Larry Storch: My Corporal Crush, in the Land of Fort Courage

Jun 26, 2017 | 3094 Views | 5 Comments

I gave up trying to explain the appeal of my “crush objects” long ago. My fantasy figures, be they flesh-and-blood or fictional characters, have always been quirky types that never fit the traditional tall, dark, handsome, all-star, man-of-means mold. Such was the case with one of my earliest heartthrobs: Larry Storch. I’ve been in love with the guy from the first time I laid eyes on him: September 14, 1965, the date F-Troop debuted on ABC television. I remember watching each episode of that Western satire, sitting three feet away from our Westinghouse TV, ignoring Mommy’s... Read More »

Roll Up, Roll Up — for the Greyhound Bus Hippyland Tour!

Jun 12, 2017 | 6194 Views | 6 Comments

So, you're trippin' with your blue-jean baby down a marijuana-scented street, wearing your tie-dyed shirt, love beads and huaraches, when you hear an announcement blaring from a packed tour bus: “Now, ladies and gentlemen, if you look to your left you'll see a hairy hippie passed out in front of the Phật Phúc Noodle Bar. Ahead on the right you’ll notice a parade of shaved-head Hare Krishnas -- such a happy lot, wrapped in their orange gauze! Oh, and do you see those scraggly kids carrying signs that say 'drop acid, not bombs'? They're the pinko-loving,... Read More »

Motor City Mavericks: The Pleasure Seekers and Suzi Quatro

Jun 3, 2017 | 7593 Views | 2 Comments

When a group of sisters got together in the early '60s to come up with a name for their rock and roll band, they turned to that greatest of reference guides -- the dictionary. You could always count on ol' Funk and Wagnall for inspiration. Or even Merriam and Webster. (Kids, you can Google those names.) Leafing through the large tome, they came across the word "hedonist." Definition: a pleasure seeker. Bingo! Formed in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, in 1964 by 17-year-old Patti Quatro, The Pleasure Seekers were born of Beatlemania and bred on Detroit muscle. The original... Read More »

What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?

May 28, 2017 | 20624 Views | 2 Comments

“What did you do in the war, Daddy?” That’s a question most kids eventually get around to asking when they learn their fathers served in the armed forces. Almost all of my childhood friends had dads who served in either World War II or the Korean War. In those days it wasn’t uncommon for veterans to keep their war stories to themselves, especially those who fought in battle or witnessed atrocities. The men who went to war back then were of a generation steeped, for better or worse, in silent suffering. They shared a collective stiff-upper-lip consciousness.... Read More »

The Boulevard is Not That Bad

May 22, 2017 | 2900 Views | 1 Comment

I was ready to log out of Facebook, with a vow to shake that social-media-monkey off my back for the rest of the day and get some real work done. And then I saw a post about a new video directed by filmmaker Max Weiland, cut to one of Elton John’s classic songs: "Tiny Dancer." It’s a lusciously filmed, finely edited portrait of 12 ordinary people going about their everyday lives in the City of Angels. Yes, lyricist Bernie Taupin, metaphorically, “the boulevard is not that bad”…..most of the time. But, oh, how I wish life... Read More »