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Sliver Spring, Maryland/Washington D.C.
Former journalist and public affairs guy now writing when inspiration strikes.
Interests: tennis, reading, biking, collecting antiquarian books on the American Revolution
Recent Activity
Our Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House tour guide, Beth, captured my and my wife's attention from the second we entered the 19th century author's home. Her passion for the subject was palpable and she made it clear from the onset that Won-ok and I weren't going to just tour a farmhouse that was the setting for a famous novel; we were going to genuinely get to know the writer who lived there. Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2019 at DC Reflections
It is my honor to share here the remarks I gave at the funeral of my uncle, Sergeant John Young. May this small tribute honor him, the 9th Infantry Division, Charlie Company and everyone who served our country in Vietnam. Throughout my uncle’s life, he was a patriot. He did not believe in letting someone else go do impossible jobs in his place. He believed it was his duty to fight for what his country asked of him. The breakthrough I always longed for with him, though, finally came. It came because of Professor Andrew Wiest and his book, The Boys of '67. My uncle became a guest lecturer in Wiest's classes at the University of Southern Mississippi, lead summer sessions in Vietnam with him and served as the launching point for the book. Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2017 at DC Reflections
A day spent at the Colonial Market Fair 2017 at the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum in Ellicott City, Maryland made a powerful impact on me. I learned a great deal about the life of Benjamin Banneker, the great African-American scientist, mathematician, clock-maker, almanac writer and abolitionist. I also produced an eight-part video series with interviews with reenactors, performers and more. Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2017 at DC Reflections
I normally experience my beloved Sligo Creek Bike Trail from Silver Spring, Maryland to Lake Artemesia in College Park on bike: I cruise along at 12 to 15 miles per hour, my eyes focused on the pavement ahead and my ears filled with the constant whoosh of wind breaking across my face. The Friends of Sligo Creek introduced me to a whole new way of encountering the tail on May 6 when it organized a walk through the tree canopy. That's what it felt like anyway. The trip along Sligo Creek was actually a guided tour -- the first time that either myself or my girlfriend Won-ok Kim had ever formally gone "birding". Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2017 at DC Reflections
Survivor in particular is a recipe for disaster. Survivor crawls inside the tiniest and darkest crevices of each contestant's psyche and looks for chances to split it apart. One bad moment can ruin lives. I watched in slow-motion abject horror last night as two contestants' whole lives went off the rails when one chose to out another for being transgender. I couldn't believe my eyes and ears so I had to rewind the scene. Yes, Jeff Varner did reveal the secret that Zeke Smith alone was entitled to keep or share as he pleases. "Why haven't you told anyone here you're transgender?" Varner asked. Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2017 at DC Reflections
In the spirit of our new Insulter-in-Chief, I give Trump supporters my guide to making your visit to D.C. the greatest trip in the history of travel. Believe me, because I have the best words … A lot of you Trump supporters will be coming here to our nation’s capital for the first time on Inauguration Day. You may find the District of Columbia an alien place in many ways so please allow me to give you my top do’s and don’ts to make the most out of your stay. Most of us locals hope it will be brief. Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2017 at DC Reflections
Bill Clinton told the story about Hillary Clinton working at an Alaskan fish cannery at the Democratic National Convention last night. The story reminded me of my own time in a cannery and helped me relate to Mrs. Clinton for the first time -- and realize that my only choice is to vote for her and against Donald Trump. Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2016 at DC Reflections
I hope that Republicans across America remember last night’s GOP presidential candidate debate when they almost certainly lose the White House again in 2016. Everything you need to know about what’s wrong with today’s mainstream evangelical Republicanism was on full display last night in Wisconsin. Republicans will certainly continue to win congressional and state legislative seats they continue to gerrymander... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2015 at DC Reflections
I haven't been writing much on my trusty old personal blog because I've been working so hard running Orion's Attic -- helping people liquidate estates and selling every manner of antiques and collectibles. I just had my best day ever running the company along with Won-ok Kim. I'd like to share the story about the night that we got to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2015 at DC Reflections
[This is a piece I just published at about some very special rare books I just obtained. I start the piece here and would be honored if you clicked on the link at the bottom of the piece here to read the full story.] I did some more time traveling this week, going back to Boston early in the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2015 at DC Reflections
Dr. John "Sparky" Breeskin, make that Lieutenant Colonel Breeskin, was a U.S. Air Force psychologist stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany in the mid-1970s when he was introduced to the German hiking tradition of the Volksmarch -- "the people's walk." The idea, he learned, was to join people of small villages and go for organized, non-competitive walks that included food and friendship.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2015 at DC Reflections
An old man who appeared to me to be homeless showed up at the end of an Upscale Yard Sale we were running in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland before Christmas. He didn’t beg for money. He didn’t ask for anything. Something just spoke to me and told me to help the guy somehow. "I'm trying to get with a lady... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2014 at DC Reflections
[From my journals this past February.] I almost punched a man in the face today. I’ve only come close to punching someone a few times in my life as I generally don’t find violence to be a solution to problems and I lack the resume for brawling. A guy complaining at the Subway sandwich shop at the Woodmoor Shopping Center... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2014 at DC Reflections
I turned a corner at the National Museum of the American Indian last week and found myself staring at the cherubic cheeks of Henry Knox -- George Washington's Secretary of War and one of my all-time favorite Revolutionary leaders. I've got a love a man who starts his career as a Boston bookseller and propels himself to extraordinary heights in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2014 at DC Reflections
[Oct. 21, 2014] I hit the road on two wheels this morning, getting a late start at 10:30 but happy to be out for a ride. The weather guessers on TV had said a big storm would hit in the afternoon so I didn’t venture to the Mount Vernon trail as I had hoped. The question remained, though: Could I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2014 at DC Reflections
The cold air that surprised my lungs tonight brought back a memory of meeting a woman named Claudia last January. She called me in need of the services our antiques and collectibles company provides. The very sweet woman said she had been dealing with her mother’s estate because her mom has Alzheimer’s. My girlfriend/business partner Won-ok and I drove over... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2014 at DC Reflections
[Ed. Note: My new life running estate sales, buying and selling anitiques and collectibles and trying to build a successful business -- Orion's Attic -- leads to all kinds of adventures. I thought I would start sharing some of them here as they're personal in nature. For those who may be interested, there's a link at the bottom to the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2014 at DC Reflections
Hey squirrels who have been working along the Sligo Creek Trail on out to the Northwest Branch Trail and beyond: I'm on to you. You think that you're so fuzzy and cute with your bushy tails and happy-go-lucky leaps from tree to tree that no one would ever question you, that no one would ever think you might be up... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2014 at DC Reflections
My Saturday morning had already gotten off to a great start in Falls Church, Virginia, my company landing a new client. My girlfriend slash business partner and I began driving to our next stop in Frederick, Maryland. My old friend and former coaching colleague Robert Speers texted me from Atlanta to say that the Mercer Bears were about to take... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2014 at DC Reflections
I did not say all toys are crap. I said cheap, plastic toys are crap -- and the leading exporter of cheap, plastic crap is China. There's a difference between prejudice and fact.
I will never set foot in a Toys "R" Us store again and I encourage people everywhere to shop elsewhere this holiday season. The company should have to suffer consequences for sending such blatantly offensive and inaccurate messages to parents and children alike. News flash to Toys "R" Us: Giving children a chance to spend a day in the natural world makes for a much greater gift than buying cheap, plastic crap made in China. Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2013 at DC Reflections
I don't think clean bathrooms quite make up for the miserable way Catoctin Wildlife Preserve & Zoo treats the animals there.
I looked up from the antiques and collectibles I was packing at an antiques mall in Hagerstown, Maryland and spotted a bright red cap with a Georgia Bulldog "G" resting on the head of an older gentleman walking toward me. "Are you a University of Georgia alum?" I asked. He said he was and that he graduated in the 1950s.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2012 at DC Reflections
I ran into a high school sweetheart nearly two decades ago back in our hometown of Atlanta. She told me that her life had changed a lot since we dated: She realized she was gay. “Rebecca” (not her real name) shared the painful journey that ultimately led to her happily embracing her sexuality. We lost touch not long after that... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2012 at DC Reflections
What happens when a couple of horses meet a city slicker? They nibble on his head! Check out my latest Orion's Attic blog post to find out about our latest adventure from our antiques and collectibles busines. Click here to read about our Saturday romp through western Maryland. Be sure to click on the link to the very short video... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2012 at DC Reflections