What You Take With You: A “Return of the Jedi” Opening Night Remembrance

Forty years ago this month, my parents took me and my brothers and my friend Mike to see Return of the Jedi on opening night. This is an edited version of the chapter “What You Take With You,” from my book Collect All 21! I think it’s important to note that I wrote this yearsContinue reading “What You Take With You: A “Return of the Jedi” Opening Night Remembrance”

Me in ’83 – Bee Season

The Thirty-Seventh Regional Grand Final Spelling Bee sponsored by The Repository was forty years ago today, at 1:30 p.m., in the auditorium of the former GlenOak High School East Campus. I was there. I was in sixth grade, and I had Bee Fever, man. The year before, I had won the Lake Elementary fifth grade spelling bee, earningContinue reading “Me in ’83 – Bee Season”

Me in ’83 – Winter, Western New York

My family began 1983 with a trip to western New York to visit my Uncle Rob and his family. That’s me in the middle, and my brothers, who are on skis. My glasses were of the oh-so-cool-automatically-darkening-outside variety. I don’t remember if this was in Olean or Portville, although there are photos of us eatingContinue reading “Me in ’83 – Winter, Western New York”

This is Me in ’83 – The 40-Year Edition

Back in 2013, I wrote a series of essays about my middle-school life 30 years prior, in 1983. Since it’s 10 years later, I figured why not revisit them now? The original Star Wars trilogy concluded four decades ago this year. So did “M*A*S*H”. Jaws 3-D and A Christmas Story both came out. I wasn’tContinue reading “This is Me in ’83 – The 40-Year Edition”

They Might Be Giants: Flood at 30…ish

I don’t have a solid origin story for my TMBG fandom. I remember seeing “Don’t Let’s Start” on MTV (probably on 120 Minutes?) and liking it, then mis-naming it as “Dont’ Let’s Talk About It” to someone and feeling stupid later. I remember a conversation with a guy I recognized from just being around theContinue reading “They Might Be Giants: Flood at 30…ish”

Too Many Shadows / A Sudden Sense of Liberty

In the spring of 1986, I was a freshman in high school, and I never went on those end-of-year extracurricular weekend class trips to places like Philadelphia or Toronto or Washington, D.C. They just didn’t seem like my thing – they seemed like things the popular cool kids did. But that year, the trip wasContinue reading “Too Many Shadows / A Sudden Sense of Liberty”

What Happened in Vegas (Spoiler: It was COVID.)

Back in February, Jenn and I booked a vacation. We wanted someplace warm and new to both of us, so we chose Las Vegas. We’re not big partiers or gamblers, but we like trying local foods and exploring unfamiliar cities and national parks (we got some excellent local recommendations for these) and in a worst-caseContinue reading “What Happened in Vegas (Spoiler: It was COVID.)”