Hitching

By Paul Hemphill From Too Old to Cry, 1970s Anywhere, U.S.A. Hitchhiking, thumb up on some dusty road with the diesels honking and the curious kids in the back of the station wagons blinking their eyes, was the only way to go. By Friday, after a week of sneaking beer...

Death of a Racehorse

By W.C. Heinz The New York Sun, July 29, 1949 They were going to the post for the sixth race at Jamaica, two year olds, some making their first starts, to go five and a half furlongs for a purse of four thousand dollars. They were moving slowly down the backstretch...

Blame It on the VCRs

By Eve Babitz Smart, No. 9 When I was a madwoman in the 1960s, everyone I knew was getting laid like crazy. Everyone was wild for sex: they heard the phrase free love and ran amok across the land. Married men, married women, squares, hippies—everyone was on the prowl,...

Sober Virgins of the ’80s

By Eve Babitz Smart, Fall 1988 Not that I like the eighties, but the sixties, if you ask me, weren’t that great, either. I mean, in the fifties, for men to get girls into bed, they had to be good lovers, to persist, to be sensual and seductive and inevitable and...

Ronstadt for President

By Eve Babitz Smart, May–June 1989 [From Eve’s front of the book column titled “Love & Science”] I have been thinking that Linda Ronstadt is more politically effective than Jane Fonda. Linda has made the world safe for Mexican music. I mean, all Jane’s done is to...

The Wonderful One-Pitch Mo

By Kevin Baker, Bronx Banter, May 5, 2012 With apologies to “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table” by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Have you heard of the Mar-i-ano, Who such a wonderful pitch did throw He ran up six hundred saves and then some, And then of a sudden it — ah,...

Comedy is Not Pretty

By Ivan Solotaroff, The Stacks, November 11, 2013 Charlie Barnett was pivotal in getting started as a full-time journalist. I spent close to six months—a late fall, entire winter, and early spring—watching him and getting to know his story—not only his crack...

No Regrets: A Hard-Boiled Life

By John Schulian MSN.com, December 3 2001 The train to glory left without James Crumley, who seems to have been too busy examining life’s gnarly side to bother catching it. There are no best-sellers for him, no money-bloated deals with Hollywood—just hard-boiled...

Opening Day at Fenway

By George Kimball The Boston Phoenix, April 1971 Years ago—only a few years ago, actually, but still years before the miracle year of 1967 and years before it became chic to root for the Red Sox—the centerfield bleachers at Fenway were traditionally the habitat of the...

The Love Ethic on 125th Street

By Joe Flaherty The Village Voice, April 11, 1968 In times of national tragedy the barometer of the mood of the people can best be researched in saloons and cathedrals. Being more comfortable in the former, Friday afternoon I stopped into a pub in the Wall Street...