…Son: Counterculture Feminist Poet Raises Football Player

October 1, 1976
Officials at Emery High School in Emeryville,
California, were surprised when a popular female
gym teacher showed up with a beard. Doris Richards,
in a yearbook photo eating a banana, described by a
former superintendent of schools as “the sweetest girl
I’ve ever known,” spent a six-month sick leave under-
going a sex change operation. The teacher, who now
wants to be known as Steve Dain, informed the school
he wants to stay on the job.
           The San Francisco Chronicle

The Alien Becoming the Familiar

During our fifty plus years of residing in north Berkeley, my family and I have had the opportunity to sample a wide variety of cuisines. Nearly a decade ago, strolling down Solano Avenue we counted nearly 30 restaurants offering Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Mexican, Vietnamese, Chinese and variations of all- American meals with the exception of a Subway sandwich franchise, no fast food outlets.

Not So Fast, My Dear

If you read the popular press, it seems many people dread turning fifty, feeling as if the hourglass has now been flipped and their life is certainly half over. Against all common belief and expectation, however, fifty turned out to be one of my best years ever. Not only did I go way beyond my comfort zone, stretching my mind and body, by hiking the full fifty-mile circuit of the High Sierra Camps in Yosemite National Park, ascending from about 6000’ to 11,000’, but I also met Norton.

Virtual Robert Levin

We sat in my car parked by the beach at Todd’s Point smoking a joint; this was Mendocino after all. I had brought Robert the book of photographs we’d produced after he’d moved into the nursing home. He was pleased with the quality of the photographs.

IF

We are sitting in the living room, the late afternoon sun making its way toward the horizon, casting a warm glow on the walls. My son and I have been chatting, catching up on family news. He is about to leave when we are startled by what sounds like an escalating argument on the street below.

The Holdup

“What children of a marriage rarely witness is the nature of the love that brought the whole thing – themselves included – into being in the first place.”
– William Trevor, May 1993, New Yorker Magazine

The Wild West Of My Dreams

El Paso, Texas is a brown town, the brown of mountains, the brown of desert, the brown of skin and earth and muddy river.  When I arrived in El Paso as a five-year-old in the summer of 1959, I wanted to see that river, the famous Rio Grande.  I’d seen it in movies, glorious cowboy movies with majestic vistas and mighty, rushing rivers, silver water sparkling in the sun.  I wanted to see the river and the mountains and the horses and the cowboys.  I wanted to see the Wild West of my dreams.