Through Any Given Door

Archives for 2017

0.iii Prologue

Audio: Prologue (click arrow to listen)   My brother Larry was under the illusion that our mother was a good mother, but he had a different childhood than the rest of us. My sisters were convinced otherwise: Carleen complained Mom was thoughtless and self-centered, Betty resented her … [Read more...]

0.ii Dedication, Billet-Doux, Credits

 Dedicated To my siblings: this memoir is for them. To Stephanie Moore: who directed her students with grace, gratitude, and courage. And to Michael Naumer: who warned, "sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you." Writing a book is not a … [Read more...]

0.i Poem, Lineage, Table of Contents

  Teller of Tales This tale is a history, a fable, a prayer of those gone before me, now gathered with care. The diaries and pictures and letters enclosed deciphered my kin and what they supposed. Those who are living, their stories intact, Those gone before us, who knows what was … [Read more...]

Sonoma Sun #5: In Search of Funny

At a book talk at our library, a young woman asked me about humor, and how do you learn to be funny. I responded, “I don’t think you can learn to be funny. Either you are, or you aren’t.” Humor is often closely related to pain, and arises as a reaction to suffering—like a coping mechanism—and … [Read more...]

Sonoma Sun #4: Keeper of the Lines

Why bother? I mean, really. They’re dead. Who cares about the past, and what difference does it make? But you know, there are occasions we do something for its own sake, simply because it’s interesting, or satisfying, or it feels worthwhile. For a number of years I’ve researched my genealogy, … [Read more...]

A Dwarf, A Boy, and His Dog

My brother and oldest sister were a year apart, with the same dark brown hair and brown eyes. When he was four, Larry wore an eye patch, and in first grade, glasses. He had a lazy eye, the only thing that was ever lazy about that boy. In September of 1940, he attended first grade at Notre … [Read more...]