My Father’s War

By Peter Richmond GQ, December 1993 It’s a reflex action. I kick the grenade without thinking. My brain shouts out in panic, but it’s too late. The grenade feels heavy against the toe of my boot. l see that the pin is missing. I can hear the sound it makes as it rolls...

The Two Rogers

By Alex Belth SB Nation, October 25, 2012 The first time I heard Roger Angell speak was on a movie screen. I was working as an intern on Ken Burns’s Baseball documentary, sitting in a dark sound-mixing studio in the Brill Building in midtown Manhattan. During his...

Good Old Sidney

By Alex Belth Bronx Banter, June 15, 2011 My father was an incorrigible name dropper. He called famous actors and directors by their first names, suggesting an intimacy that didn’t always exist. He had met a lot of celebrities when he worked as a unit production...

Me and My Old Man

By Paul Hemphill from The Good Old Boys, 1974 ICC is a-checkin on down the line, Well, I’m a little overweight And my log book’s way behind; Nothin’ bothers me tonight, I can dodge all the scales all right; Six days on the road And I’m a-gonna make it home...

Quitting the Paper

By Paul Hemphill Southern Voices, 1970s (Collected in Too Old to Cry) On the Kansas City Star you were forced to learn to write a simple declarative sentence. This is useful to anyone. Newspaper work will not harm a young writer and will help him if he gets out of it...

Serious Business

By Richard Ben Cramer Bronx Banter, October 22, 2010 My grandfather took me to my first game at The Stadium. Not baseball: the Cleveland Browns against the New York Football Giants. I lived in Rochester and, as a consequence, I was a Browns fan. As to whether this was...