A. swaying in the dark, my son Ford asleep
A. Build the logic of your world and adhere to it unfailingly
A. Sunday morning breakfast, winter, sitting before the fire with the New York Times, my beautiful wife playing with my son Ford on the rug. Being unashamed of what you do, and who you are.
A. on a 45 foot sailboat skirting the Great Barrier Reef
A. my wife
A. But here's the problem...
A. the petty cruelties of youth
A. To sing like Sam Cooke
A. my son
A. belligerent arrogance
A. a writer
A. Neddy Merrill ("The Swimmer") or George Willard (Winesburgh, Ohio)
A. Jesus of Nazareth - isn't it obvious?
A. small talk, inane chatter
A. teaching literature
A. Crazy fast outside linebacker, National Football League
A. Honesty, loyalty, imagination
A. A full English Breakfast
A. The Speed of the Sound of Loneliness - John Prine, More Than This - Brian Ferry, I Wish I Was the Moon - Neko Case, , Forever Young - Alphaville, Cello Suite No. 1 - Bach
A. I have many important memories of my time there, and of my grandfather; his quiet, hawk-like face, early rides in the pickup to feed the cattle, the staggering stoicism of this man. I also remembered the back utility room where he had a gun rack up on the wall. This wasn’t so unusual; in those days in Franklin County shotguns and rifles hung from nearly any flat surface, and in many houses they still do. What struck me about this particular gun rack was the pair of rusty brass knuckles hanging from a nail just below the gun rack. As a young boy the idea of a man putting on the heavy, metal implement, purely designed to crush another man’s face, was a thrilling prospect and I spent long periods of time gazing at those brass knuckles. To me they represented something remarkably primal, hanging there below the guns, as if to say: if you are still alive when I run out of bullets I will pull this hunk of metal off the wall and pummel you into unconsciousness. Back at the dinner table my grandfather’s heavy, placid face would take on a whole new light. I was terrified of him and fascinated about the life he had led.