Showing posts from November, 2015


Last week, when Islamic militants executed a series of attacks throughout Paris, I thought of a picture I have in my house.  It is an old sepia-toned picture of the Eiffel Tower that my uncle took after helping liberate that city from the Nazis in late August of 1944.  The picture is beautiful, the tower standing out amid a mix of fog and an eerie, spectral light.  Looking at that picture gives me hope that our nation and our world can once again defeat a growing evil.
My uncle Raymond was a soldier.  I know very little about his time serving this country in our Armed Forces.  He didn't talk about it much, not to my father and certainly not to the little kid I was when I knew him.  I think he stormed the beaches at Normandy.  I know he was shot and wounded in battle.  I remember a picture of him standing at the end of a dock on a lake in some foreign country, mountains in the background, wearing a cleanly pressed uniform and leaning on a cane.  In that picture he looks like the Ame…

Ben Franklin Run the Bridge 10k

The night before.

I put my well-worn Bialetti espresso maker on the stove and stand there waiting for it to brew.  I run through a mental checklist for the morning: espresso, Cliff bar, beet juice, banana, water.  I peek under the lid to see if it is brewing yet.  I fidget.

I run through a mental checklist for the morning: shorts, socks, shoes, number, shirt, pins, watch, spare clothes.  I lift the top of the Bialetti to see if it is brewing yet; it is not.  I walk back to my bedroom.

I double check the four safety pins, adjust the laces on my shoes for no good reason.  Socks...check, shorts...check, t-shirt...check, bib number...check, Garmin...check.

I go back out to the kitchen, stare at the espresso cup, a gift from my sons with the Philly skyline painted around it.  I turn the cup so the Ben Franklin Bridge is facing me.  I stare at the bridge.  Tomorrow is race day.

The morning of. 

The day starts off well: great temperature, free parking, and actual bathrooms.

The span of t…