Homegrown Chacon

On the eve of a fight in March, 1982, Bobby Chacon became a single dad to three children, ages 11, 8, and 6. Following two devastating losses, Chacon’s wife, Valorie, begged him to quit boxing. Her pleas were ignored. Subsequently, she killed herself with a rifle at the family’s home in the small town of …

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Fonzie and Flatbush

Pictured here are the Lords of Flatbush: Wimpy, Stanley, Butchey, and Chico. Miscreants — who were unaffectionately known in Brooklyn, New York, as the Lords. They stole cars, chased girls, played pool, and were – to borrow a phrase from the late Stuart Scott — as cool as the other side of the pillow. The …

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Good Night, Sweet Princess

My dad and I walked out of Star Wars in 1977. Well, actually, we drove out. We watched the epic space opera at the old Winchester Drive-in in Campbell. (It closed in 1984.) He said something like, “This movie isn’t very good. Do you want to leave?” I sleepily nodded. I always had a great …

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Bye George

Wham! Just like that, 2016 takes another. George Michael is gone. I’m old enough to remember when Ridgeley and Michaels were still identified as Wham! UK. In fact, I recall walking past Musicland on the first floor in the Eastridge Mall in San Jose with my dad and pointing to a display showcasing their hit …

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Still Standing

You may see only a barn. I see divorce. About 40 years ago my parents did what 1 out of 3 couples did during the late ‘70s … they parted ways. Irreconcilable differences. Perhaps this isn’t the best way to begin a story … so back to the barn. When my dad moved out he …

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Brothers

If there is one thing that my wife and I often repeat to our kids, it’s this: choose your friends wisely. People my age have seen enough friends come and go that we’re pretty much experts on “choosing wisely.” This time of year is always a time of reflection — at least for me. I …

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BFFs

The first time I considered someone a “best friend” was in the first grade. I used to live a few houses down from a little blue-eyed blond boy named Johnny. He and I used to play on his pretty awesome Matchbox racetrack at least twice a week. He was my best friend for about a …

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Joker! Joker! Joker!

With the exception of watching Jeopardy once in a while, I don’t tune into too many game shows. When I was kid, there was nothing like watching Truth or Consequences; The $25,000 Pyramid; Press Your Luck; and everything in between. And while I respect and admire today’s hosts, they just don’t compare to Monty Hall, …

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A Lovely Lady

Here’s a story of a lovely lady… It’s pretty remarkable that a person — synonymous with love and gratitude — began her life on a day that we celebrate the former, and passed on a day when we give thanks for the latter. Florence Agnes Henderson, born on Valentine’s Day in Dale, Indiana in 1934, passed …

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Lion’s Den

When I’ve shared with people how many differences I have with my wife, they’ve often respond with, “Well, opposites attract.” I’m always struck by this because I don’t think we’re opposites at all. Sure, we have our differences. On heavy matters — like the death penalty — she believes in an eye-for-an-eye; I’m against capital …

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