Bottles cast upon the sea

By Andrew H. Malcolm

The walls of my Ohio childhood carried many pictures. They had World War II aircraft, Captain Marvel drawings, the Lone Ranger’s color photo (autographed). These images changed over time according to the tides of juvenile interests. But one constant through all those years was a map of the world.

My father would point out various lands, which were farther away than even Pennsylvania. And on that map we would trace in crayon where I had traveled. Up until one gray day in June over a half-century ago those colored lines were confined to the North American mainland. But then we boarded an ocean ferry for a vacation venture to the island of Nantucket out in the Atlantic Ocean.…

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Racing Against Time

By Andrew H. Malcolm

I’ve never really been one for the vicarious frights of horror movies. Roller coasters are fun as long as the tracks ahead are visible. But racing cars have intrigued me since childhood Memorial Days. On those inevitably sunny Midwest mornings Dad and I would decorate my bike with crepe paper and flags for the local parade as the garage radio broadcast the thrills and chills of the Indianapolis 500.…

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Thunder Across the Land

By Andrew H. Malcolm

We were sitting around the dinner table one evening years ago in Tokyo when suddenly, across the room, a large framed painting fell from the wall and crashed to the floor. The few seconds of silent, stunned familial disbelief were interrupted by my shocked 3-year-old son. Eyes fixed on the fallen artwork, he asked, “Why dat do dat?”…

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Telling It Like It Is

By Andrew H. Malcolm

What you thought was true may not be. But that’s no longer an excuse.

By Andrew H. Malcolm

One of my regular assignments as a rookie reporter in New York City in the late 1960s was to stand backstage in the NBC Studios at Rockefeller Center during the late afternoon taping of the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Whenever a scheduled guest like Mayor Lindsay carried the potential for making non-show-business news, there I’d be, hidden by the curtain, directly behind the seated guests as they chatted with Johnny about their recent travels, their new movie or the things Americans find soothingly profound at bedtime. Like viewers at home several hours later, I was amazed at how quickly Johnny spouted his comic comments.…

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The Life and Times of Wolf No. 2

By Andrew H. Malcolm

This is the true story of a wolf named No. 2, a park named Yellowstone and a little-known society of wild things existing in obscure dignity far beyond most humans’ awareness.

No. 2 was born Canadian in the rugged wilds of western Alberta. One late winter day in the mid-’90s he was running with young siblings in the deep mountain snow of his first winter. Suddenly, a noisy machine appeared in the sky and hovered there with whirling wings unlike any bird ever seen. No. 2 brazenly stood his ground, watching, for a moment too long.…

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Anyone and Everyone, It Seems, Can Be Famous

By Andrew H. Malcolm

My earliest brushes with fame were decidedly nondescript. In a restaurant one distant day during my childhood an old man stopped by our table to inform my parents that I was without a doubt the best behaved little boy he had seen in a long while.

This caused much parental excitement because, I was later informed, the old guy was the famous Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department. I knew treasures from pirate tales, but treasuries meant little. (And he clearly did not know my other behavior.) Meeting famed Satchel Paige, however, in the bullpen of Fenway Park was quite something else because he was famous to me. I knew his name.…

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The Great American Road Trip

By Andrew H. Malcolm

It starts—or should—in the predawn darkness of the first day of vacation. You get up earlier than usual not because you must but because you want to. For the first time in many, many months you relish not knowing what you will do or see this day, where you will go, what you will eat and learn, and what place you will sleep that night.…

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