Running for Sheriff in Aspen

Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb is a brief portrait of a brilliant young writer, frustrated with his local and national governments, applying his beliefs to the practice of grassroots politics instead of keeping to the commentariat. For any young writers who wish to “write like Hunter S. Thompson,” or fans who love the Johnny Depp portrayal, the documentary will be instructive.

Marty Schottenheimer and the Meaning of Coaches

In almost any period in the past fifty years, Schottenheimer could have been cast as the “square” dad in a situation comedy. He was the quintessence of matter-of-factness, the earnest striver whose word was always good, but who would not have known the latest dance moves—or even the name of the latest dance. Marty Schottenheimer exhibited a strain of cheerful seriousness or serious good cheer, take your choice.

Now Appearing, the Great Cicely Tyson

The woman who began her career as a fashion model for Ebony and Jet magazines, who married (and divorced) jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, and whose love of Black people, especially Black women, made her into an activist for most of her long, long life developed her craft so exactingly that she reigns as one of the greatest artists America has ever produced (or ever will produce).

How Crime Paid for a Patient, Persistent Writer

Readers snapped up John Lutz’s police procedurals because they could tell he knew the details of police work. As a switchboard operator for St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, he had listened to beat cops phoning in from call boxes. “That gave me insight into how they think,” he told me. “Police think they are aware of a depth of the dark side of human nature that other people can’t begin to imagine.”

The Black Hair Fantastic

I have a print of Paul Goodnight’s “Links and Lineages” that depicts three generations braiding each other hair in a colorful tapestry of Black female intimacy and beauty. Such pleasures exist in many families. Mine—not so much.