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Investigating a Suicide. Me?

As the sergeant drank cheap whiskey one night at the NCO Club on Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, his wife overdosed on pills. Because suicide is a homicide, the Office of Special Investigations on base, meaning my two colleagues and me, got the case. The base security police had roped off their trailer, and …

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The Newspapers & Rico the Baker

Pittsburgh’s old morning newspaper was the small dog in town—feistier, funkier, more colorful, more daring and, compared to the larger afternoon paper, far more fun. Its “personnel department” was Agnes who worked in an alcove full of office machines from the Roosevelt years. The Teddy Roosevelt years. Ray took over. He was bright, funny, had …

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Train Shows & Guys

When they hit male menopause, some men buy a sports car, or a sailboat, or take off with a young woman named Amber. Others take the cheaper and more benign route: buy electric trains and go to train shows. A local volunteer fire department held one Sunday and it was jammed, mainly by men who …

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Confession: Cops and Kids

I done got busted for breaking-and-entering (cue the blues harp and slide guitar). This is a sad tale but I must spare all young people the same sordid fate. One sunny Saturday morning six decades ago in Seattle’s Ballard district, two kids blew open the door of a playground field house, and the rest of …

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Painting? Have Some Fun!

I spent three decades at a job that wasn’t a job, one at which few have actually earned a living. But cartoons disappear when the newspapers are bundled up for recycling. Heck, newspapers disappear. After leaving the newspaper, I began painting… and soon remembered it is darn hard. I venture to say this in spite …

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