Woody’s Library Restaurant

I was very excited to eat dinner at The Library. It’s located in Carmel, Indiana, an upper-income suburb of Indianapolis, quite probably the whitest city in America though not to be confused with Boston, which only wishes it were the whitest. (I stole that line from a satiric novella about our times called Now Playing by Erik Simon. If you thought it was funny, you should check out the book. ...

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Cigar Story #1: Coincidence in San Diego

Like most tales of coincidence, this one will seem nearly impossible to believe. But if you believe in coincidence . . . On my travels I almost always seek out local cigar shops for a couple of reasons. First, I love smoking a good cigar, and doing so has the ability to cast aside the world’s troubles, at least for the duration of that smoke. I side with Twain who claimed ...

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Hildene: A Lincoln Summer Home

I’ve spent enough of this lifetime hearing about the limelight woes of children of celebrities. I’m not saying there aren’t certain hassles of being in the spotlight, but those are far preferable to the actual pressures of, say, not getting enough food this week because your single mom makes minimum wage or not keeping your fingers warm enough to do homework because your dad fell off of an eight-foot scaffolding ...

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Holtman’s Doughnuts

Perhaps one of these days I will research how doughnuts came to be, but I feel like all that knowledge might sully things between me and doughnuts, might kill the magic, like in the Emily Dickinson poem about a guy (and it had to be a guy because only a guy would do something this stupid) who dissected a songbird to figure out where that beautiful music was coming from; ...

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A Folsom Prison Muse

When I was a kid, my hometown held its annual fair in late August, the week before school began. It was pretty much what you’d expect of a small town, Midwestern fair—Ferris Wheel, Tilt-a-Whirl, games to win stuffed animals and plenty of contests related to farm life—livestock and flower and baked-goods competitions. It was the kind of fair that could make you think those were innocent times until you got ...

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