Surrogate Family

By J. Anthony Lukas From Birth of a Fan 1993 When I was four years old, my mother took me to my first evening at the theater—The Bumblebee Prince, an operetta by Rimsky-Korsakov, based on a story by Pushkin. By all reports, I was utterly entranced and, when the...

Why You Should

By Eve Babitz Playboy December 1989 My only recommendation to a man who is even remotely thinking about ballroom dancing is to be careful. Unless you have a very large trust fund or a very strong character, don’t begin at Arthur Murray. Once they hook you, they have...

They Can’t Take That Away From Me

By Marcelle Clements From The Dog Is Us 1985 Fred Astaire is my hero, and I don’t care who knows it. “Gimme a break!” sneer the technocrats, the pseudo-dandies with the punk haircuts, all those who favor business lunches and open relationships. Yes, they will mock,...

Jocks Are Lousy Lovers

By Allison Glock GQ April 1995 I met the first boy I ever had sex with at the roller rink. He was a speed skater and could rubber leg, which at the time made him more attractive than the nerdy science-fair boys who had to rent their skates and couldn’t even do the...

My Ears Are Bent

By John Schulian MSNBC 2001 Not a holiday season arrives that I don’t think of a gray, clammy day long ago on Baltimore’s waterfront and a lost soul who told me about the woman who had given him his only gift in years: a Christmas card. It was just the sort of story I...

The American Novel Made Us

By Seymour Krim Playboy June 1969 I was literally made, shaped, whetted and given a world with a purpose by the American realistic novel of the mid- to late 1930s. From the age of 14 to 17, I gorged myself on the works of Thomas Wolfe (beginning with Of Time and the...

Auld Lange Syne

By Lucy Sante The New York Observer 1993 If Christmas is designed to bring out the child in everyone, then New Year’s brings out the fool. Sobriety is temporarily fashionable nowadays, so fewer people than usual will wake up this January 1 partly clad, in a strange...

Bochco

By John Schulian The Stacks Reader April 4, 2018 There were unknowns piled atop unknowns when I began planning to give up my newspaper sports column and light out for Hollywood. Foremost among them was whether Steven Bochco would answer the letter I sent him. He was...

Dad’s Last Visit

By Pat Jordan AARP November/December 2006 My father died in the spring of 2005, a year-and-a-half after my mother died, and a week after he visited my wife and me in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 95. She was 97. My niece was with my father when he died in a...

The Genius of Baseball’s Hillbilly Philosopher

By John Schulian Deadspin August 1, 2014 Dizzy Dean was baseball’s one-man free speech movement. There were big names with untamed mouths before him, of course, Babe Ruth being the obvious example, but the Babe was only too happy to take time out for the occasional...

The Great Seduction

By Alex Belth The Classical February 2014 They came to Ted Williams the way those eight ill-fated adventurers came to Everest, thinking they could scale it, conquer it, reduce it to something mortals could comprehend. John Updike almost made it to the top when he...

How One Of America’s Greatest Sportswriters Disappeared

By John Schulian Deadspin March 11, 2013 It was almost endearing how an ink-smudged, deadline-addicted newspaper editor of yore would squint through the smoke from his cigarette and ask a bright young man why the hell he wanted to write sports. An editor like that was...