A hot, dirt


Newspaper reporter...television correspondent...magazine founder, editor and writer.   Political writer...crime writer...health writer...travel writer.  Contributor to Esquire, Gourmet,  GQ, New York Times, Playboy, Texas Monthly, Town and Country, Travel and Leisure.  Over 20 awards, including nomination for National Magazine Award, Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allen Poe award, Texas Institute of Letters Award. Non fiction books:  Evidence of Love, a true-crime classic, and The View from Nowhere, a tour of great American saloons that has become a cult favorite. Presently trying his hand at fiction,  A brief excerpt of the first chapter of his first unpublished novel is to the right.  Links to archives of his non-fiction work  may be found by clicking “links” above.

    TO A MORAL CERTAINTY  (excerpt)

    A humid breeze was swirling about when he and his wife and daughter left the circus that night.  It smelled of a thunderstorm.

    They walked briskly to a crosswalk at Fitzhugh, a six lane boulevard that ran along the back side of the grounds.  Annie was walking between them, concentrating hard on those two scoops of ice cream.  Lisa was rifling her purse for her cigarettes.  Andrew was idly staring at the stars.   

    He would remember later that he didn’t even hear the engine of the speeding van until it was a scant ten yards from them.

    “Andy!” came LIsa’s voice.  Without thinking, he yanked his daughter across in front of him and flung her toward the median of the street.  He then dove for his wife and attempted to ram her out of the way of the speeding vehicle.

    But he delivered only a glancing blow.  The instant that the van was upon them, Lisa ws spinning and stumbling right in the path of its headlights, while he ws skidding on the asphalt to safety

    The grill struck Lisa with a dull thud--a death sound.  She flew straight up into the night air like a helicopter on take off, then came straight down on the hood with a wet thwop-like the sound a big, bloated water bottle might make if it was dropped on asphalt from a second story balcony. 

    The van continued to speed eastward and her body bounced and rolled forward on the hood, her pale arms flailing about for something to grab hold of in the damp, black air.  The van accelerated and jumped a large chuckhole, flinging Lisa up and out in front of the vehicle.

    Andrew had landed with his head turned in the direction of the fleeing van and so he didn’t even have time to avert his eyes as it piled over the twitching body of his wife, its axles whining and chassis rattling as if it’d run over a discarded sack of fertilizer.

    A sound was in his throat someplace, but he couldn’t get it out.  The horizon oscillated as he pulled up and tried to get a bead on the disappearing van.  Andrew could smell his own body odor, the grit of the street.  He could smell and hear everything as he never had before.

    Desperate feet squeaked and skidded to and fro; voices, scared and strident, bounced off the night sky, which all of a sudden seemed very close.

    “Annie!” came his first utterance.

    As if from over a mountain range, he heard his daughter’s voice, “Daddy!  Go save mommy!”