Helicopters in The Sand

The big, twin rotor helicopter thundered down our beach. My son, all of three, with his mop of curly brown, salt-crusted hair, was mesmerized. As it passed in front of us, the gentleman in the doorway in his olive drab uniform and glistening white helmet, waved a giant’s wave.   “Oooh Daddy!” was all my […]

I’m Not Ready

“You’ve got a perfectly good room upstairs so why the hell are you looking for an apartment?” Dad’s words thundered through our small kitchen and Mom was visibly embarrassed. I didn’t know how to respond. I was 21, a college graduate, and at the end of the summer I would embark on three years of […]

In Defense of Football

My son is a high school football player and I love watching him play the game. I never played organized football.  When I started sixth grade, I told my dad I wanted to play ball.  And he said no.  Dad was afraid I would hurt myself so he told me I couldn’t play.  End of […]

Boxing with God

I’m going to jail, and I’m scared. A couple months back, a very good friend of mine asked me a tough question.  And I should have said no.  If I had, I wouldn’t be in this position.  I would not be going to jail and I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about whether or not […]

The Smile of a Stranger

  After the rain broke, I took a short bike ride on the Swamp Rabbit trail. I slowed for an approaching cyclist at the intersection of Wardlaw Street. A kid on a beat-up ten speed bike (an old Schwinn) came flying down Wardlaw. He jammed on the brakes, skidded onto the SRT, stood on the […]

Goodbye Melet

  I’ve done plenty of tough things in my life and being a Dad is definitely the hardest; the job description changes almost daily.  As both parents and children grow and evolve so do the challenges of parenting.   Yet I’ve known folks that have made it look easy and Melet Antonakos was one of those […]

A Christmas Present

Mary Katherine was petrified and she wasn’t going anywhere. “Mary Katherine, your team needs you, come on sweetheart, I know you can do this.”  She shook her head no.  She was wringing her hands and beads of sweat had bubbled up on her forehead and upper lip.  Yet I was certain that if she would […]

Kid Stuff

This essay originally appeared in the September 2002 issue of Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine   The Beechcraft King Air 200 has shut down; the passengers disembarked and as the pilots are walking away I whisper into my 4-year-old son’s ear “Wave at the pilots”.  It works like a charm.  One of the pilots walks […]

Give this app a Spin

My Mom was ready to go back to work.  After raising five kids in a 2,000 square foot home she desperately missed the peace and serenity of being a surgical nurse in a busy downtown hospital.  As soon as one of us could drive and one could cook, she bought a new stethoscope, starched her […]

The Inscrutable Mind of a 14 Year-Old Boy

We have a guest bathroom in our house. It’s on the first floor, just a small bathroom with a toilet, sink, a mirror and some decorative sconces filled with dried flowers on either side of the mirror. There’s no room in that bathroom for toiletries because it’s a guest bathroom, for guests, and you wouldn’t […]