If I were cool enough to play electric guitar really well, I would have a band called Martin Dugard and the Unforgiven, or Fred Sherbet and the Men of Steel. But certainly not South Coast Party Machine.
I'm afraid I haven't been completely honest with all of you. As much as I love the author photo posted on this site, it was taken at least fifteen years ago. For various reasons, I've never gotten around to getting a new one. But as it becomes clear that I am an older and more grizzled version of that guy, I'm not just going to leap blindly into the world of author photos.
My Mom died this morning. I was in the middle of cross country practice when I got the news. I stood stunned, then finished the workout before wandering around in a weepy daze. Rosemary Hope Fitzgerald Dugard would have been 84 on August 1. Mother of five, married for 58 years; TWA flight attendant, Mass General nurse, Wing Commander's wife.
An excerpt from the new paperback edition of To Be a Runner. . . . "Ever think of giving it a try?" It was a year since my knee surgery. Liam needed new running shoes, so we were back at our local shop, the same place where I decompensated after that morning at the symphony. My youngest son was now a senior captain on the JSerra cross country team, tall, independent, and fully versed in the ritual of purchasing trainers and flats.
I am well aware of my introverted ways, of which solitude is a key component. When my oldest son was turning twelve and decided to skip his final year of Little League baseball, he agonized over the decision — not because he would miss baseball, but because he feared that I would no longer have any friends if I left the Little League coaching community. In time he came to understand that a lack of friends is not the issue, but the lack of a need for friends.
I won my bracket. . . . Thanks to an iffy last-minute foul — and a non-call — I win. As champion, our punishment is that the loser now has to chug a six-pack of the beer of my choosing. Our group numbers several grown men who have achieved considerable success in a wide variety of fields, [b]ut when it came time to select a penalty for losing the bracket, we all resorted to the residue of our college days.
I have a complicated relationship with New Years resolutions. Like many people, I am filled with hope and a sense of rejuvenation as January 1 approaches, making a list of all the changes I'd like to make for a better me. I'm at something of a turning point in my life, making this year's annual resolutions something of a come-to-Jesus undertaking.