April 14, 2020
April 14, 2020
February 15, 2020
I skipped school on Thursday, February 15, 1990. I’d met this cute eighth grader at Skate North in Des Moines the previous Friday and was going to spend the day at her house. Problem was that I was only 14 (no driver’s license) and she lived far out in Urbandale. The bus took me part of the way, before I walked the last three miles.
My journal is a bit illegible the rest of the way due to spilling something on it over the years. But her mom came home early and I ended having to hide in the closet and climb out a window when the coast was clear. In-school suspension was coming the next day for the truancy. But hey, she was really cute!
Brian A. Wilkins
February 10, 2020
I was angry and sad for about an hour. Then the photos came out of the box. And I couldn’t help but smile.
Ruth was always smiling and laughing. That’s not embellishment. I was 10 when she and I watched Beverly Hills Cop on HBO together. The scene when Rosewood tried boosting Taggart over the wall made Ruth cry-laugh for like 2-3 minutes.
She cracked up for several minutes at me slipping and falling on ice while wearing those stupid cowboy boots my mom bought me when I was six. But that’s ok. I got back by saying the okra she ate looked gross.
by Brian A. Wilkins
December 10, 2019
My good friend Blake had a memorable, funny comment when we were roommates at Iowa State University in 1994. “Black men aren’t supposed to be Roxette fans.” He said that after observing the fact I had three Roxette CD’s in my collection. That’s what happens when you’re black and grow up in 1980s Iowa.
Roxette vocalist and keyboardist Marie Fredriksson passed away yesterday in Djursholm, Sweden at the age of 61. She had been battling brain cancer for over 17 years. She is survived by her husband of 25 years, Mikael Bolyos, and their two children.
November 23, 2019
Lucinda Williams wrote the song. It was a track on her eponymous third studio album released in 1988.
The song didn’t chart in the States for whatever reason. “Passionate Kisses” reached #169 on the Aussie charts in 1989. That was the extent of its commercial success. There was/is no music video for the song. That may have contributed to its relative anonymity in the last few years of the MTV MUSIC TELEVISION era.
Mary Chapin Carpenter added her own sugar and spice to “Passionate Kisses” in 1993. The song was suddenly ubiquitous, just four years after the Lucinda Williams original. It reached #4 on the U.S. Hot Country Singles chart, and #57 on the Billboard Hot 100. Chapin Carpenter won a Grammy in 1994 for Best Female Country Vocal Performer. Williams won a Grammy that year as well for Best Country Song.
by Brian A. Wilkins
September 1, 2019
This article was my junior year Advanced Reporting (301…whatever it was called) assignment at Arizona State University and was turned in on November 23, 2006). It was the most challenging class in my ASU years. Christia Gibbons was the professor. She’s tough and only gave me a B+ for this article that I thought was an “A+.”
I read all the reviews on that RateMyProfessor site linked above. It’s nauseating. All the entitled Millennials and Gen Z kids on the site are just whining. Journalism is truth, accuracy and proofreading. The latter is what cost me an “A” in my 301 article. Christia is cool and taught me a lot; and she can teach you a lot. She wouldn’t still be there after all these years if she’s not effective. Christia has been in media for a long time and has watched the metamorphosis live in living color.
August 29, 2019
My good friend Shannon loved the song “Son Of A Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield.
I told her that I’m the son of a preacher woman (Church of God in Christ, or “COGIC”), which apparently is/was pretty rare in genuine Christian institutions – female pastors. Shannon got a chuckle out of that fact since we smoked weed and drank together all the time in the early 2000s.
Generation X kids know how it is – many of us were forced to go to church every Sunday. Some of us also had to go to church on Wednesdays and even Sunday School before church. Church was so normal that there was even the sitcom “Amen” that ran from 1986 to 1991.
NOTE: Turbo (the guy in the hospital bed) and his girlfriend did not speak the same language.