Category Archives: Art

My great-grandmother called H.L. Mencken an “idiot” and he responded

Going through my grandmother’s things recently, at the old folks home, my mother found a letter that H.L. Mencken sent to my great-grandmother in 1926. Short and expressing genuine bewilderment, this letter references a point of conflict that Mencken simply calls “this Becky Bolling bilge.” (Preliminary research hasn’t revealed what this was.) The letter, signed [...]

Old Sport

“Bringing the ball up,” said Kobe Bryant, “and having me kind of initiate the offense and score and stuff like that, it’s making me work a little more than I will when Gatsby gets back.” … Gatsby would be [Steve] Nash, sidelined until at least Monday because of a small fracture in his left leg. [...]

Billy Redden, the Banjo Boy from Deliverance, Speaks

My oral history of the filming of Deliverance is coming out in the September issue of Atlanta magazine. In the process of reporting it, I spoke with Burt Reynolds (hirsute star), John Boorman (short-fused English director), and Billy Redden. Redden played Lonnie, the somewhat deranged looking banjo savant. Turns out, he doesn’t know how to [...]

GROWN MEN CHASING ANTELOPE: The Persistence Hunting Film Campaign

Yesterday, I spoke with New Hampshire’s “Word of Mouth” radio, hosted by Virginia Prescott. We discussed my recent Outside magazine feature, “Fair Chase.” If you haven’t read it, this is the teaser: On the plains of New Mexico, a band of elite marathoners tests a controversial theory of evolution: that humans can outrun the fastest [...]

Dept. of Pleasant Surprises

Just learned that my story about the death of John Celmer (“Final Exit“)—which appeared in the March 2010 issue of Atlanta magazine—has been named a finalist in the “Reporting” category of the 2011 City and Regional Magazine Association (CRMA) Awards. Atlanta magazine, where I’m a contributing editor, picked up six finalist nominations. Winners will be [...]

My Favorite Picture Caption

The fine print below a penciled picture of two men sitting at a table: “ILLUSTRATION TO A SUPPOSITIOUS EVENT FROM AN IMAGINARY NOVEL.” I like the multiple levels of non-existence.