Columns & Essays
I was an award-winning columnist at the Bloomsburg Press-Enterprise and have published scores of columns and essays as a freelancer. Here are some recent (and a few not-so-recent) pieces.
Saved and Confused: Does Jesus Get Us? Or Are We Being Had?
Comes now, courtesy of HeGetsUs.com, a Jesus rebranded as a neurotic millennial for a generation swimming in angst, tangled up in technology, and feeling hopeless about the future.
The Map is Not the Territory
The map imposed upon us by Siri is utterly foreign to our own humanity, a rigid amalgam of GPS coordinates and heartless algorithms.
North by Southwest
Travels in search of America
Not quite 50 years ago, the tagline of the iconic counter-culture road movie Easy Rider was: “A man went looking for America and couldn’t find it anywhere.” On the roads I traveled, I was heartened to find it everywhere.
The First Freedom (No, not that one)
In popular culture, youthful freedom begins when one is handed a set of car keys (or today’s far-less-romantic equivalent, a fob). But those of us of a certain age know that the car is only…
You Can’t Go Home Again (And Why Would You?)
With the exception of Pittsburgh, where inter-generational families cling to each other like refugees in a lifeboat, a preponderance of Americans, particularly the college-educated, eventually leave their hometowns behind. You can find no end of…
Travels with Duquesne University
Big Data is watching you!
I grew up in a different era than my students, in a time when the adventures described by wanderers like Hemingway or Kerouac still seemed plausible; like, okay, the world has changed quite a bit…
That magic moment
I hope it will happen on every trip. And it always does. But until it does I don’t really believe it will. It’s that magic moment when you feel you are not just far from…
The Perfect Murder? Prologue
One of the strangest stories I ever covered was the disappearance of industrialist Joe Derr in Acapulco, Mexico – and the ensuing tug of war between his prospective benefactors: Donald Baggett, his albino bodybuilder lover and accused killer, and the small Pennsylvania town that exiled him for being a homosexual when he was a boy.…
Chapter 1: Red Room
This is a true story. It must be. It was in the newspaper. I put it there. So. One evening in 1987, someone called my newsroom to tip us that the tiny town of Benton, Pa., had inherited something close to a million dollars. It was bequeathed by a man no one in Benton at…
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