Cuba – America’s Bastard Stepchild

Part 1: 1492 - 1898 As the bus pulled away from Havana's Jose Marti airport I realized that, although I was only a few miles from Florida, I was in a different world. The roads teemed with people even though we were far from the city. People were walking. Walking with purpose. These are people [...]

Sambo(o) and the Gay Quakers

Robert Lawson was a gay quaker. Unlike his more sober brethren, Robert enjoyed a programmed meeting where he could sing hymns loudly and lustily. He also enjoyed a pot of rum, a pipe of tobacco and, before bed, a warm cup of cocoa. He didn't feel that these little pleasures distracted him from The Truth; [...]

Down Mexico way

In 1971 I had a low-level job at the British Consulate in Los Angeles. My title was Commercial Assistant which meant that I read through the Yellow Pages in search of export opportunities for British companies. In those days there weren't many export opportunities for British companies. The Japanese were strong competitors on the west [...]

Are You Ready for a Transatlantic Cruise?

I'm old enough to have sailed across the Atlantic at a time when it was as common as flying and before it was called cruising. The ocean liner was a normal mode of transport. It took you from point A to point B. If you were traveling alone you were automatically assigned cabin-mates. Today cruising [...]

Alderney: Hitler’s Island of Death

Alderney is a small island in the English Channel off the coast of France. It is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey which is a dependency of the British Crown but is not a part of the United Kingdom. To the people of Alderney the Queen is the Duke of Normandy. William the Bastard was [...]

Texan Hipsters and a Flying Nun

I had read a few things about Marfa, the tiny south-western Texas town inhabited by artsy hipsters from Brooklyn, and so while I was in the area I decided to drop by and check it out. It's about 70 miles from Van Horn to Marfa on highway 90. As I drove through the sandy scrubland [...]


When the Pullmantur cruise ship, The Monarch, sailed into Colon many of the older passengers were suffering from a respiratory infection that we had caught at the half-way point of our journey from the Canary Islands. We had sniffled, coughed and brought up gallons of mucus. Our cabins were our prison cells but also our [...]