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Curse Lifted

The curse that shaped the life of my grandmother, the lives of my mother and her brother, the life of my brother, and my own life, has finally been lifted.…

The Food Of Love

Patches of snow cling to the muddy earth in the city’s picturesque nineteenth-century cemetery just to our north. Down in the gorge immediately to our south the creek builds momentum…

Vaccinate!

Vaccination is one of history’s most significant health advances. But California has had outbreaks of measles and pertussis in the past year. California also has a rising number of children…

Robinson Crusoe Island

Robinson Crusoe Island

This April puts us five years short of the 300th anniversary of the publication of Robinson Crusoe. Daniel Defoe’s popular novel about an island castaway is thought to have been…

Peter Matthiessen, 1927 – 2014

Peter Matthiessen, 1927 – 2014

I met Peter Matthiessen once when the Friends of the Library were selling books at the Koret Auditorium in 2001. Matthiessen was featured speaker at a program in the “Writers…

Prison Tornadoes

We can't see the city of Decatur from inside this prison, but at 9:30pm, we hear the city's sirens wailing in the distance, alarms that signal the worst disasters: floods,…

A Second Chance—25 Years Later

A “Second Chance,” after 25 years of absence and silence, was recently offered Shepherd by Assumpta. Her email arrived from Europe to his farm. We met in Barcelona in 1988…

Underlying Problem

I walk to town most every day rather than drive my truck for the same reason I decided in 1967 to create a life for myself independent of automobiles, something…

Samantha

On Thursday, February 14th— Valentine’s Day, about three weeks after my article, “El Úndecimo Mandamiento” appeared in The Anderson Valley Advertiser, Samantha called. It was the first time I’d spoken…

‘He’s Not Heavy Father, He’s My Brother’

After digging out of the Big Snow of ’75 I checked in at the Mendocino County unemployment office in Ukiah because my six months of $31 a week had run…

Chunnel Of Love

Dear Dr. Zack, Please help me settle an argument with my girlfriend. We agree that the two sure signs of life are irritability and the ability to reproduce. She says…

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