Over the last four years since Bailey’s passing, I have pondered the depth and degree of my love for her. Is it because I was never a mother and therefore had an inordinate amount of love to devote to a dog? Or was it simply two souls connecting on an undefined level? Can a human being and an animal be “soul mates”? Some say that animals don’t have souls, and that they don’t go to heaven. That simply cannot be true. In my world, dogs — more than many humans — deserve a place in heaven. When you look into the eyes of a beloved pet, you can see their soul. Doesn’t a dog’s unconditional love and devotion feel like pure heaven itself? If dogs don’t go to heaven, then heaven is no place for me!
My conversations with Cheddar are not confined to the house or backyard. They occur during our walks in the forest, in the park, and during the running of our many errands. On these outdoor adventures, our talks cover many non-walk subjects, but every park and forest conversation includes the weather, squirrels, cats and dogs and their owners, trees, and other vegetation. Cheddar has contributed greatly to my knowledge of the outdoors and canines.
The true story of rafting the Upper Yangtze River from the source, at 17,400 feet elevation in the great Himalayan glaciers, to the city of Yibin. The dream was to be the first expedition to travel the 2,000 miles of uncharted water. But the death of a teammate, a so-called mutiny, and several all-Chinese rafting teams racing ahead of the expedition in an attempt to be first, turn a perfect trip into a voyage of drama, disaster and unexpected challenges.
FISHING WITH HYENAS is a love story between girlie girl Theresa and commercial fisherman Captain Bart, who convinces her to crew on a ninety-two-foot tuna boat plying the North Pacific Ocean. Trading cashmere and high heels for rain gear and rubber boots, she becomes a deckhand, confined for three months at a time, thousands of miles from anywhere. Bart’s tight group of fishermen—the Hyenas—become her extended family, but no one explains what appalling weather and hauling thousands of pounds of tuna would do to her hands. Or to her heart. Or to her mind.
Chaos cluttered the streets of New York City back then, which in the 1960s was all about Burn, Baby, Burn, especially in the ghetto neighborhoods where buildings were being incinerated. The cops were pigs. Revolutionaries were stirring up trouble on the Lower East Side. Squatters moved in everywhere. Lots of heroin was going down. And the French Connection was strong. The city was a place where nobody gave a rat’s ass about anybody but themselves.
…So begins the story of “A Collection of Bummer Summers.”
“The mostly true stories in the first section of this book are reasonably accurate, although in several cases the truth has been rubber-banded. Interspersed are short stories composed entirely of lies. Plus, I’ve sprinkled in a few poems because poetry slows us down, forcing us to take time to ponder. Pondering seems to be in short supply these days.”
“I was inspired to write this autobiography so I could explain some of the things I did during my first fifty years of life (I was born December 19, 1923). I feel that my story will inspire others to never give up, keep a good attitude, learn how to keep a marriage going, how to treat their children, and how to get along with others. “Taking The Bitter With The Sweet” is a smorgasbord of my life.” — Dan Pistoresi
“There were in excess of 18 million people in the military service in World War II. Many of these men and women had difficult, stressful, and unpleasant times in their service. I was very fortunate. Although I participated in combat for several days, my service was mostly not difficult or demanding. After active duty, I served for 24 years in the Naval Reserve. Those years were an important part of my life and have provided benefits to all members of the family.” –David A. Goldsmith