Things have been REALLY busy here with book, logo merch and tchotchke shipments (and if you don't know that last word, you were either raised in a culturally deprived, terminally whitebread environment or have never lived in or around New York City or Hollywood), but Carol and I are truly grateful for all the folks who've bought, apparently enjoyed and moreover helped spread the word on my books. We wish you all the very happiest, merriest and most meaningful and enrichening of holiday seasons. And for those of you who DID know that word, we hope you had a nice Hanukkah, too. You should know that my wonderful Italian Catholic wife insisted that we light the candles every night (in my mom's old menorah, in fact), and it was kinda nice...
Not that I want to start spouting off about religion at this time of year, when the contemplative, thankful, aspirational and solemnly joyous have been pretty much swept aside, rent asunder and/or thoroughly steamrollered by commercialism, the purchase of expensive home-exercise equipment that will never get much exercise (at least after the first week of January, anyway) and the pursuit of all the alluring Sleek Looks and assorted Shiny Baubles the GCM (Great Commercial Marketplace) has to offer. If you go to church on Christmas, I can pretty much guarantee those sentiments will be echoed in the sermon. Don't sleep through it...
For more on my particular views on the subject of religion, I refer you to the "Easter" paragraph that begins in the middle of page 299 of the second book in the series, Montezuma's Ferrari. And if you are outraged, incensed or disagree, please don't call or email. Write your own damn book, OK?

All that said:

SOME CAR STUFF (about time, eh?):

Okay, so between the pandemic's picket fence and my own, now-about-over hobbling, we haven't had many Car and/or Racing Adventures to share. Sure, Carol and I made that big, cross-country & doubling-back Book Tour trek (and I brought my race-gear bag, even though it never got unzipped), but I finally found my way back behind the wheel in a ChampCar race at Road America thanks to Fritz Wilke's "Flying Ghost" team BMW. And in truth it was one of those mixed-review deals in that I was rusty as hell (but less than terrible) but had lingering knee issues that didn't really make themselves apparent until I tried getting OUT of the damn car after my first and only practice session. VERY disconcerting! Although amusing for onlookers, I'm quite sure, as I wound up unable to lever myself up-and-out properly and eventually came out, with assistance, essentially feet-first through the window...

MUCH better now thanks to lots of exercising plus the slow-creep healing effects of time, and eagerly looking forward to giving it another try in the not-too-distant future!


Back when I was a sort-of college-dropout hippie hobo in California, there were many mystical and exotic beliefs, tales and ideas about (along with a lot of pot and some other drugs that could either strain your brain through a glorious rainbow of understanding or turn you into Charlie Manson). It all boiled down to a basic notion that Western Civilization had lost its feeble grip on What's Important and the True Meaning of Life and was barreling headlong into communal cerebral and cosmic disaster. Last I looked, we were better than halfway there. But it's a slow-moving process...and that's the only GOOD news.
Anyhow, one of those tales concerned makers of fine Indian rugs who, according to legend, PURPOSELY wove a mistake or skipped stitch into every single rug just to let the Greater Force of the Cosmos know that they (the rug weavers) knew that there was no such thing as human-made perfection and to think otherwise was the first step towards the debilitating effects of hubris.
Have no idea if that is true, but let me just say that the new book has been a stellar performer--if a bit worrisome--in that regard. In fact, the original "Preview Edition" (which had been proofed by no less than five sets of supposedly expert, attentive and committed eyes, plus mine own) had an incredible number of typos, name misspellings, missed stitches and goofs. All of which we thought we'd rectified in the subsequently released "Preview II" paperback and hardback First Editions...
"Thought" being the operative word here.
Because, as sure as the sun rises, a couple sneaked through. Damn It! Please feel free to let me know if you see anything wrong (one such typo appears even before the actual narrative even commences!) and the worst of it, I'm quite sure, happens near the end. See, I write little notes to myself when I'm working on my chapters, and always (or, apparently, almost always), I do so in a different color and all in caps and italics so I will know, as sure as the moon moves the tides, to Cut The Bastids Out before finalizing and going to press. Only in one (or hopefully it's just one) instance, I'd written myself a note that probably read "THIS IS POOP. RE-WRITE SECTION!" and somehow didn't quite delete all of it. So when you come upon the word "POOP" (in the middle of another word, no less), I ask you not to reach out a tender hand of commiseration or a wagging finger of grammatical correctness about it. Already saw it (thanks to my eagle-eyed friend Stu Riegel, whom I promise I will never forgive for bringing it to my attention) and my face is already red enough about the whole damn thing. Write your blessed congressman instead.
He or she probably won't care, either...

We now take you back to our regularly scheduled programming:
We have a pretty active Cars and Coffee thing going on in our area thanks to the "Fuelfed" bunch, and the variety of machinery and personalities on tap make it a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning when there's either:
a) no racing on your calendar
b) nothing to look forward to but watching our once-mighty, now-decimated and poorly coached Chicago Bears getting picked apart and pushed around the field by the hated (but, grudgingly, respected) Green Bay Packers. Or a good local high school team...
In any case, my Great Friend Who Unintentionally (I think) Tried To Kill Me (Lou Natenshon) has a bunch of neat cars in various states of readiness/repair brought his Devin/Chev to the last Cars and Coffee of the season, and we took a nice little, round-a-few-blocks tour in it at the end of the show.

With me at the wheel:

Felt really great, too. It was a perfect fall day with the leaves all turning and Lou's Devin is a lovely realization of the Pure Sports Roadster ideal. It is NOT a Devin SS, but rather a Devin-bodied/Chevrolet "smallblock" powered project car that never really got finished until Lou became its owner of record. Lou's an artistic sort at heart, and he did some nice things with the hood scoop, wheel openings and such that really make it a handsome and balanced-looking car. Better yet, it runs a Jaguar E-Type independent rear suspension (as many modern hot rods do these days), and that eliminates a lot of the inherent "clunkiness" you get with a lot of these types of cars. The Chev motor (a 327 with a single 4-barrel and just enough cam to give it an ominous idle) is totally tractable but gives the comparatively lightweight Devin a real leap off the line, and the well-known Corvette 4-speed is perhaps less than silky, but more than enough to make you feel like a man. Planning to drive it again and do a column or story for the magazine about it (with some juicy photography, of course), but it was great to be out once again--after far too long an interval--in a real wind-in-your-face/V8 throb-in-your-ears/kick-up-the-backside-when-you-punch-it/tears-down-your-cheeks Sports Roadster guaranteed to put a grin on your face...and make you wish you were driving something else if the weather turns foul.


OK, it's been awhile. My bad. But here's a good one that was brought to a late fall Cars and Coffee. So if you were there and asked and found out what it was, no fair. We know who you are. For the rest of you, a simple "Whazzit?"

Catch the latest poop & pictures, the Jay Leno interview, Last Open Road swag & highly inappropriate attire from Finzio's Store and the lurid & occasionally embarrassing "ride with Burt" in-car racing videos on the hopefully now fully operational website at: