Pemberton 50K at McDowell Mountain Park northeast of Fountain Hills Arizona, together with a total of five longtime fellow members of the Dead Runners Society, a highly social online running club that has … Continue reading

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Do I Have to Empty the Bit Buckets?

There was a maintenance man named Bill where I worked at Four Phase Systems in about 1985 who was a nice fellow, but one of the dumbest guys I’ve ever encountered. He was one of those guys for whom carrying … Continue reading

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Such a Lonely Word

We recently heard a Bible talk that touched on honesty. It included exhortation to students to avoid looking at someone else’s paper during tests. My high school (attended 1957-1961) prided itself on what it called the “honor system,” something they … Continue reading

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Snobs in Wilmette?

The summer of 1952, when I was between third and fourth grades, my family moved from a blue collar neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, where the men were policemen and plumbers, to the upscale suburb Wilmette, where most … Continue reading

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When I Almost Died

In February, 1972, my wife and I, who were living in the Riverdale area of Bronx, New York at the time, planned a week’s vacation to visit our parents in Wilmette, Illinois. (Our families lived four blocks apart.) I remember … Continue reading

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A Family Affair

As a runner who is deeply involved in the organization and presentation of Across the Years, yet who also manages to run the 72-hour race each year, mostly undistracted by official responsibilities other than to answer an occasional question, I … Continue reading

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Javelina Jundred 2006

At Javalina Jundred 100-mile trail race on November 4th and 5th, 2006, I had my toughest outing ever in that or in any other race. Less than two miles into my fifth loop at a little over 60 miles, I … Continue reading

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Running Through the Night

Saturday night I ran an all-night training run at Pemberton Trail, two full 15.4-mile laps plus the 9.2-mile partial loop that comes back on the Tonto Tank trail. It was my best trail training run in years. Not a race, … Continue reading

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A 42.5-Mile Night Run

As I’m training for the Javelina Jundred 100-mile trail race, my training schedule has called for a progressively increasing very long run every four weeks since May. As of today I’m still on target. A month ago I did a … Continue reading

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Running Pemberton Trail

Saturday afternoon I ran Pemberton Trail. The high in Phoenix was 102, about normal for this time of year. I didn’t see another human soul out there the whole time, not even in the parking lot. I felt good at … Continue reading

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Ape

There’s a guy who comes to Bally’s gym that I call Ape. I call him that because it’s his name. Well, maybe not, but it should be. What else could his mother have thought when she first saw him? Ape … Continue reading

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On Saying God

Near the beginning of John Updike’s novel Rabbit, Run the main character Rabbit and his wife Janet are having a minor tiff while Janet watches Mickey Mouse Club on TV. Chief adult Mousketeer Jimmy appears onscreen and the following takes … Continue reading

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Balanchine Festival, Ballet Arizona

Saturday night we attended a Ballet Arizona performance that was billed as part of a George Balanchine festival. While the music, the dancing, and the choreography were all exquisite, the experience was not without eyebrow-raising issues. We bought tickets six … Continue reading

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