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Casual Fridays Radio Show airs each Friday at noon (and again at 11 p.m.) on Lakeshore Public Radio, WLPR, 89.1-FM, streaming at http://lakeshorepublicmedia.org/local-programs/casual-fridays/. Listen to previous shows at that site also.

A dying old man’s lingering advice: ‘Being content is everything, trust me’

August 29, 2015

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The old man couldn’t have been as happy as he seemed, could he? Sitting at a table inside a local diner for lunch, he was an 80-year-old collection of smiles, age spots and body bruises, the latter from years of poor health. He endured 14 surgeries, lost more than 100 pounds, and felt random attacks […]

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Our region’s smokestack trade-off for the American Pipe Dream

August 17, 2015

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Private-sector jobs versus public-safety issues. Long-term health versus short-term wealth. Environmental conservation versus political conversation. And on it goes now for more than a century in Northwest Indiana, a mixed-use development of smokestack skylines, industrial-sized job markets, and watered-down ideals. But where do we draw the line in the sand between economic stability and environmental […]

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Where is the ‘third place’ in your life?

August 11, 2015

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The old men acted like they owned the joint. They sat around a dining table littered with bottomless coffee cups and crass conversation. They hammed it up big time at this greasy spoon restaurant. “And then my wife slams the door and cusses me out!” one old man yelled to the others, slamming his hand […]

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‘Lost Gary’ book excerpt: They called themselves ‘Hunkies.’ They called me one, too.

July 8, 2015

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Here is an excerpt from the book titled “Hunkytown Fades Away,” when my people were called “Hunkies,” and then “Honkies.” They called themselves “Hunkies.” They called me one, too. The derogatory label was an ethnic slur against foreign-born, hardworking laborers who hailed from Central and Eastern Europe. The slur was likely derived from the term […]

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‘Lost Gary’ excerpt: ‘Black Power, White Flight: Population Implosion’

June 16, 2015

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Here is a new excerpt from “Lost Gary” – from the chapter “Black Power, White Flight: Population Implosion.” “White flight. This has been labeled as the main culprit for Gary’s population exodus in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s when tens of thousands of white residents fled for other communities. But what caused the white flight? […]

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Get lost! …………. in “Lost Gary”

May 26, 2015

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If you’re interested in a signed copy of my new book, “Lost Gary,” I will be at these locations to sign books and chat with guests: *Saturday, May 30, 11 a.m. – Remarkable Book Store – 7227 Taft St, Merrillville – 738-2084 *Saturday, May 30, 2 to 4 p.m. – Bub’s BBQ, 120 8th Ave […]

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20-year anniversary of a high school dropout

April 25, 2015

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I just realized that this month marks my 20th anniversary as a professional writer, of sorts, which began with me scribbling crudely-drawn political cartoons for local newspapers before accepting my first story assignment: Covering the Kouts Pork Fest. With no journalism experience, no writing history, no college degree (no high school diploma either), no computer […]

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