Yeah, it's been a long time. Sorry about that. But, contrary to what you may have thought or wondered, I have NOT sailed off the edge of the earth and--thank goodness and in spite of a looming birthday come Monday...we need not say which one--Carol and I are in good health, exercising regularly and getting along as well as any two people who have been together for--what is it now?--a half a damn century? Or it will be come next February and Valentines' Day. We were actually fixed up on a blind date in August of 1973 (Carol would know the date) and, in spite of me being a semi-lapsed suburban Jewish semi-hippie freshly returned from a drop-out-of-college road-trip adventure that took me to Denver, Boulder, Oakland, San Francisco and Seattle and included a true cornocopia of crap, ultra crap and near-crap jobs (read all about it in the upcoming POTSIDE II short-story collection) and she being Italian Catholic and a proud and respectful product of the girls' parochial school system...well, we both kinda knew that first night. And she's been with me ever since, through thick, thin and thinner, and the folks who attended our wedding (who filed in like the parting of the Red Sea: Jews to one side/Catholics to the other, and many of whom thought she might be, you know, since, once the commitment was made, we kept moving the date up. Just because we were both eager for the adventure to begin.

Thankfully, a lot of the glow and promise of that time still remains. For which I am eternally grateful.

But why so long between missives, then? Well, to be honest, I've been struggling with a few things of late on the writing/publishing front. The new short-story collection is moving along nicely and has morphed into as much of an autobiography as I will ever write, and feedback from my editor friends has been more than positive. Downside is that I've either become a better (or more persnickety?) writer than I ever was before or my mixture is running a little lean, as it seems to take me more time and more passes through each episode to get to where I like it and don't feel the need to fiddle with it any more. Or maybe I had a little more creative arrogance going for me back in ze olt dayz?

Who knows?

But progress is being made...between distractions.

Ahh, yes. Distractions. Things that look simple on the surface but, like the icebeg that sank the Titanic, there's a lot of sweat, worry, sturm und drang swirling beneath the surface. Like the 100 numbered, suede-bound, 25th Anniversary commemorative editions of THE LAST OPEN ROAD that are now, lesse here, something like three years late? We've had the classy, numbeed medallions for a couple years already (see images below), but the fancy binding and historical color sections have run run into snag after snag and disaster after disaster. Sorry about that. Some "back to the old drawing board" about-faces have been involved, and currently looking at mid-first quarter next year.

Also on the book-making front, we're in the process of doing reprints of the third and fourth books in the series (THE FABULOUS TRASHWAGON and TOLY'S GHOST) and, thanks to some changeovers of people and policy at our printers, we can't seem to find some of the files for the color sponsorship/advertising sections (without the dollars from which we could have never published the books in the first place) and I'm loathe to do another run without them. Although, at least in THE TRASHWAGON's case, we may have no alternative. Again, sorry about that.

So that's all the crap news that's been bothering me and dragging me down and making it--at least sometimes--hard to concentrate and focus on the creative end. Which, after all, is the part I love best and the one that, by default as much as anything else, I'm best at.

Moreto come. I promise.


Would you like to give some REALLY cool gifts to your gearhead and/or literary friends this holiday season? And, as part of the deal, help poor old Burt out of his holiday doldrums? Sure you would! So consider the options below. We should mention here that Burt and Carol are heading west to spend the holidays with their kids, so if you want signed/personalized copies of any of the books (or the audiobook, which is nothing less than awesome), please get your orders in N-O-W!!!!

If you want personalization, eithwer put your requat into the "notes to seller", emial us at or call one of our Holiday Elves at 708-383-7203. If you have a thick foreign accent, we may think you're trying to sell us a new health plan and may well say something rude and hang up on you. Sorry.

While we're busy pitching stuff, how about making that Special Person (or yourself?) a sponsor of either one or both of Burt's upcoming books. All the poop is here on the website:


Or, conversely, just browse the books and wonderful logo merchandise in Finzio's Store at:


That's all for now. Have to get back to the story I'm working on for the new short-story collection. It's all about sleeping in a cow pasture (a romantic notion for sure, but not reccommended by anyone who's tried it) and my slightly drug-addled, first-day-on-the-job transition from drifter/dishwasher to second-string cook at The Boulderado Hotel in Boulder, CO. during the early fall of 1969. I remember it like it never happened at all...

fall of bn atthe new booksny tAs you can imagine, there was much anguish and hand-wringing in the storm's wake but, as old Mark Twain once noted: "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does much of anything about it..."

Truer words were never spake.

We were of course fortunate to be set up in our usual spot inside the magnificent and wind- and weather-proof (not to mention air-conditioned!) ROAD AMERICA PADDOCK SHOP to once again sign books alongside Upper Boddington's own raconteur/racing hero and TV motorsports star David Hobbs. He's damn good company, BTW, and always has an appropriate story or memory on tap. Plus his book is a pretty damn good read. We like to tell prospective customers: "I write fiction peppered with true facts, and David writes, well, something that comes 'round the bend from the opposite direction..."

2) The repaved Road America racetrack looks absolutely fabulous, and if it's possible to love a thick layer of smooth-as-a-baby's-butt asphalt...well, this is the place to strum your heartstrings. But all was not sweetness and light with the new surface as, even after several race meetings, the rubbered-in "on line" ribbon had pretty good grip, whilst the not-so-rubbered-in sections off the racing line were, to borrow a fellow-racer's line: "slicker than eel snot."

You have to realize here that the goal of ANY racetrack paving job is NOT to provide maximum grip. Far from it in fact. As friend/accomplished racetrack designer Alan Wilson always cautions: "If there's too much grip, it just chews up tires, leaves 'marbles' of rolled-up rubber off-line and, if the cars have wide, sticky tires and a lot of downforce, the track itself starts coming up in big, gnarly chunks."

I'm thinking the new surface will "rubber-in" properly over time, but right now it's like a wet racetrack that's just starting to dry. The grip is decent on-line, but you take your chances if you venture into/onto the "No Mans' Land" off line...

3) The schedule was kinda goofy in order to accommodate the Powers That Be in the television world (are your ears buring, NBC?). Everybody in their right mind likes to see races L-I-V-E (or very close to it) as where's the damn drama and suspense if you already know how everything comes out? And NBC and its affiliate stations had a whole bunch of racing on tap that particular Sunday, what with IMSA at Road America and Indycars at Nashville and ranked-by-fan-base king-of-the-hill NASCAR at Michigan (although that race was postponed to Monday, very possibly by the same storm front that blew through Elkhart Lake?), and so IMSA's 2 hour 40 minute race was sqouzed into an unusual, Sunday morning time slot. Like starting at 10am local time.

Hey, choices have to be made, right?

But it felt odd to have the BIG show in the morning and the Usual Saturday Feature Michelin Pilot Series (which is UNBELIEVABLY competitive and entertaining) running on Sunday afternoon. And, as long as I'm grousing, why only a 2 hour/40 minute feature race at Road America when both the venue and the cars and teams are suited to much longer races?

Just sayin'...

But, all that said, it was a typically close, fraught and well-fought IMSA show, and the parity that the sanctioning body has both promoted and pursued is really bearing fruit. You can tell it's a level playing field when EVERYBODY' in the paddock is complaining...


First installment of my story about driving Ferraris for famous Chicago enthusiast/restaurateur/race-team owner/race promoter Joe Marchetti is coming out in the new web issue of VELOCE TODAY. It concerns the 250 SWB Berlinetta I got to drive and race a bit at Road Atlanta. Pix below. Check it out. Lotsa other great stories in there, too!

Did a story for Chicago magazine about my half-week working as an ad-hoc stunt driver when THE BLUES BROTHERS movie was filming in Chicago. Coming out next month, and a much condensed/less gearhead-oriented adaptation of one of the stories in the new book. Really thrilled to be in there, as it's a very classy magazine.

You may be missing my column and stories in VINTAGE MOTORSPORT magazine and, to tell the truth, so am I. I've reached out multiple times with not much in the way of a response and they do owe me a few bucks. More news as I have it.



click here for more info!


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: