London 1966: I.T., the Camel, and a Song Named Me

International Times launch party flyer and debut issue / image credit: http://www.international-times.org.uk/ITarchive.htm

The camel’s unexpected appearance saved me. The raggedy texture of his fur, his massiveness, and his breath were all undeniably real, no matter how bizarre the setting and cast of characters. Snaking black power cords connecting reporters to brilliant artificial light, long-armed microphones and BBC television cameras did not trip his feet as they did […]

Catskill Bill: A Portrait of a Fisherman

Catskill Bill with Grilse Salmon

The Catskill region is a lonely place. Maybe it wasn’t in its borscht belt heyday when young Jewish New Yorkers spent their summers in the big hotels with the hope of meeting a future husband or wife. And many did. The stories are legion. But when I first came to know the area intimately, in […]

When the Moon is in the Seventh House

Ricker Winsor chopping wood / image copyright Ricker Winsor

My beat up Renault pulled into the short dirt driveway of my small cape style house in Lyme, New Hampshire that March of 1970. The 60’s were over. Bob Dylan had left New York City too for the country upstate in Woodstock and I was doing the same here in New Hampshire. I thought that […]

Riding with Sebastiano 1964

Ricker Winsor on the beach

Dawn broke gray and silent on another dreary London day. A cold March rain hit my face and drizzled down my neck as I snuck past my landlady’s apartment and out the door and onto the street where my new Triumph motorcycle waited. I was ready for my escape. I was just nineteen years old, […]

The Wounded

Hansen278 / Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7438870@N04/1148649159/ otisarchives2 / CC BY

After the end of the last really big war, WWII, where something like sixty million people died, America had a very nice stretch of about twenty years. We were on top of the world, didn’t need to rebuild bombed-out cities, needed only to go forward into comfort and prosperity. President Ike warned against the “military […]

Ma’s Face

Ma's Face / Ricker Winsor

I was in the first grade with the purple-faced Mrs. Reagan when my mother had the first operation on her face to remove a tumor. This wasn’t the one that took the facial nerve; that came later. Still, it was difficult for a little boy to see his mother’s fine, beautiful face all sunken in […]

Pelham Bay Wilding 1957

houses

“Have you ever been in combat, Ricker?” my spiritual advisor asked. Pelham Bay Wilding The Molotov cocktail burst against the wall shocking the quiet, suburban night with flames fifty feet high. The bricks of the old gothic school scattered the gas across its surface, scorching the big flat wall where, during the day, children played […]

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Becoming Jill Kerouac

Jill Kerouac

It all started with the word. Not THAT word. But a word — or a string of words, rather — that struck me: As a freshly-minted English major with a semester’s study abroad, a few recreational trips to Central America and a wealth of weekend road-trips under her belt, McKinney’s point hit home. Where were […]

Jenny Lynn

Jenny Lynn

Cold wind is building and ready. It is not understood the pent feelings that have suddenly surfaced after long and even further back and then along the slow moving world and probably before the long awaited return of a Gypsy night. She said her name was Jenny Lynn. WAIT. Let me think. It was in […]

The Neighborhood

Brooklyn Bridge / via Andrew Mangum http://www.flickr.com/photos/46259360@N03/8229973262/ colorized by EmptyMirror

How did I get to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, New York? A good question. Maybe a loss of direction? I think so. At least there were different expectations for my life. Did anybody care? Did I care? Like Holden Caufield, after a semester of college, I had gone out to find myself, first in Europe, […]

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