This entry in The Out There Side blog series was written for a forthcoming anthology about midlife.

The other night I had a strange dream: I’d showed up to work at some office building but I couldn’t find my desk. They’d moved me, and everywhere I thought my cube might be, somebody else was working. Finally I saw M, a good friend and reliable editor, so I asked her where I was supposed to be. “I don’t know anything,” she replied, “because I just got fired.” I thought, “Whoa, if M is fired, there goes all my reliable editor’s work…


Album cover for J Catz: Can’t We All Just Go Dutch?

This entry in The Out There Side blog series celebrates the release of a new album by J Catz — a virtual band — created during a year of pandemic lockdown with help from GarageBand, WeTransfer, iPhones, and a lot of dear friends. Readers can stream the album on Spotify, iTunes, etc: J Catz: Can’t We All Just Go Dutch?

This musical sojourn started a couple years back when my niece, Jordan Cherry, visited New York City and, per tradition, we went on a long run together and visited our favorite photo backdrop along the Hudson River.


This entry in The Out There Side blog series excerpts a StoryCorps interview with Dr. Marty Kuhlman, associate professor of history at West Texas A&M University, and a lifelong friend of the author. It covers wild US elections, great rock & roll songs, and other topics du jour.

“Hit me with your best shot!” That was the email reply I received from Dr. Marty Kuhlman, after I sent him the link to my recent blog post about our interview — along with a reminder that we never really talked about rock & roll so we needed a do-over. …


This installment of The Out There Side blog series focuses on the life and work of Texas-based historian Dr. Marty Kuhlman.

Members of the Equal Suffrage League at West Texas State Normal College, 1912

Marking the centennial of American women gaining the right to vote, The Dallas Morning News recently ran an article about women’s suffrage in the Texas Panhandle. When the piece came over my email transom, I noticed it was penned by Dr. Marty Kuhlman of West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.

“The Canyon campus,” Kuhlman writes, “was home to many who wanted to accord women permission to vote — a battle finally won 100 years ago, with the Aug…


This continues the blog series The Out There Side. Unlike the previous post on Flower Power in the present, this one revisits the concept a half century ago.

A large photograph in the museum, shot in a San Francisco in 1967.

At the 51st anniversary of Woodstock, I’m here to say: I was there, man!

That is, I was recently at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a museum located on the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Of course, Woodstock, NY is a fun town — but the museum and festival site lie 40 miles away in a rural corner of Sullivan County. When we visited it was…


This continues the blog series The Out There Side. This post celebrates the reopening of a public space on the Upper West Side.

© Robin Langsdorf

The flowers have been liberated! When my family and I returned to New York City from a July vacation at an upstate lake, one pleasant surprise was the reopening of a venue near our apartment: the West Side Community Garden.

The garden — which combines flower plots in the public area with vegetable plots in a private section — had been shuttered since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak in mid-March, after Governor Andrew Cuomo’s orders to…


This continues the blog series The Out There Side. This post is pretty corny.

Apparently there are as many ways to shuck an ear of corn as there are chefs working a grill.

That fact has made itself clear during this last week, when my family and I have been in upstate New York, staying at a lake in the foothills of the Catskills. We have a group of five cabins and five families, connected by a cookout area — a little community that one kid has affectionately dubbed Covid Cove. …


This is a continuation of the blog series The Out There Side. This installment honors the late, great Milton Glaser.

Milton Glaser was one of the most famous designers of the last century, so it’s safe to say he’s the most famous designer I ever interacted with. I knew him from my days as editor of Graphis magazine, where he was a regular fixture, a wise elder, and a generous friend of the mag. He was also, of course, a monumental icon. As one family friend put it, I ♥ Milton Glaser.

Since his passing on June 26 at age…


This is the second installment of a blog series called The Out There Side. This piece focuses on a local proprietor on the Upper West Side.

In mid-March, under orders from New York State to shut down his business, Fasil Yilma closed up shop at Gold Leaf Stationers on Amsterdam Avenue. Later that month, he filed a petition to reopen as an “essential” business.

“I explained that the students, instead of going to school, are taught in the house, and many parents are working from home,” Fasil says. “So the supplies that they used to get at school or in…


This is the first entry of what could be called a “running blog” — though most of it will be conceived not while running, but rather its flip side: walking. Either way, as Dr. George Sheehan advised: “Never trust a thought that you have while sitting down.” Sheehan was echoing a sentiment of one of his heroes, H.D. Thoreau: “Methinks the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.” …

Jack Crager

Jack Crager is a writer and editor based in New York City (jackcrager.com).

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