Friday, March 20, 2015

Vast and Beautiful



By: George Cunningham



Life in the city may be vibrant and exciting, but there is something about the vast emptiness of the desert that calls to you. The crunch of gravel beneath your feet, the coarse texture of rocky hills, there’s something basic about the desert that reminds you of how small you are in the scheme of things. The desert was there long before you came along as it will be there long after you’re gone. (See “When I Die” in right-hand column)
Thursday, March 5, 2015

Port Town on Display



By: Reader Publishing Group



George and Carmela Cunningham’s new book, Port Town, was the featured display at the Long Beach Port’s reception for JOC’s Trans-Pacific Maritime Conference. The speaker is port Chief Executive Jon Slangerup. The Port deserves a lot of credit for commissioning the 500-page-plus work, which is a candid history – warts and all – of the mistakes, successes, politics, and legal battles that ensued over the port’s 104-year history. Port Town is due to be released in June.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Incident in Checkout Lane Three



By: George Cunningham


  In our family there are incidents. In family code, an incident means the kind of minor confrontation or embarrassment that occurs from time to time in everybody’s life. Such an occurrence is referred to euphemistically as “an incident.” An incident would include things like the time my wife harangued a mechanic who had charged us for a new radiator that cost several hundred dollars, when the real problem was a $12 thermostat. “Are you a thief or an idiot,” she yelled at the poor man. “I am not a thief,” he cried. “Ah, she said, then you’re an idiot.” In my wife’s view, it had to be one or the other. There was no […]


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Monday, December 22, 2014

Angel in the Rain



By: Reader Publishing Group



An electric Angel announces the birthday of Jesus Christ on a wet and stormy night. You don’t have to be a Christian or even believe in God to be charmed by the story of a child born in a manger more than 2,000 years ago – a child who changed the world. Myth or reality, it’s a powerful story, especially late at night on a lonely street corner in the rain.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Look Who Got Left Behind



By: George Cunningham


When the Port of Long Beach moved out of their old headquarters earlier this year into new temporary digs near the airport, an important part of their history got left behind. Charles H. Windham, the father of the Port of Long Beach and former Long Beach Mayor, died in 1932. Four years later, the Long Beach Harbor Commissioners voted to prepare a plaque that would be installed on the breakwater near the Queens Gate entrance to the harbor. That never worked out, probably because nobody would ever see it there and even if they did, they would be unable to read it as they steamed past in a big ship. The plaque was instead installed […]


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Sunday, February 16, 2014

I Love Doughnuts, But that’s Not the Point



By: George Cunningham


    Let me start with a confession. I love doughnuts. I love them glazed, I love them with chocolate icing, and I love them with sprinkles, and jelly, and custard. I love cake doughnuts and doughnuts with powdered sugar. I also love related doughnut-like products, such as the apple fritter, the éclair, and even the so-called “doughnut hole.” Doughnuts call to me. Even the word “doughnut” starts me salivating like Pavlov’s dog. It’s as though when I drive past doughnut shops the doughnuts are saying, “Come in, have a doughnut and a cup of cocoa. You only live once, what could it hurt?” But I drive right past. I know that I could not […]


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Friday, December 20, 2013

Thanks 4 all the Stuff



By: Reader Publishing Group


The Port of Long Beach puts its story to music.


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Monday, December 16, 2013

No Moles Were Harmed in Making This Product



By: George Cunningham


Did you ever buy something on a whim, and feel incredibly stupid by the time you got to the car? Personally, I hate that feeling, and I bet you do too. My latest purchase like that was a Moleskine book stand that I bought at the Los Angeles Public Library store for $17.95 – way too much for the cheap little piece of folding plastic that I received for my money. But that was my fault. I knew for instance that Moleskine was not Moleskin, which you put on your foot to cushion the sole, and that neither Moleskine nor Moleskin has anything to do with the skin of a mole. But they both sort of […]


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Monday, December 16, 2013

Meet the Authors



By: Reader Publishing Group



Authors Ken Cable, Larry LaRue and George Cunningham share a moment at a “Meet the Author’s” book signing on Sunday at Canyon Lake Farmers Market. A dozen authors participated in the event, chatting with their readers, building their tribes, and selling signed copies of their books. Some folks were buying for themselves, some as gifts for others, but don’t feel bad if you couldn’t make it. The books are also available on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble – just click the links on the right hand column.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Jumping Through Hoops at the DMV



By: George Cunningham


I recently spent the early afternoon at the California Department of Motor Vehicles renewing my driver license. I had anticipated my visit to the DMV with mixed emotions. First, I was apprehensive about how big a nightmare the process would be – I have visited the DMV 0n previous occasions and it was always an exercise in bureaucratic incompetence and frustration. The lines I recall at the Long Beach DMV would typically go out the door and wrap around the building. I had prepared by scheduling an appointment at the DMV in Westminster, which I thought would be less crowded than Long Beach. But when dealing with government agencies, thoughtful planning isn’t always enough. Second, […]


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