Coop Goes to College Part 3 – Night & Day

As a counterpoint to all the gritty R&B music I had been enthralled by the past months at Western Michigan University, Paul Simon, recently separated from his partner Art Garfunkel, was all over the radio in May with his hit song “Kodachrome”. Only beginning to process and recover from over a decade of the year-after-year […]

Two Inch Heels Part 25 – Under the Alps

It was Sunday November 25, 1973 as I perched on a bench on the platform at the Venice train station waiting for this dormant steel beast in front of me to come alive. It was the train that would take me to Switzerland, and my anticipated Alpine paradise, soon to open its doors and let […]

Two Inch Heels Part 18 – Bar-sur-Aube

It was late morning on Sunday November 11 1973 when Steve and I left the Rue Titon hostel in Paris and its coterie of vivacious young female types, including foxy, flirtatious though racist Jeanette, who worked at the hostel desk and railed against the supposed scourge of criminal Algerians in Paris. Turns out, besides being […]

Two Inch Heels Part 5 – Angelica & Helmut

It was Thursday October 4 when I debarked the train from Bern Switzerland in Munich Germany, fifty pound (or should I say 22 kilo) pack on my back, bleary from lack of sleep, but happy to recognize Angelica and Helmut on the train platform smiling and scanning the numerous people exiting the train. I on […]

Coopster Created Part 4 – Billy & Alice

It was still Wednesday December 12, but no one really cared. The four of us were in line outside Crisler Arena, my three comrades listening to my stories as I continued to recount my European journey. Though we were already pretty high, Clark produced one of the “jays” from his pocket and we joined many […]

Coop Goes to Europe Part 44 – The Coopster

It was Tuesday morning December 11. I awoke with a start from a hypnogogic state, Kevin calling my name, and it barely felt like I had slept at all. My mind had buzzed late into the night with anticipation, it being my last night after eleven weeks in Europe. It was 6 o’clock and I […]

Coop Goes to Europe Part 40 – Great Bentley

It was still Wednesday December 5th and I was relieved when Ceil Kane answered the phone, remembered who I was, and then confirmed that they could put me up for a couple nights. She and her husband Ilya had answered my mom’s notice in the Oxford newspaper nearly four years earlier, offering the house swap. […]

Coop Goes to Europe Part 39 – Max

It was still Wednesday December 5th as I stood on the stern of the ferry crossing the North Sea, and watched the Dutch coast disappear over the horizon. The stormy sea was now the only thing to see in every direction and that fact was as nearly unnerving as it was awesome. Mitigating that sense […]

Coop Goes to Europe Part 37 – Intimate

It was still a cold and rainy Tuesday December 4th and I and my three comrades were still high from the hashish we’d smoked before leaving the hostel that morning, and now drunk from the five glass limit of beer after doing the Heineken brewery tour for a second straight day. Despite the intoxication and […]

Coop Goes to Europe Part 31 – Starting Home

It was still Friday November 30th when I parted company with Beth at the Interlaken train station and boarded the train to Bern, from where yet another train would take me to Munich, scheduled to arrive at my destination about 9pm. She had been the last vestige of the little community of backpacker types we […]