Dublin Harpers: A band of family

  Jan 10, 2018–When I first started a family, I nurtured gauzy visions of sitting on the back porch, strumming guitar with my talented wife singing at my side and my precocious children playing along at my feet. Alas, despite spending thousands on music lessons, enduring endless variations of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, the onlyContinue Reading

The One Resolution

Jan 3, 2018–Ah, the new year is here and that means it’s time to endure the cascade of “resolutions” that last as long as a bunch of organic bananas. I have one resolution, and it’s the only one you’ll ever need: be more creative. If social media has done nothing else, it has revealed theContinue Reading

Another side of Jake Hooker

Dec 27, 2017–“How can we go to a Jake Hooker show and not dance!” According to Sheila Hooker, wife of the popular dance band front man, that is a common plaint from fans about the band’s first “sit down” theater show set for Jan 6 at Lantex Theater in Llano. It’s a good question. AfterContinue Reading

Mean and Green

Dec 20, 2017–How come the Grinch gets all the hot Whos? That was my takeaway after a challenging week performing as Dr. Seuss’s beloved nemesis in Regan Mann’s tap dance production at Fredericksburg Theater Company. First, let me establish that this role challenged my limited acting chops. It included dressing in what looked–and felt–like anContinue Reading


Dec 13, 2017–I came face to face with steampunk for the first time in 2010. Literally. It happened during my tenure as director of Club Ed community education program. As a marketing hook, I would adopt various personas to make my catalogs stand out. Over the years, I dressed up as Philvis, a private dickContinue Reading

In Praise of the Outdoor Shower

Dec 6, 2017–Have you ever taken an outdoor shower? Not been in a rain shower. But taken an actual shower. Why not? There is no personal pampering experience more sublime than standing bare under God’s firmament, relishing the cool freshets of pure water tumbling over your gnarled skin. When we moved into our little placeContinue Reading

Christmas with Michael Martin Murphey: What Forever’s For

  Nov 29, 2017–For Michael Martin Murphey, changing up his Cowboy Christmas Show would be “like coming to town and not singing Wildfire.” “The audience would kill us if we changed it,” said the American music legend during an interview about his Dec 2 show at the Rockbox Theater in Fredericksburg. Not that he hasn’tContinue Reading

You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch

Nov 22, 2017–’Tis the season of nutcrackers, ballerinas, and dancing sugarplums, whatever those are. So of course Regan Mann of Fredericksburg Dance Company wanted to toss a little grinchiness into this sometimes syrupy season. Sure, her dancers will offer a Nutcracker Ballet. But she is adding a different seasoning for audiences–a show with tap dancing.Continue Reading

Engaging the world

Nov 15, 2017–As Thanksgiving brings its predictable menu of comfort food, dispensed in your family tradition, I started thinking about how as we grow older we tend to seek out stronger flavors. The pungency of goat cheese and truffles. The tang of red wine and black coffee. The picante of peppers. I used to speculateContinue Reading

Bystander at the Birth of eSports

Nov 8, 2017–I was at Ground Zero for the birth of eSports, and didn’t realize it. The year was 1982. The location was Ottumwa, Iowa. More specifically, it was inside a storefront video game arcade called Twin Galaxies. After a challenging day teaching at Evans Junior High, I would often stop in to play aContinue Reading