Browsing All Posts filed under »Journal«

What Do You Do? Part One

August 17, 2019


Years ago —in 1979 or 1980—I went to a black-tie banquet at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan—where a Cabinet-level Secretary of Something or Another spoke. The table where I sat was sponsored by W. R. Grace & Co., then with headquarters in New York City. I happened to be one of the invited guests, a […]

The New Hispanic America

December 2, 2018


A few years ago, I discovered a Hispanic in my home. Awkkk, what’s happening here? The invasion of the Mexican gardeners? Confession: when I first came to Tuscaloosa in 1972 to teach Latin American history at UA, there were hardly any Spanish speakers in town, other than a few odd balls like me and the […]

Remembering Egan

July 13, 2017


Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them. — poem by Robert Laurence Binyon, 21 Sept., 1914 There are several categories for those who died in service. Many are buried in foreign lands and cemeteries across the world, especially […]

Virtual Reality versus Reality

July 5, 2017


While driving home one morning a few weeks ago after taking my two Poodles for their morning run, I was listening to PBS on the radio and heard an interesting report from someone in Washington about visiting the Smithsonian Museum virtually, as opposed to visiting it in person. For those of you born before 1990, […]

God, Friends, Sustained Us After the Fire

July 5, 2017


I loved the template reason on the shipping notice I received not too long ago. I forget if it came from Fedex or UPS, but it was just their normal way of inserting a reason for not delivering a package. Our home was a charred wreck, destroyed by a fire on the morning of Jan. […]

It’s the Rule

November 29, 2016


Not too long ago I traveled to a conference on a Dominican friar, Bartolome de las Casas, the great defender of American Indians in the face of the Spanish conquest. I had to go through security of course at the Birmingham Airport. As usual, I felt like a pack animal. I carried my laptop and […]


November 5, 2016


I had a dream a while back in which one of the main characters exclaimed “why we are kin!” Since he was a good character, as near as I can remember, this was ok. Kin of course is akin to clan and means people who are related in some fashion or descended from a common […]

Mining in the Mountains

September 4, 2016


One of guys working at the Mason’s Ruby and Sapphire Gem Mine, a thin mountain man, with lots of beard and tattoos, slipped up on past the water slues with a pistol hanging from his hand. They guy weighed maybe 97 pounds, soaking wet, and gave new meaning to wiry. A cigarette hung from his […]

Tending My Garden

July 23, 2016


I thought I’d rise to the level of Thomas Jefferson for a short while this morning. He was a gentleman farmer among the many hats he wore—composer of the Declaration of Independence among the better known bullets of his resume—and he spent a lot of time at his home of Monticello in Virginia tinkering with […]

Memorial Day, 2016

May 30, 2016


Memorial Day started out as Decoration Day among the families of Civil War soldiers who died in that war. The graves of the dead were decorated and their service recalled. Over the years Memorial Day, which in the early years actually had a day devoted to the Union dead and a separate one to those […]