Mar/Apr 1998

e c l e c t i c a
s a l o n


(This is an excerpt—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

Part-Time Father

I can't control the beliefs my children will come to through their mother, and I've learned from painful experience the difference between actively opposing such views and presenting other alternatives by just being myself. I can't control whom their mother chooses to have friendships and romantic relationships with and, thus, whom my children end up spending a lot of time with... and I've learned—again painfully—not to attempt to meddle in such affairs. All I can do is try to be a good father when I am in that role and go on with my life when I am not.

Chris Lott


Gaining a Brother, and Maybe a Father: Reflections on Keith Snow's "In Search of Captain Dooley"

I don't know if it was the unaccounted for years when he wasn't in the Marines, or the mysterious ex-wife, or just the overall two-dimensional picture I had of his character, but I never felt like I knew who my dad really was. When my grandmother contacted me a year ago, though, and told me I had a previously unknown half-brother, some missing piece of the puzzle clicked for me. It was like an invisible burden had been lifted. Dennis Dean Dooley had finally become real.

Tom Dooley



At first, I paid only scant attention to her, because she clearly lived with Art, and he loudly made sure everyone in the house was aware of that. He offered to the world a very dominating person, 5'3", dark chocolate in color, with a seemingly permanent scowl set in his face. Scarred hands, and a large scar above his right eyebrow made it clear that Art had scrapped with people in the past at close quarters. I recognized that kind of scar, I had inflicted a few in the years I had been locked away, and I carried more than one myself.

Valentine Smith