My Back Pages

[Tip of the hat to Bob Dylan]
stories and reflections on my childhood, young adulthood, and beyond…(return home)


This '63 Dodge Dart is the same model and color as my first car.

This ’63 Dodge Dart is the same model and color as my first car. Click to enlarge.

’63 powder-blue Dodge Dart
slant-six engine, push-button transmission
that my father gave me in 1970.

Volvo 122s Wagon I bought with a hundred dollars cash
and twenty-five dollars in food stamps.

Continue reading

the reading

I have told no one this story—not until this moment.

It was 1973. I was 22 years old, hitchhiking around the Mediterranean Sea, with no itinerary and no time constraints. It was my hope that, by surrendering all expectations, I might acquire some insight into what to do in life.

In Nice, France, three English musicians invited me to stay with them for a bit. With a place to stash my guitar and other stuff, I was free to walk the city streets, something I treasured more than visiting museums and historic battle sites.

On a slightly run-down street, I walked by a girl not older than seventeen but whose smile had the air of an old soul. Continue reading

stray dog

[This piece is so-titled because the story wasn’t over when I thought it was, but instead followed me like a stray dog determined to tag along.]

It was the Seventies. I was at Brandeis University, just outside Cambridge, Massachusetts. So yes, I took LSD. I was alone in the university’s Rose Art Museum that was like a drop of pond water: tiny and unassuming until you slid it under a microscope and then suddenly there was life of every ilk. In the Rose-Art-Museum Drop-of-Pond-Water, I was rubbing elbows with scores of the greatest artists of the past century.

Face-to-face with an abstract impressionist canvas, I said “I know you. You will now become pure light.” Continue reading