Dad

December 16th, 2014

Vic Pilolla gave his boss a heart attack. Vic was working as the general counsel of the Interstate Commerce Commission, a federal bureaucracy. This was in the 1980s. It was a cushy job, and Vic only had to obey the golden rule of surviving in a hierarchical human organization: keep...

Our Market Research Company

December 1st, 2014

I want to share the market research work Alecia and I have been doing for more than a year now. I’ve been reluctant because of an instinct to compartmentalize my corporate work from my creative and journalism stories. But the fact is, I am really proud of what we do. I have...

My Hippie Wife

November 23rd, 2014

Initially, we had eight houses at the end of the block, no fences anywhere, all gardens, with paths and benches here and there and even private alcoves behind trees. That was the first phase. The second phase was acquiring the rest of the houses on the block, making everything a...

Smarty Sis

October 3rd, 2014

My first job was working at the White Hen Pantry down Thatcher Avenue, stuffing together early edition Sunday Chicago Tribune newspapers for ten dollars and sweeping the parking lot for five every Saturday afternoon. As I folded together all the different sections of the Sunday newspaper in my lap, I sat on...

Working in Paris

September 29th, 2014

I only had $3,000 so that meant I could stick out three weeks in Paris, maybe. Three is a biblical number, a spiritual number, and besides, I only had $3,000. When the money was finished, I was headed back to Los Angeles to look for a job, any job I...

 

Dad

Vic Pilolla gave his boss a heart attack. Vic was working as the general counsel of the Interstate Commerce Commission, a federal bureaucracy. This was in the 1980s. It was a cushy job, and Vic only had to obey the golden rule of surviving in a hierarchical human organization: keep...

House Cues

Shortstop Lounge in Forest Park was the place to find us at night during our twenties. We stowed belongings behind the bar if we needed. We stayed after-hours, depending on the bartender. Ralph and Matt could both play pool. Ralph’s weakness in his game was not concentrating when he was having a...

Our Market Research Company

I want to share the market research work Alecia and I have been doing for more than a year now. I’ve been reluctant because of an instinct to compartmentalize my corporate work from my creative and journalism stories. But the fact is, I am really proud of what we do. I have...

My Hippie Wife

Initially, we had eight houses at the end of the block, no fences anywhere, all gardens, with paths and benches here and there and even private alcoves behind trees. That was the first phase. The second phase was acquiring the rest of the houses on the block, making everything a...

Test for Wiz

After Bush announced that victory in Iraq had been achieved, a victory parade was scheduled in Hollywood, complete with tanks in the street, replicas of the Patriot Missiles and actual F-22s flying overheard. The hippies were going to kneel and pray before the lead marching band with their peace signs...

Eggs fall fast

The chickens arrived in early May. They were three weeks old. They had their own chicken coop that they stayed in at night while the skunk slinked by and the coyotes howled. Ken and Malinda Stuchlik (STEW-CLICK) bought the 14 chickens to make eggs. They knew it was a 16-...

Teen roll-out in parking lot

Nine teenagers huddle around a Toyota pickup truck in the Steak ‘N Shake parking lot off Randall Road in Elgin. The time is 11:15 p.m., the temperature is 71 degrees, Matt Bazsali has taken off his shirt, and another “rival” group of teens is peering under the hood of a...

Homecoming

Wearing sport jackets and ties, my friend and I stepped out of his father’s white Cadillac. Our dates wore dresses and sweet perfume. The Italian restaurant on Halsted Street bustled with crowded tables on Saturday evening. I would have preferred a booth. The hostess led us to our table in the...

Freshmen Sweat First Day of Class

A freshman’s first day of high school can be extremely stressful. Bum directions from seniors. Uncooperative combination locks. An instant crush on a pretty girl or good-looking guy. So it was Thursday at Sandburg High School in Palos Township, the start of four quick years for 840 teenagers. “It’s not...

Rooftop Photo Series

Over the years at the Los Angeles Catholic Worker I have snapped a handful of photos that contain a bit of the view. The LACW house of hospitality sits atop one of the highest hills in Los Angeles, providing a view of Boyle Heights from the back steps, a look...

 
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