MEETING LELA | PART 1 

“Sometimes I feel like a motherless child, 
a long, long way from home.” 

—Traditional 


When I was a kid in Tennessee and Georgia I knew very little about my mother. 

I knew her name. “Lela Matheny” was written…

REFLECTIONS ON 9/11

“War, what is it good for? 
Absolutely nothing.” 

—Barrett Strong 


On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was at home in Berkeley, drinking my first cup of coffee and viewing the Today show when the news broke…

PEANUTS

Daddy Bill would sit on the porch, reading, looking at his chinaberry tree, and eating boiled green peanuts out of a can.

After awhile he’d take off his shirt and rub brine from the peanuts can all over…

SNAPSHOTS | PART 5 — CHEVY MAN

“That’s the great thing about being a teenager. 
You think you’re a genius.”

—Daveed Diggs 
 

Thirteen wasn’t quite the turning point I’d imagined last summer when I sold off all my comic books and action figures. I didn’t suddenly…

SNAPSHOTS | PART 4 — CHUBASCO

“Your vibe attracts your tribe.” 
—Anthony Bourdain 

“We go back like car seats.” 
—Harry Bosch 

It can’t be an easy thing to raise a son. 

It’s a balancing act. To help him find his way in life…

SNAPSHOTS | PART 3 — TANGLE

“The beginning of things is necessarily vague, 
tangled, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. 
How few of us ever emerge from such beginning!” 

—Kate Chopin 

 

By summer’s end I’ve discovered much to love about living in Arizona. 

The regional…

SNAPSHOTS | PART 2 — FIRST CONTACT

“What makes the desert so beautiful 
is that somewhere it hides a well.” 

—Antoine de Saint-Exupery 


Four days later we arrive, hot and tired, in the Old Pueblo. 

Daddy Bill pilots our dusty U-Haul into an open parking…

SNAPSHOTS | PART 1 — LEAVING

Childhood memories are like polaroid photos in an old dusty box. 

They don’t provide a cohesive autobiographical narrative, only brief flashes of insight into the murky past. You sort through the random images, shuffling them like playing cards, until…

UP IN THE AIR | PART 3 — CITIZEN OF THE WORLD

“Remember, you’re not alone. 
You’re part of an international 
brotherhood of artists and musicians. 
We’re all in this together.” 

—Art Farmer 


I aspire to be a Citizen of the World. 

A world citizen is a xenophile whose identity…

UP IN THE AIR | PART 2 — SEASONED TRAVELER

“You've taken your first step into a larger world.” 
—Obi-Wan Kenobi 

 

When I was first starting out, my mentor Art Farmer told me what it really takes to persevere in this business. “Do you like to travel?” he…

UP IN THE AIR | PART 1 — JOURNEY PROUD


“There’s no sensation to compare with this 
suspended animation, a state of bliss. 
Can
t keep my mind from the circling sky. 
Tongue tied and twisted, just

an earthbound misfit, I.”
—Pink Floyd

 

I’m not sure when…

SAVE OUR STAGES

All the world’s a stage, 
and all the men and women merely players. 
They have their exits and their entrances, 
and one man in his time plays many parts.
 
—William Shakespeare 


Don’t it always seem to go 
that you