Seasons of Change
Autumn is in the air.
As I compose this month’s newsletter, the final days of summer have run out and a fresh season is at hand. Today will be three minutes and twenty-five seconds shorter than yesterday. Night lengthens, daylight falters, and soon cold frost will rime darkened windows.
Summer is gone, a new season arrives.
Like the changing calendar, I am engaged in a season of change. This will be the last year of my life as a university professor. After nineteen years in the classroom, I am moving on to a career as a full-time writer. I enjoyed teaching, it gave me a good life, but now, realizing that there aren’t an infinite number of seasons left on my calendar, it is time to devote myself wholeheartedly to the dream I conceived nearly forty years ago: I shall wield my pen (or laptop keyboard) to earn my daily fare.
This newsletter, in part, is devoted to this new journey. In the months to come I shall report on my faltering first steps. I don’t know where Mary and I will be next year at this time; I have no guarantee that anything I hope for will come to pass; but, to employ an autumnal sporting analogy, at some point you just have to put the ball in the air and see if anyone catches it.
It isn’t going to be boring.
Hiking the Via Romea Germanica
Nor was it boring in the summer of 2019 when Mary and I hiked 650 miles down the spine of Italy to Rome. We started at Brenner Pass, where Italy touches Austria, and worked our way slowly south. Two months and many adventures later, we strolled (staggered?) into St. Peter’s Square.
I chronicled the journey on a blog site. Each installment was born of fatigue, cobbled together at the end of long days. The narrative hits the high points, but it isn’t great literature.
I am pleased to announce that I am reworking this Homeric odyssey on my website. I am tuning up the prose, editing the photos, and creating something worth reading. It is slow going, but the first six installments, along with a series introduction, may be found here:
Oyster Burger News
The hunt for the world’s greatest oyster burger—the ultimate oyster burger—continues. Here are the latest entries in the quest:
Other History Writing
Not enough? How about a story about the unsinkable Francis Tuohy, a man who claimed to have survived the sinkings of the Titanic, Empress of Ireland, and the Lusitania.
That guy sure knew how to float. Read the story here:
And that’s about it for this month’s edition of What’s New in Old News? Look forward next month to more stories, tales from the Via Romea Germanica, oyster burger reviews, and updates on new magazine stories.
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