Jackie Robinson wore number 42 during his Major League Baseball career. It was his number when, in 1947, he signed on with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was named MLB Rookie of the Year when the season ended. He was the most valuable player every year for the next 6 years. His number was 42 when … Read more


As you travel the train northward from Los Angeles, scores of forgotten Americans huddle together, lining the tracks. Their tents and makeshift shelters, complete with shopping carts and discarded tarps, give little relief from the wind, sun, heat, and, more recently, record rains. The tempered Amtrak windows provide just enough separation, allowing passengers to stare … Read more

You can look but don’t touch

Beautiful scenery, a relaxing ride. How about attendants and employees who are civil? A ride on the train is a wonderful experience not to be missed. Train travel is a great way to explore America. Bring a book, enjoy a snack, and don’t forget your rose-colored glasses. The glasses will help you ignore the sadness … Read more

Everything is fine – until it’s not

  I wrote this letter some time ago but thought you might find it interesting.   Dear Captain Philip Corder, Southwest Airlines Flight 2911 on November 15, 2023, was a remarkable experience. I wanted to share with you my perspective on what could have been a dire situation. Shortly after takeoff, a male passenger located … Read more


Today, the military-civilian divide is greater than at any other time in American history. The percentage of Americans who have served in the military is lower today than ever since the end of World War II. While fewer people in uniform seem like it means fewer wars, it is, in reality, a symptom of a … Read more

Thoughts on the train

Lillian and I traveled from just north of Los Angeles to Seattle on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight. One of their most scenic routes, the trip takes you up from Southern California along the Pacific Ocean, into the Salinas Valley, and up the Central Coast. From there, the train makes a brief stop at Jack London Square … Read more

Hobo’s Lullaby

Bums neither work nor travel. Vagrants travel but do not work. Hobos travel and sometimes work. While traveling workers have always existed in human societies, The term – hobo – can be traced to the returning veterans of the Civil War. Then, with the war finally over, hundreds of soldiers, with no money to buy … Read more