January 2011

Editor’s Note: See What $1 Billion Does for a Mindset?
AT THE RISK OF SLANDERING MY OWN ENVIronment, I’d be lying if I said the area was always beautiful. Sure, certain sections of Arlington, Texas, are prettier than others, and sure, I enjoyed all the time I spent in this Mid-Cities city, halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth. But I was a fortunate son of Arlington: I worked at the prettiest place in the whole town.[…]

February 2011

Editor’s Note: Helping a Helper
AS MANY OF OUR READERS HAVE SO ACCUrately pointed out during the past two and a half years, American Way has taken a dramatic and pronounced turn toward service journalism. We feel that it is our responsibility to not just entertain you, our readers, but to inform you as well.[…]

February 2011

Editor’s Note: Head of the Class?
LET ME START OUT BY SAYING THAT ALTHOUGH there are whiffs of politics in this column and in the subsequent story, both the column and story — in their current formats — couldn’t be more apolitical. Neither I, with this column, nor feature writer Charlotte Huff is making an argument for or against the implementation of this program. Neither of us is taking a stance on […]

March 2011

Editor’s Note: The Duffer
MY DREAM OF BECOMING A PRO golfer ended in the early 1990s on the first tee at Chagrin Valley Country Club. Though dressed in a modish Izod shirt (collar down, the way the Lord intended a collar to be worn), pleated Dockers[…]

March 2011

Editor’s Note: Westbound and Down
WE WERE SOMEWHERE ON THE EAST SIDE OF the mountain when I started to panic. Not so much because I feared that I couldn’t ski this neckbreaker of a run, nor because I didn’t have the utmost confidence that my skiing partner could make it down. No, I panicked because our presence on this part of the moun[…]

April 2011

Cover Story: LIFE & HOW TO LIVE IT
Michael Stipe and R.E.M. helped form an entire genre of music. Yet his heart-sleeve lyrics and melodious tenor only begin to describe the man.[…]

April 2011

Editor’s Note: Living the Dream
I HAVE THIS BUDDY, ANDY, WHO ABSOLUTEly loves everything about the Disney brand. The guy can sing every fairy-tale song by heart (or speak them by heart, or however it is that you recite a fairy tale). He owns all the collectible merchandise — like that watch whose face has Mickey dressed up as a wizard. He has a stuffed Jiminy Cricket standing sentry while he slumbers, and he (Andy, not Jiminy Cricket)[…]

May 2011

Editor’s Note: In the Treme
ON OUR COVER IS STEVE ZAHN, A TALented actor who, in my opinion, broke out last year with the debut of the HBO series Treme, which is set in post-Katrina New Orleans. Zahn plays rebounding musician Davis McAlary with precision and perfection, and he captures the anguish of Katrina survivors, the chaos on the ground and the frustration of a nation at the slow pace of reconstruction.[…]

May 2011

Editor’s Note: Stars Align
NINE YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE Grandma Sally went to heaven, and whenever I think about her, I can’t help but be sad. I’m sad that she never met my wife; she never met her great-grandchildren; she never got to see the world, as we’ve been so fortunate to do. Mostly, I become sad because Grandma Sally had such a sad life. The lone bright spot for her was her family. With four children and 10 grandchildren, Grandma Sally always had[…]

June 2011

Editor’s Note: Send Your Kids to Europe
WHEN I WOKE UP, THE FIRST thing I noticed was that a very pretty, very professional – looking lady was sitting beside me. Before I could orient myself, she turned to me and smiled. “Guten morgen,” she said in a friendly voice. “Traurig, spreche ich Deutsch nicht,” I replied, sloppily, in her native tongue. “You speak it well enough to know how to tell me that you don’t know how to speak German, in German,” she quipped. “Thank heavens you speak English,” I replied[…]

June 2011

Editor’s Note: Return to Splendor
MARY CHESNUT WAS OVERWHELMED WITH grief and utterly heartbroken. She spent the early days of May shoring up her personal affairs and tying up loose ends. Mary wasn’t a native of Richmond, Va.: Her entire life was one of vagabondage, moving around at an early age as she did between South Carolina and Mississippi, only to eventually settle with her husband in the historic city at the falls of the James River. […]

July 2011

Editor’s Note: A Tale of Two Corned Beef Sandwiches
AS THE YEARS TICK BY, IT’S HARD TO REMEMber just how this ridiculous conversation came about. It’s harder still to rationalize why two buddies would engage in a shoving match over such an easy decision. But the more I think about it, and regardless of my personal preference, I can relate to — if not outright understand, let alone condone — why Dave and Greg almost came to blows over a corned beef sandwich. Of course, where we’re from[…]

July 2011

Editor’s Note: Running Around
FIRST THINGS FIRST: THIS WASN”T A SCIENTIFIC study. This wasn’t commissioned by a team of Ivy League sociologist; this wasn’t the culmination of an academic’s life work. What you are about to read is my theory that was conceived on one of those red-eye overseas flights and put to the test months later.[…]

August 2011

Editor’s Note: Taking the Q&A on the Road
WHEN IT COMES TO JOURNALISTIC FUNDAmentals, one of the first lessons they teach you in college remains one of the hardest disciplines to master: the interview. No matter how many you do during your career, you always feel like you could have done a better job. Or you wish you had asked another question.[…]

August 2011

Editor’s Note: Big Red
ONE OF THE QUIETEST MOMENTS IN MY LIFE occurred while I was part of a crowd of 67,000. The irony was, though, that only a few minutes earlier, those same 67,000 people produced one of the loudest moments in my life. But the quiet…[…]

September 2011

Editor’s Note: I Don’t Play Golf, for Money, Against People
DAD AND I WERE STANDING ON THE tee box of the 18th hole. Our round at the iconic Old Course in Half Moon Bay, Calif., was drawing to a close, as this was our final hole of the day. The scene was absolutely screen-saver/ Successory worthy: The wind[…]

September 2011

In New South Wales and Queensland, something magical is happening Down Under.[…]

October 2011

Editor’s Note: I’m NOT To Funny
WITH THIS COLUM, I INTEND TO MAKE YOU laugh. Problem is, that’s much easier said than done. Writing comedy, in my opinion, is the hardest form of writing there is. I might be able to make you laugh with my oral delivery of a line, but when it comes to putting ink on paper, I’m about as dry as my granddaddy’s scalp. It’s not for a lack of trying, either.[…]

October 2011

Editor’s Note: Salem’s Lot
OLD MAN COREY WAS A PECULIAR MAN. ON that, everyone agreed. He lived a scandalous life for most of his 80 years, only to join the First Church in Salem, Mass., in the waning days of his existence. The old man was never convicted of any serious offenses. Sure, he’d had run-ins with the law and dustups with neighbors and other[…]

November 2011

Editor’s Note: Two Patriotic Colleges
LIKE MANY OF YOU, I’M GETTING READY FOR another thrilling season of NCAA Men’s Division I basketball. And like many of you, I’m getting ready to root for my favorite teams — and to secretively cheer on the underdogs who always make it into the Sweet Sixteen come March. But I’m approaching this season[…]

November 2011

Editor’s Note: A Thanksgiving First
JESSICA AND TOM MET ON AN INBOUND FLIGHT from Paris. They were both in France vacationing, clueless that the other one was there, let alone even existed. And yet, there they were, flying back to homes not more than one mile apart in Seattle, on the same flight from Paris and then[…]

December 2011

Editor’s Note: You’re the Best
FOLKS, I HAVE TO TELL YOU, I’M ABSOLUTELY amazed, day in and day out, by the courtesy of American Airlines’ passengers and employees . In my life, I’ve worked for more than 20 companies, and in fields as varied as travel/leisure, law, service/hospitality, medicine, education,[…]

December 2011

Editor’s Note: Feel Like a Champion
FOR ATLEAST ONE INDUSTRY, CHRISTMAS lasts from Dec. 25 well into mid-February. In fact, for this industry, a good chunk of annual revenue comes in the first six weeks of the new year. Call it an age-old reliance on sociological and consumer spending trends, or call[…]