Rockford, Illinois, USA
February 05
I'm a regular middle aged guy, living in a regular middle class neighborhood, in a regular middle-sized community in the middle of America. I am an expatriate Texan transplanted to the Midwest, and wondering how I got here, and where I'm headed.

Procopius's Links


John Graves at Hard Scrabble


Several years ago, during an Open Salon gathering in Chicago, I was asked by Chicago Guy which writers have influenced me the most.  It took me just a nanosecond to respond:  John Graves.  If you come from outside Texas, there is a decent chance you have not… Read full post »

This time last year the Midwest was in the midst of one of the worst summer droughts in memory.  In fact, a year ago this week Open Salon featured a post of mine on the cover page that showed photos of the drought's devastation. 

The drought's impact has been felt… Read full post »

JULY 15, 2013 12:19PM

Pretend Patriot Liars

Compared to many of my friends, I am pretty apolitical on Facebook.  Occasionally, something will get my gander and I’ll use Facebook as a venting medium.  Those instances, however, are rare.  Having friends on both sides of the political spectrum, I am also prone to overlook tho… Read full post »

This is a repost of an essay I wrote several years ago when I was much more of an active presence on Open Salon.  To those readers who may have seen this before, my apologies for being redundant.  Happy Fourth of July!


“WeRead full post »

“He took me by the hand, as if I had been an old friend.  He told us we were too late for the morning cars to New York, and must wait until the evening, or the next morning.  He invited me to go home with him, assuring me that his wifeRead full post »

AUGUST 5, 2012 8:28AM

I Remember Marilyn


  Photo of Marilyn Monroe that hangs above the desk in my home office


It has been 50 years. Half a century, and yet she remains the quentessential symbol of beauty and glamour.

Just over two years ago, I wrote a little love letter to Marilyn MonroeRead full post »

AUGUST 2, 2012 12:06PM

A 6th Infantry Soldier's Tale

He was from a very large family, much larger than what we are accustomed to in the 21st century.  He was among the youngest of the male children.  His father was a farmer, just like nearly everyone else in this young, burgeoning nation.  As one of the youngest of the family,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 16, 2012 10:05AM

Drought in the Corn Belt

It’s beginning to be a big story in the national news, but it’s been the subject of conversation in Illinois for most of the summer.  This state, and the entire Midwest Corn Belt, is under a severe drought.  Its impact will be felt soon, not only in the United States, but… Read full post »



This is the second post describing a small museum near the Illinois-Wisconsin border.  The first post discussed the museum's display of Kennedy memorabilia.  You can find that post here. 


Heading west… Read full post »

So I visited one of those little roadside museums this week.  You know, the ones you see advertised on the big billboards along the interstate.  The ad will say something like:


Next Exit!

Harry Houdini’s Magical Museum of the Macabre

Experience the Mysteries of the UniverseRead full post »

By the early 1770’s, the winds of revolution were beginning to sweep across the east coast of Britain’s American colonies.  Like many of her compatriots in Boston, Phillis Wheatley, a young woman of extremely modest means, was caught in the current.  Phillis never attended schoo… Read full post »

Since my son was monopolizing the TV this morning, I decided to check to find out whether or not the Supreme Court would strike down the Affordable Healthcare Act, or Obamacare.  Frankly, I have never been particularly enthusiastic about this new law, which seems to have been so diluted… Read full post »

JUNE 16, 2012 4:06PM

Dad Wasn't Cool

My dad wasn’t cool.  Other kids in the neighborhood had cool dads, but not me.  My dad wasn’t cool at all. 

Other dads did neat stuff.  I grew up where autumn and early winter meant two things – football and hunting.  My dad did neither.  Oh, he… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 2, 2012 8:49AM

April 2, 1917: When America Joined the World


ww1 article



On this date 95 years ago, America set aside its isolationist heritage and, for better or worse, became a full-fledged member of the international oecumene.  It was on April 2, 1917, that President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a formal declaration of war agains… Read full post »

MARCH 18, 2012 11:16AM

I Think I'll Take the Other Bridge

My wife grew up in an old, industrial town in Northern Illinois.  The Rock River forms the northern border of the town, and along its banks stretch several miles of steel mills and machine tool manufacturers.  Several bridges span the river, and serve as indispensible transportation routes… Read full post »

I posted this essay last year for Black History Month, and it quickly disappeared into OS oblivion.  The theme of this year's Black History Month is "Black Women in America:  Culture and History."  Given this theme, I thought it appropriate to repost this essay.  My apologies to aRead full post »

JANUARY 1, 2012 5:43PM

Good News and Bad News

The week before Christmas was  met with both good news and bad news for me.  I'll start with the good news, with a little background.

As many of my regular readers know, I lost my job just before Christmas of 2008.  I had been in the telecommunications industry for nearly 26… Read full post »


joyeux noel

The young Scotsman quickly peddles his bicycle down the narrow country lane toward the small community church.  Once there, he rushes inside where the priest has just completed lighting the candles in preparation for vespers.  The young man heads immediately to the rop… Read full post »

DECEMBER 17, 2011 9:33AM

Joey and Santa Clause

Christmas Eve.  Sitting by the tree next to the fireplace, we told Joey that Santa would be coming down the chimney soon to deliver presents.  Totally unanticipated, a look of terror stretched across my son’s small face.  Not yet able to articulate his thoughts with nuance, he de… Read full post »

DECEMBER 15, 2011 7:35AM

Happy Birthday to the Bill of Rights!

On this date in 1791, the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution, was ratified by the required three-fourths of the original 13 states.  Happy 220th Birthday!




As you may recall from your high school history class, the Bill of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 9, 2011 2:21PM

I Should Be Dead

The first house I lived in was one block from a brand new Interstate highway.  Once when I was about two or three years old, I wandered from our unfenced back yard and started walking along the shoulder of the highway.  A neighbor happened to drive by.  He picked me up… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 5, 2011 10:44AM

Gingrich Will Be the GOP Nominee

Newt Gingrich will be the Republican nominee for president.  Why?  Because Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and the GOP primary/caucus schedule favors a non-Mormon candidate.

White Evangelical Christians are perhaps the strongest, most loyal constituency of the Republican Party.  That is Ro… Read full post »

DECEMBER 3, 2011 11:53AM

Newt Gingrich's Religion

Newt Gingrich converted to Catholicism in 2008, and was received into the Catholic Church the following year.  I find it interesting that there is virtually no mention of Gingrich’s religious conversion in the media, nor does it seem to be a major issue among Republican Evangelicals. Read full post »

NOVEMBER 21, 2011 6:02PM

I Always Think of Mom on Thanksgiving

                             Now thank we all our God,
Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 15, 2011 7:29AM

Today in History: America's First National Government

On November 15, 1781, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first governmental framework for the new United States of America.  Prior to the Articles of Confederation, there was no written set of laws applicable to all Americans.  Each state was complete… Read full post »