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It’s 9:00 at night Pacific Time on December 14, 2021. Wilburys, take us on out.

It’s been a sad day and also a glorious day here at ye olde American Digest. As we move into the Christmas season it seems strange to me that this page, started in the wake of 9/11, and having moved to Laguna Beach, then to Seattle, then to Paradise, and now in Chico California has been updated, pretty much daily, for twenty years. In that time I’ve had, as have we all, some loses and some gains — with Jewel being this year’s loss.

On days such as this I ask myself why I do this, something that takes so much of whatever time I may have left. I honestly don’t know why. Maybe it is simply my way of picking up my strange cross and following. Where to? Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line. And then?


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • MarkInKansas December 14, 2021, 9:45 PM

    You’re right that we’re going to the end of the line and I hope you’ve a plan to publish your collected works along with a few pieces from your guest-writers.

    It would not surprise me that there would be a good editor out in the world somewhere who would be thrilled to compile and curate your collection.

    I’d sure like to see that “25,000 cookies of Shannon Sniper” included. It was such a good story, and when I shared it with a sister-in-law, it brought tears to her eyes as she thought about the four-legged family members who were with her for what seemed to be too short a time.

  • Clinton December 14, 2021, 9:47 PM

    I don’t know how you’ve been able to persist either, but I am grateful that you do. AD is the only blog I have bookmarked and return to regularly. I’m going to send you a token of my appreciation via PayPal and encourage others to do the same. It is truly the least that I can do considering all the work you put into this site. It must be a labor of love.

  • Phil_in_Englewood December 14, 2021, 9:48 PM

    On days such as this, I ask myself how Gerard does it; sharing joy and wonder and sorrow, all the things that make this life worth each next day like the Milky Way on a dark night, a lightning storm at sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, the purr of a cat…
    I don’t know, but I am glad to be here, and return, and return, and return. One day, it will be over. I have no idea when my time will come, but until then I treasure each day…. Thanks again, Gerard.

  • Deborah December 14, 2021, 9:51 PM

    “strange cross” = your gift.
    To us.
    That’s why.

    • Vanderleun December 15, 2021, 5:54 PM

      You get me, Spike. You always did.

  • Mitchell Strand December 14, 2021, 11:16 PM

    Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 might be one of the greatest supergroup recordings of all time. What an assemblage of talent, and this song is the jewel in the crown.

    Men in their fifties, looking back on mistakes and lessons learned, looking forward without fear or apprehension. Imparting words of wisdom. It’s an 80’s country rock version of Tennyson’s Ulysses. What is “but something ere the end, some work of noble note, may yet be done” but another way of saying, “It’s all right, even if you’re old and gray; well, it’s all right, you still got something to say?”

    The best lines, though, are:
    Well, it’s all right
    Remember to live and let live.
    Well, it’s all right
    The best you can do is forgive.

    • gwbnyc December 15, 2021, 8:21 AM

      too, I think the other guys all wanted to do a job with Roy.

      • Mitchell Strand December 15, 2021, 1:26 PM

        No question.

    • Denny December 15, 2021, 2:36 PM

      Yes, Tennyson,
      Crossing the Bar (1889)

      Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
      And may there be no moaning of the bar,
      When I put out to sea,

      But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
      Too full for sound or foam,
      When that which drew from out the boundless deep
      Turns again home.

      Twilight and evening bell,
      And after that the dark!
      And may there be no sadness of farewell;
      When I embark;

      For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
      The flood may bear me far,
      I hope to see my pilot face to face
      When I have crossed the bar.


  • Kevin in PA December 15, 2021, 3:54 AM

    I wish to thank you for the time you spend putting together what I consider to be the Best Blog on the Worldwide Interwebs. Artistic, creative, entertaining, informative, poetic, relevant and with a pretty good cadre of commenters too!

    For nine years, up until this past June when my site was hacked (I suspect Chinese commies because I was putting out some vicious truths about them), I had a blog. I can not say that it was on a par with your beautiful spot here, but I tried to inform and add beauty to the pages, as a way of sharing and educating anyone that would find and read my blog. I never made a penny. In fact, I spent a fair amount just to keep the site up and running.
    Since June I have grappled with wether or not I should put the effort into a restart of the blog. I did enjoy doing it and the creative writing aspect was therapeutic and even somewhat cathartic….yet, I am still on the fence, mostly because my readership was so small.
    Anyway, good on you for going at it every day for 20 years. May you go another 20+.

    • John the River December 15, 2021, 5:44 AM

      Kevin, I hear you. I started my blog after my wife passed away; that’s ten years ago now. At the beginning the theme was kayaking and photography. As increasing back problems bore me down, less kayaking, and a computer crash put a hitch in the photography (the editing at least).
      After the stolen election I’ve tapered off on posting quite a bit. Looking for inspiration or incentive at least.
      When I review the blog by clicking on the “Photos” tag only, I can see that’s where my best work was.
      I think I need to hang the camera around my neck again and trudge onwards.
      Merry Christmas Gerard and all!

  • jd December 15, 2021, 6:03 AM

    I am happy to be one of the beneficiaries of your “cross”.
    You only need one, you know, to make a difference and look
    at what you have amassed.

  • Bill in Tennessee December 15, 2021, 6:03 AM

    Gerard, the AD is one of my must-do daily stops. Another daily stop a few years ago was The Woodpile Report by Ol’ Remus…. how I miss him and his doses of reason and wood lore and common sense! So I hope you’re going to go the distance and be around in some form or fashion for a long time to come. Speaking of “going the distance,” I am reminded of a song recently released by the English actor/musician Laurence Fox, called “The Distance.” It should be an anthem for our times:

  • John Venlet December 15, 2021, 6:33 AM

    Like the folks commenting above, Gerard, I too value your insights, and the crafting of your thoughts into words. Not to mention the posts you throw up at KA-CHING! Thank you!

  • Casey Klahn December 15, 2021, 7:21 AM

    The GvD blog is essential and I am one grateful reader among the many. It keeps my head straight, and informs me. I’m not alone.

    Speaking of old rockers and getting long in the tooth, this rock treat updated to reflect advancing age:

  • Gnawbone Jack December 15, 2021, 7:22 AM

    I remember I first came here after a referral from Rush, G_d rest his soul. I stop in most days and when I can add something, I post. Live long and prosper my friend, till the end of the line…

  • ghostsniper December 15, 2021, 7:23 AM

    AD is my “pub” of sorts. A little dive of familiar faceless folks that I some how mostly get along with. Comradery. Everybody has their own little comments and stories and not a whole lot of feather ruffling going on. Everybody has something to learn and everybody has something to teach from their own unique perspective. Each of us is a big book of little stories memorized in real time and tempered over time with the good times rising to the top and the bad times sort of rounded over and slightly muted.

    Every comment “tickles” a memory of my own and in my brain they sort of meld together in a way. Alfred Hitchcock, the master of subtlety would give just a hint in his films and then let the viewers own mind bring the horror or mystery to the equation. Like a good book that doesn’t go into deep detail but rather, let’s the reader “fill in the blanks”. It’s a delicate balance. So, without even realizing it each of the commenters here is doing two things at once. Appeasing theirself and stimulating others. How many blogs on your haunt do that?

    So belly up to the bar, folks, at the “VANDERLEUN VILLAGE VOICE PUB”, with a tankard in each fist for the next round is on me! (drowned ghost peppers optional)

    • Mike Austin December 15, 2021, 10:04 AM

      You nailed it, Ghost. Here at “Gerard’s Pub” I meet normal and like-minded adults with a tremendous variety of experience and life stories. I learn from them all.

      • julie December 15, 2021, 10:32 AM

        Yes, I’ll third that. This place and a few others, through their constancy and dedication to what is true, beautiful and good, have helped me to stay sane over the years.

        I am very, very grateful to come here each day.

  • DadVan December 15, 2021, 7:38 AM

    I love that song! Thank you for letting us take the journey with you!

  • waitingForTheStorm December 15, 2021, 7:39 AM

    I believe that I found this blog by following a link on KaChing. I visit often enough and have enjoyed the stories you tell and the general tenor of your commenters. I know how much work this must be and I could never make that kind of investment, even though I have been encouraged to try my hand.

    The past year or two have seen the demise of several blogs I have followed off and on for several years. Some from the death of the stewards, others from the toll of the grind associated with frequent posts that have any quality to them. Your continued vigil is a bit of light and beauty in a society that has coarsened and, to some degree, degenerated over the last few decades.

    Thank you for having provided a pleasant and insightful place for some folks to gather.

  • Terry December 15, 2021, 8:05 AM

    AD has been my homepage for nearly twenty years. In my mind Gerard is almost a brother. If AD should disappear there would be an abyss or black hole in my being.

    The commenters here are like a living encyclopedia. Common sense, reason and life experience with a ton of humor thrown in for levity.

    A common thread here: We all love life . . .

  • gwbnyc December 15, 2021, 8:17 AM

    I have heard that “traveling wilbury” is a cleansed substitute of the term “traveling dingleberry”- a bit of electronic trash riding an audio signal. Tech talk.

    Of course, check my math.

  • Dirk December 15, 2021, 8:32 AM

    My only regular stop. Yours is a “ Cut Above”. I love the variety, the talented folks who land here. AD is a great place in these trying times.

    MerryChristmas GV, you ever get in a jam, we’ll come down the mountain and dig you out!


  • Gary Foster December 15, 2021, 8:58 AM

    I ran a blog about Old Time Music for 8 years. I kept running out of gas for content and posted for posting sake and a little over a year or so back I killed it. BUT! In your case, giving us your story and your acquisition of faith in God thru Jesus Christ had an important influence on me with my shaky faith. You played a part in my renewal. You have to do what you need to do but if you ask me, what you do is very important. It brings meaning to your days that keeps the blood flowing. I took several breaks from my blog over the years. Maybe you should but I hope you don’t.

  • Jack December 15, 2021, 9:31 AM

    I had to get up at 5:30 this morning to have a root canal at 7:30. Got home a few hours later, grabbed a coffee and this was my first stop. I love dropping in even if I don’t have anything to say or rant about. Gonna have another wonderful day of dental surgery between two dental offices beginning on Monday at 8 am sharp that should wind up around 12 if I’m lucky. This business of getting old is not for sissies or the indeterminate. I think I’ll take Monday afternoon off, just for the Hell of it.

  • Joe Krill December 15, 2021, 9:59 AM

    Gerard, If you have made one person a better person then this blog has been a success, this blog has been worth the time and effort. I believe the responses speak for themselves. Have a Blessed day.

  • Snakepit Kansas December 15, 2021, 10:18 AM

    AD is a daily stop for me. In my 50s, I am a youngster in comparison with much of the audience but I benefit from wisdom from my peers. Great stories here from Gerard, Ghost, Casey, Mr. Austin, Azlib, jwm, gwbnye, PA Cat….and many others. Even molotov cocktail throwers like 10 are fun to have around. Wonder where he went.

  • James ONeil December 15, 2021, 10:34 AM

    Oh puff, you do it ’cause you enjoy doing it, Gerard, you particularly enjoy that we all enjoy you’re doing it, I suspect just as much as we all particularly enjoy your sharing said thoughts and feelings with us, putting your thoughts and feelings on paper or in pixels clarifies then, putting them out before Magog and everybody , to mix phors and metaphors, and see if anybody salutes is a fine thing, feedback, push and pull, finding the perfect phase and phrase, testing, contesting, life doesn’t some with an O&M manual, we write is as we go along and get along, shared pain is less painful, shared joy is far more enjoyable, so, thank you!

    & best wishes to all throughout this holiday season. Hopefully we can bring joy to others this Christmas and through the coming , interesting, year.

    Take care, and, keep your powder dry.

  • captflee December 15, 2021, 10:35 AM

    May a merciful providence bless you for daily delivering to us the precious gift of this humble blog. It has offered information and insights not likely to be found elsewhere, day in, day out, world without end, through times good and bad, through the daily grind, through the crushing deaths of loved ones, even through storms of fire. In my book that’s a damned big thing, and I shall be ever in your debt for it.

  • Gagdad Bob December 15, 2021, 11:08 AM

    New video by Nelson Wilbury.

  • Lindsey Kidd December 15, 2021, 11:39 AM

    I came here from Sippican Cottage. I still miss that, this has been a wonder substitute. Thank you and may you enjoy you enjoy many more years of AD.

    • John the River December 15, 2021, 12:59 PM

      Still showing signs of life at:
      The Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys

  • jwm December 15, 2021, 2:39 PM

    This is, hands down, the best site on the internet. Add me to the list of those who come here for the inn as well as the innkeeper. Gerard, your work here has made countless bright spots in the days of God only knows how many folks. And this song. It is one of my all-time favorites. You know how songs have a way of impressing themselves on certain people, or memories. This one is linked to my buddy, and bike club brother, Dave. He has a playlist for his mp3 player that the brings on our rides, and I listened to “End of the Line” as we rode through Balboa Saturday. We almost lost Dave to cancer earlier on this year, but he’s back with us, cruising on an electric 3 wheeler until he gets enough strength back to ride again. Life in this age and time. Strange mix of the miraculous, and the disastrous. Still so much to be grateful for. This site is high on the list.


  • Tom Hyland December 15, 2021, 5:14 PM

    If I had received as many affectionate accolades in one day as you’ve been delivered today, Gerard, my head would be tight squeeze through the door. Maybe the tears and snot would help me pass through easier. When I’m in need of pat on the back I read my positive feedbacks on eBay.
    °º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°ºGREAT BUYER THANK YOUº¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º Thank you for an easy, pleasant transaction. Excellent buyer. A++++++. Quick response and fast payment. Perfect! THANKS!!

    Pretty amazing stuff…. don’t you think?
    You do a terrific activity here, Gerard. I hope you got my letter.

  • Vanderleun December 15, 2021, 5:49 PM

    I do. I am amazed at this response. Gone out into the driving wind and rain to reshrink my head.

    Thank you all.

  • Walter Sobchak December 15, 2021, 7:50 PM

    There were five Traveling Wilburys who recorded “End of the Line” in 1988: Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty. Of that group, a majority have reached the end of the line.

    Roy Orbison, whose singing makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, reached EOL before the video was filmed, and is represented by an empty rocking chair with a guitar in it and his photograph on a table.

    George Harrison departed in 2001. And, Tom Petty in 2017. Jeff Lynn and Bob Dylan soldier on.

    It put me in mind of another song by another group, that shares, I think, a musical connection with EOL: “Pilgrim’s Progress” by Procol Harum, the last verse of which is:

    I sat me down to write a simple story
    which maybe in the end became a song
    The words have all been writ by one before me
    We’re taking turns in trying to pass them on
    Oh, we’re taking turns in trying to pass them on


  • Chuck December 15, 2021, 8:27 PM

    Keep on doing what you’re doing. You’re touching lives you don’t even know about, and that’s a good thing. I read your site almost daily (using up some of the time I have left on this planet), and have shared it with a lot of others. Thank you.

  • Walter Sobchak December 15, 2021, 9:12 PM

    Which brings me to a personal story. The Sunday before Thanksgiving, my son’s wife gave birth to their second child, a boy. He is the only one who will bear our family name in his generation and my Y chromosome, FWIW. He will also inherit other things thing to pass on.

    By coincidence, this past week, I was at last able to make a copy of a picture taken in 1952. It was at the synagogue we attended when I was a child. It was picture of the first grade class. It was posed the same way as many years before and after, on the steps of the building the congregation had used in the first half of the 20th Century. The top step was occupied by adults including the President of the Congregation, The President of the High School Youth Group, the Principal of the Religious School, and the Rabbi. The children were arrayed on the lower steps dressed in the finest. Boys wear jackets and ties, the girls dresses.

    In the 1952 picture, there is an unusual pose. The President of the Congregation is gripping the shoulders of a boy on the step below him, no doubt to keep him from squirming and running away. The President was my grandfather, of blessed memory, and the boy was I. The Youth Group President next to my grandfather was the son of my grandfather’s law partner of many years.

    A couple of months later, the partner gave my grandfather a handsome present for his 60th birthday: a gold Patek Phillipe watch. 30 years later, my father, of blessed memory, inherited the watch from my grandfather, and ten years after that, I inherited it. I will give the watch to my son, with the injunction to him to give it to my grandson, along with that picture and the story so that he will know that the words were writ by one before him and we are taking turns in trying to pass them on.

  • Andy Texan December 15, 2021, 9:46 PM

    Happy anniversary and congratulations. Your writings and posts are frequently very moving.

  • The Dude December 15, 2021, 9:51 PM

    Will you come off it, Walter? You’re not even fucking Jewish, man.

    • ghostsniper December 16, 2021, 4:16 AM

      There’s always gotta be one doesn’t there?
      You don’t know what he is.
      But we know what you are.
      Look up the word “Lout”.

    • Dirk December 16, 2021, 6:54 AM

      Sure Walter is, it’s his story, let him tell it! The sentiment is awesome. Seems that watch’s right of passage is part of what’s missing in our crazy ass world anymore. “ Tradition, Faith, Family”

      I routinely write on medical questioners, I’m a black male, lesbian, Buddhist. I dare you to prove I’m not. If I can be Lilly white, yet claim color, religious and sexual preference, so can everybody else.

      If your one of those “ Jew Haters” you need to be over at WRSA.

      Walter, great post.

      VIllage Idiot

    • DrTedNelson December 16, 2021, 9:03 AM

      “The Dude” is Jeff Lebowski… from The Big Lebowski.

  • Hoss December 16, 2021, 5:27 AM

    A heartfelt thank you Gerard for a wonderful site to visit. Like so many others this is a go to stop every day. You have a gift for sure and it is greatly appreciated that you share yourself in such a way that you do.

  • Reg Wooster December 16, 2021, 7:20 AM


  • Walter Sobchak December 16, 2021, 10:49 AM

    @Dude: I’m as Jewish as f***ing Tevye.

  • Leslie December 16, 2021, 11:19 AM

    I started reading you in 2003. I was young and homeschooling 4 children. It was informative, edifying and a respite. I am now old, and still here. Though I gave up commenting years ago, thanks for hanging in there. AD is a beautiful body of work.

  • BarbaCat December 16, 2021, 1:16 PM

    I come here to read you every day too, Gerard .
    You’ve more loves than you can ever know.

  • Terry Kirkpatrick December 16, 2021, 1:29 PM

    Writers gotta write.

  • John December 16, 2021, 6:18 PM

    Your website continually inspires me. I want to share almost every vignette with my friends. My real advice is just follow the damn website! Thanks for your prodigious effort .

  • Dinah December 16, 2021, 6:55 PM

    I derive so much pleasure from this website! The writing is top-notch (including the loyal commenters) and it’s a visual joy as well. I find it hard to imagine it not here any more. It’s probably not totally appropriate, but it does indeed ‘restoreth my soul’. Thanks for all these years of pleasure, edification, surprise, and touching writing. Carry on!

  • az December 17, 2021, 9:33 AM

    Frankly, I don’t remember how I stumbled on this place, but I am so glad that I did. Gerard, you’ve introduced me to so many wonderful internet characters…the above mentioned Sippican Cottage and Ol’ Remus, Scott Wadsworth (the Essential Craftsman), on, and on, and on.

    And then there are the commenters here…..Ghost, Casey, Snakepit, jwm, and our dear departed Jewel. Again, the list just keeps going on.

    By seeing every one of these links, I have been made a better man.

    You frequently show us your “Something Wonderful” series, and through these you really do show us something wonderful. I don’t think I even knew who Leonard Cohen was until it was you who showed me his “Hallelujah”. And like many others, you brought a tear to my eye when you had Kaylee Rogers reprise it.

    Here’s the irony that I don’t think even you recognize, Gerard: You’re our Something Wonderful. God took you once from us, and through His kindness, allowed you to return. I get it….we all age (BTW, I hope that your struggle with your teeth has turned out well)….the daily committment that it takes to write to a blog takes time that each of us has only so much of….and the idea of keeping up with this all the way to the end might be too much. I understand all of that. But if you do choose to leave, then please know that I’ve enjoyed this place every day and will miss you when you’re gone.

    • azlibertarian December 17, 2021, 9:35 AM

      BTW, the above was from me. Somehow (prolly my fat fingers) the last part of my nom-de-internet got dropped.

  • LP December 17, 2021, 3:45 PM

    Just echoing azlibertarian:
    I’ve enjoyed this place every day since I’ve discovered it and will miss you if and when you’re gone. I don’t have too many go-to places on the internet that I enjoy every day. So thank you, I appreciate your work Gerard, I don’t know how you do it, but it’s great!

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