R.I.P. Penny Chenery: Let the Big Horse Run


Penny Chenery followed in the footsteps of figures like Lucille Markey of Calumet Farm; Elizabeth Arden Graham of Maine Chance Farm; and Allaire C. duPont, owner of the champion gelding Kelso, all members of the limited circle of thoroughbred racing’s well-known women. But Chenery was lucky enough to own Secretariat, arguably the greatest race horse…

Walter Becker of Steely Dan performs during the 2015 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival at The Empire Polo Club on April 17, 2015 in Indio, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage)

R.I.P. Walter Becker: Reelin’ in the Years


Walter Becker was the co-founder of Steely Dan, and because many people have strong opinions about Steely Dan’s music, they have strong opinions about Becker as well. But with co-founder Donald Fagen, Becker produced an amazing body of music, characterized by jazz-influenced rhythms, perfectionism, opaque, elliptical lyrics and absolutely impeccable production values. Their 1977 album, Aja,…

Grace Schaible, pictured in the 1940s (UAF Archives)

Grace Berg Schaible: Paying It Forward


WC can’t claim to have known Grace Schaible well. Before she retired from her law practice, there were a few cases, usually involving wills and estates. We shared tables at some social functions. WC was a guest in her condo. We were co-panelists at a couple of Alaska Bar functions. She was infallibly charming, generous,…

Don Martin does Michelangelo

Guilty Pleasures: Don Martin, 1931–2000


It’s Don Martin’s birthday. He’d have been 86 years old. Who’s Don Martin? Jeez. WC must be getting old. Don Martin was the best thing at Mad Magazine for 30 years. Sometimes the only funny thing. Charles Taylor described Martin’s unique art style: His people are big-nosed schmoes with sleepy eyes, puffs of wiry hair, and…

R.I.P. Robert M. Pirsig, 1928-2017. Quality, Indeed.


What follows is based on actual occurrences. Although much has been changed for rhetorical purposes, it must be regarded in its essence as fact. However, it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It’s not very factual on motorcycles, either. -– Robert Pirsig, Zen…