Author Archives

Lockhart

Armistice Day

I remember an evening sitting through one of those ghastly, self-righteous arguments about the Vietnam War that seemed to plague any attempt at serious conversation in the 1970s. The wild-eyed beard next to me showed no interest whatsoever and seemed to regard all the hot air as little […]

Tain-l’Hermitage

Thomas Jefferson might have had better weather in the 1780s when he came to the Hermitage Mountain here and declared this vista of the Rhône River valley the most beautiful in all of France. The trip from the Colonial Ambassador’s residence in Paris—564km by modern roads—would have taken […]

Glasgow

When you come to Glasgow, you might wonder at Saint Paul’s assertion that, “the wages of sin is death”—and not because of the famously gloomy weather or the dreary, coal-stained sandstone of the buildings. Nor because of the crime, violence, and drug addiction that have afflicted the less […]

Stambul

For someone brought up on Christian churches, East or West, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, or Protestant, the simplicity of the great Islamic mosques of Istanbul can be both over- and underwhelming. We’re reminded of a church across Market Street in San Francisco, where the saints’ statues crowd the aisles […]

Sleepers

We’ve now traveled by sleeper coach train through every major west European country except Spain, and it’s uncanny how the experience has reflected the culture of the train’s country of origin. The French sleeper was dignified and correct, if a bit prim. The Italian was a wonderfully stylish mess. […]

Galveston

The Galveston Seawall was always a little raunchy, but on the evening of September 13, 2008, we were still sorry to see the Balinese Room and its pier vanish into the jaws of Hurricane Ike. Opened in 1942 by the mobbed-up, bootlegging barbers and brothers, Papa Rose and Mr. Sam […]

Saint Andrews

The sunrise is the same, and the bunkers on the 17thhole look as fearsome as ever, but otherwise, there isn’t much to recall from journeys with my mother to the Old Course in Saint Andrews. Mom was an accomplished amateur golfer by the time we started trekking northward […]