Village Voices

Search for the real

Search for the real

Ringo once said that they pitied their friend Elvis, for he endured the disfigurations of extreme fame alone. They had each other, as well as a little coterie of confidantes and gofers with names like Mal and Viv, now immortalized in approximately 1347 exhaustively researched books on the subject.

Brigadoon

Brigadoon

I’ve been looking for Brigadoon most of my life. I first became aware of the legend in that old MGM musical by the same name. It’s about an enchanted Scots village that disappeared and travelled through time when everyone in town went to sleep. They’d wake up, and a hundred years had gone by. They hadn’t changed a bit, and no one ever found them. Until Gene Kelly showed up. It’s romantic and it’s ridiculous. I wanted to live there.

No regrets, coyote

No regrets, coyote

Coyotes prefer those less populated spots near the reservoir, away from industry, even of the mom’n’pop variety. Much warier of humans than black bears and deer, they patrol and prowl and scavenge and yip and bark and live their coyote lives mostly in darkness, rarely venturing to back yards and streets. Their combined calls create an eerie, keening, beautiful sound, awakening an uncommon fear in modern-day humans.

Finding Milo’s path

Finding Milo’s path

Milo was doing fine in public school until he ran up against a former state trooper turned teacher in third grade who didn’t like our kid’s hyper ways. We were forced to create an IEP that uncovered his advanced nature with most subjects, natural sense of humor, and the fact that our district’s special classes were shared with detention.

Tough questions about Covid

Tough questions about Covid

A self-described quarantine honor student who practiced Covid precaution book and letter for four months, withdrawing hermetically and seeing no one, the 61-year-old Los Angeles journalist Bill Plaschke says he let his guard down twice and ventured two outdoor, distanced, and compliant dinners with friends over the course of a single weekend. And then boom.

It’s not okay

It’s not okay

When I can lift my head out of my stress fog, I’m reminded of a time when my entire life was swept out to sea by an undertow of grief. Feeling so intensely wounded made me suddenly understand that everyone is wounded, in some way or another. And despite what felt like the end of my life as I knew it, I never felt closer to humanity as a whole, never more connected.

The old Rondout

The old Rondout

I invited every artist I knew who could add some wildness: bands, solo musicians, sound experimenters, video mayhem masters. I projected old government propaganda films off the creek’s surface onto the bar’s outside walls. Friends made esoteric dance tapes for the old ballroom we half-cleared beyond the bar. People could drink Clarence’s dandelion wine for free. We served it in what looked like methadone cups. The event drew an eclectic crowd. Old friendships were renewed and new ones established.

John interviews Liz Burdick

John interviews Liz Burdick

It’s the amount of responsibility, making sure 24 kids are in your sight range and learning something all day long. I was and remain very easily overwhelmed. I’d constantly leave my purse in the teacher’s room. When I left home in the morning, I often took my keys and yours. And I often lost track of children.

First lady

First lady

Jackie Kennedy was glamorous. Hillary Clinton was a working first lady. Barbara Bush was made of iron. Michelle Obama was all those things, but she was more.