Essays, Interviews, Observations, Pop Culture, Stories, and other Dodginess

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Visiting Michael Perry

Posted on January 30, 2013

Several years ago I received a book for Christmas. Population: 485 by Michael Perry was a piece my gifter thought I’d be taken with. I was. The book about Perry’s life in rural Wisconsin, working as a volunteer firefighter meeting his neighbors “one siren at a time” became an instant favorite of mine, as were his follow-up memoirs, Truck: A Love Story, Coop, and his latest, Visiting Tom, about Perry’s compelling older neighbor whose hobby is shooting a homemade cannon. These books aren’t just my favorites. Perry is a New York Times bestselling author. He also writes essays for national magazines, hosts the nationally syndicated Tent Show Radio, and performs and tours with his band the Long Beds. Perry recently took time out too…

Chicago Neighbors

Posted on January 23, 2013

Chicago Neighbors – The Dodgy’s first Chicago home was on Medill Street just down the block from Mickey’s Tavern. Here are just a few black-and-whites from the neighborhood. The first one features Pearl and Russian Annie. Pearl is a die-hard White Sox fan who can drink me, you, and anyone else under the table and off the block. Russian Annie was foul-mouthed, funny, and someone I helped walk home from the bar during a formidable Chicago snowstorm. In between them is not Bob, I don’t think, but I called him that because he was always tending bar at Bob Inn, a tavern just down the street on Fullerton across from the Fireside Bowl. The other guy I’m not sure. A soap dodger, I suppose.…

Letter From Time

Posted on January 19, 2013

A few days ago I went to check on my friend, reclusive author Clive Javanski. He was nowhere to be found. In his apartment I found this letter addressed to me. I’m not sure what to make of it. Apparently he believes he’s  found a way to go back in time to a particular place when he was in love. And lost. And he’s there now. More likely he’s drunk. But I’ll read on.   L, I forgot I’m supposed to look out the door of study hall to watch Sloane walk by. She hit me in the shoulder later in the hall because I didn’t. She looked hurt.  Man, I remember how overwhelming it was now, to hear the bell and wait for…