Thursday, March 14, 2013


    Teenagers are often troublesome, usually from not enough parental control. Other factors are too much of such control and just enough. 70 years ago, I was a teenager totally removed from parental control, often absorbed in fantasies. Instead of video games, I had a war to inspire them. Before the war, my fantasy had been to enlist in the Marines and to get assigned to its Fourth Regiment in Shanghai. I had been told that all enlisted men there had beautiful Eurasian girls, daughters of Chinese fathers and Russian countesses, forced into exile by the revolution against their Tsar. Since even a marine private’s pay was a princely sum in the China of that time, these waifs considered their rescuers as gods.

    That dream had been destroyed when the Fourth Marines had been transferred from Shanghai to the Philippines, just in time to fight at Bataan. I joined the Marines anyway,

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Lu Ella


            Lu Ella has lived next to us for six months, and I wish I knew how to get shook of her.  I don't dislike her. It's just that she can't do anything.   If we play street ball, she can't hit the ball, let alone catch it.  When she tries to throw it, she gets her arm back of her head, and that ball is liable to go anywhere.  I've tried kidding her about her name, told her she spelled it funny, but she said no, that's the way her daddy named her.  On top of everything else, she's from the South.  I've tried to tell her to say dad instead of daddy and to ease off on words like "you all" and on putting "little old" in front of everything so the kids in class won't laugh too much at her.


            Everyone, of my generation, can recall where he was that memorable Sunday when Pearl Harbor came blasting out of the radios of America.  I hold the distinction of remembering the next day with equal clarity.  I was driving truck for my father, a plastering contractor, on a housing project in Long Beach.  The work day had just started when my uncle, his foreman, tapped me on the shoulder.
            "Your father wants to see you at the motel."
            "Get going."

            My uncle was a decisive man of few words, and I could see

Friday, March 1, 2013


         Hi.  I’m Jack and I’m a recovering author. I suppose that I have the same problem as most of you: one boring day at a time. I go eight hours without writing, take a deep breath and decide: okay, that’s past--I’m not sweating too badly—I can go another eight.  When that’s past, it’s time for bed,and I check another day off the calendar.

         I know that some of you are snickering inside.  You’re social authors; you can stop whenever you want. I felt that way once.  I would stop writing for weeks at a time,