Saturday, September 19, 1998
There we were, just two hours into a daylong Greyhound journey across the Great Plains, and one of my sons, Zach already had a story to tell.
We'd had to take separate seats as the journey began, and it seems that his seatmate, a scruffy man in his 20s, told him about the time an M-80 firecracker blasted a June bug through his shirt.
"He showed me the scar!" Zach said.
Why travel from Minneapolis to Dickinson, N.D., by bus? If not for the tales, then certainly by necessity. For a parent with two children, air fare is outrageously expensive, the only passenger train misses the mark by a full 130 miles, and a rental car? That just seems too unadventurous for a trip to Teddy Roosevelt's beloved Rough Rider Country.
The only remaining choice: Greyhound.
I told myself that since 12-year-old Zach and 10-year-old Kurt had winningly managed several nine-hour car and train trips, a 14-hour bus ride could be manageable and even prove memorable, especially considering the rich mix of people one often encounters on a Greyhound.
I was not disappointed.
Read more here and listen to crackly, early Internet audio.
Tuesday, September 1, 1998
Person: Lisa Vecoli
In a litter-strewn hallway just outside a St. Paul specialty bookstore, Lisa Vecoli confronts a friend. "I'm going to be pissed if I find out you're buying out from under me," she says, only half joking.
With an alphabetized list and a checkbook at the ready, the long-haired, pickup-driving bibliophile is prepared to make sacrifices in pursuit of her passion: Lesbian pulp fiction of the '50s and '60s.
Like other pulp novels of the post-World War II era, those with gay content featured titles and cover art designed to woo readers on the spot. Women's Barracks, published in 1950 as an allegedly "frank autobiography of a French girl soldier," is credited with being the first lesbian paperback original. It drew criticism from the 1952 U.S. House Subcommittee on Pornographic Materials, and caught Vecoli's eye at a suburban bookstore in 1992.
"This looks like it could have lesbians in it," Vecoli remembers thinking.
Read more here.