Donal Hinely

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Kamikaze Gardener

I will struggle with the exact placement of each small crop, being careful to rotate them from last year's location.  I must decide what to plant. Tomatoes are a given.

An Unlikely Revelation

It's a cautionary tale about rediscovering the love and transcendent wonder of art. It's true that once things become rote for the performer, they become boring for the audience 

The Village of Scarborough

The whimsical buildings that line the paths are not just fanciful facades. Each structure represents someone's hard won dream. Soul and personality pour from the plaster, the parapets, and moss covered shingles.

Ridin' with John Fullbright

For a number of years now, reliable sources have been telling me about this young writer from Woody Guthrie's stomping grounds, a profound lyricist and magnetic performer poised to be the next Dylan. Due to stubborness or perhaps professional jealousy, I put off listening to it, even as the self-produced record earned a Grammy nomination for abum of the year in the Americana category this past year.

Shock and Awe Revisited

He signed up on his 18th birthday and found himself in Baghdad at the height of the surge in 2007. He was wounded but went back again in 2010, only to be wounded again. Two tours, two purple hearts. "Commendations," he said with a wry grin, "for being both blown up and shot."

Roadside Attraction

The minor calamities and small celebrations of everyday life inform your existence, but they rarely earn a spot on the timeline. Maybe that is why Facebook is so popular. Every single day can be highlighted in the infinite ether. As long as the internet is accessible, you can see what you had for lunch exactly 4 years ago.

Rockin' New Orleans, Part 1

Besides running 26.2 miles without major injury or death, I had a number of items on my wish list for this trip. With Saturday night in the Big Easy near at hand, I set about checking off a few of them. 

Against the Wind

In my mind, I cursed the Australian I met in the Sydney pub who told me, "Tassie is where you ought to plan your bike trip, mate. It's temperate and flat with very little wind!" (Free song download!)

Restless Leg Syndrome

In explaining my marathon obsession to friends and family, I often say that it's just part of an ongoing middle age crisis. Some men of my vintage turn to little red sports cars. My legs are way too long for that option.

A Heavy Metal Love Affair

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When I play "Henry Ford" live, I introduce it as a love song for my truck.  That line usually gets a laugh or two, but I suspect some in the audience have had a similar heavy metal love affair.

Lasting Impressions: "Born to Run" Down a Country Road

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I was a sophomore in high school--newly liberated by a driver's license and a seriously cool 1972 Buick Grand Sport muscle car with an excellent stereo system.  I was driving down down a country road east of Denton, coming back from seeing a friend who lived in a trailer park out in the country, when a song exploded from the radio.

Songwriting Weather

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You've seen that guy in the cafe before, sitting behind a floating wall of hand rolled cigarette smoke, reading Bukowski or Vonnegut or maybe pretending to read Das Kapital or the Tao Te Ching, drinking pot loads of the darkest brew, studying his role like a method actor, blissfully unaware of his own self awareness.  That was me.

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