How a Bloody Nose Connected Me to the Other Side of the Veil

The baseball cracked off the bat, vanishing into the smoggy, gray sky over east Pasadena’s Eugene Field Elementary School. Squinting and craning for it, I became a boy obsessed, a boy determined to make this pop-up fly ball his playground conquest. When the spinning white dot finally reappeared, growing in dimension every second, adrenaline was my master.

Only dibs needed to be called.

I got it — I got it!” I hollered that day in 1970, waving my arms like I’d seen Los Angeles Dodgers centerfielder Willie…

1979 L.A. True Crime in Song

It was the faces that slayed you that year, when the only reason for a belly-laugh was a Robin Williams standup act.

The expressions remain amber in memory: the knotted foreheads of Pennsylvanians near the meltdown at the Three-Mile Island nuclear-power plant; Jimmy Carter’s clenched grin realizing circumstance would relegate him to a one-termer. How a January than began hopefully with Terry Bradshaw’s aw-shucks glee after winning a Super Bowl in Miami metastasized by November into rage and disbelief at the righteous scowl of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, who proclaimed “Death to America” as his…

Chip Jacobs

Chip Jacobs is a bestselling author and journalist who considers himself a celestial optimist and unabashed admirer of dogs, Beatles, candy corn and irony.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store