Nov/Dec 1997

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(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

Sometimes I Wish I Lived on a Houseboat

McGee departs from private investigators and ex-cops and special forces tough guys that helm the many other series available in the action/adventure/suspense genre, most notably in terms of his philosophy. He is the thinking man's action hero, extraordinaire.

Tom Dooley


The Old Man Who is Me

Or I can take the Norman Vincent Peale route and try to convince myself that it's all psychological, that aging is a matter of the mind. Right. I've got news for all the Og Mandino and Deepak Chopra fans out there: age is mostly something the matter with the mind.

Chris Lott


9 November

No one I know alive today can recall the Kaiser, who died in exile in Holland some decades after his abdication two days before the armistice was signed on November 11, 1918. But, the disintegration of the Hohenzollerans was the beginning of the change in European governments from monarchies to "republics," albeit perhaps strange forms of those. Four of them disintegrated after World War I; the German monarchy was the first to fall, followed by the Hapsburgs, Romanovs (who paid with their lives for the fall of their dynasty), and lastly the Ottomans.

Valentine Smith


11 November

Vietnam hurt! It hurt those of us who went, and fought, and died, and it hurt those of us who couldn't (my fate) or wouldn't go, and who got entangled in that complex web called "the anti-war movement." Either way, many of us are still scarred a quarter-century later, and still the polarizations exist, much to my dismay and puzzlement.

Valentine Smith