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So…Along Came A Gangster Pictured above is the Hawthorne Water Tower in Hawthorne, California. I remember it well because I grew up beneath its shadow from 1972-1978, the only son of a single father, living together in the only apartment we could afford. The neighborhood is now much as it was then: nearly an even…

In East L.A. there’s a detective still stuck in Kamdesh, Afghanistan, remembering the day that the sun beat down hard over him and 53 other men at Outpost Keating as they found themselves surrounded by an estimated 300 Taliban soldiers. The Battle of Kamdesh was about to begin. It would take over 45 minutes for…

Over ten years ago, I was driving to my creative writing class at Pasadena City College when a song came on the radio. It was “Precious Things” by Tori Amos. To this day I have no idea how I finished that drive. The song put me completely on auto-pilot. In my head, there was suddenly a pretty,…

One year ago, I stepped up to the podium in the Arroyo Room at Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena, California and read the first page of One In A Million to a gathering full of my closest friends and family. I can still remember looking at everyone and thinking that I was the luckiest guy…