First glimpse

When I was in eighth grade and living in the seaside and preppy hamlet of Duxbury, MA, the local sporting goods store chartered a ski bus for a day trip to Loon Mountain, NH. My friend Tim and I signed up, as did many of our classmates. Like many outings of the “field trip” variety the most interesting happenings occurred on the bus to and from the main event—e.g., on the way, the bus overheated, and the 90 minutes we had to wait for another afforded one philosophically inclined sophomore the opportunity to expatiate on the reasons why we enjoy smelling our own flatulence. Continue reading

Desert Engine

Do you remember the moment you realized you were a child of the West?

1980. I was ten-years-old in the backseat of a rented station wagon cruising south on an arid, semi-rural highway in southern California. At that time, my family was as New England as a game of pond hockey on a frozen cranberry bog, yet my parents must have been stealing glances westward, for they had taken their five boys on a week-long tour of the California coast.

On my right, two large dirt mounds the color of milk chocolate backgrounded by an even bigger hill. A posse of dirt bikers glided into view, bobbing up and down jumps and slinging hillside berms on their makeshift motocross track. Continue reading