Michael Campbell

Story Time.

How Life Really Begins

August in Nebraska: the wet 95 degree air squats like a heavyweight wrestler on your lungs. It was my day off, but I was called back to my bar. The air conditioner had gone out again. I knew what was wrong, the same thing every time. Humidity wrung from the air drips...

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Sixties Eve

Tomorrow is my birthday. Today is the last day of my fifties. Happy Sixties Eve to me. I sure didn't skate through my fifties. I fell in love, got married, published a book, released an album, and recorded a soundtrack. I learned to ride a unicycle, juggle wooden...

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Cereal Killers

  As a kid I was always up at dawn. Every day was an adventure and I was eager to get started. I’d teeter downstairs and join my dad, who was inevitably sitting in his boxers, leaning on his elbows, updating his to-do lists in his back-slant lefty handwriting. Mom...

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Hot Stuff

Mary Avery grew up on a prehistoric dome of salt in the middle of the Louisiana marsh. It was a huge hill: six miles around, with caves 50,000 feet deep. It belonged to her parents, so naturally she wasted no time escaping it. In the early 1800s Mary was happily swept...

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Slow Cook

Millions rushed out to buy an Instant Pot, this year’s hot kitchen gadget. Many were disappointed to discover the Instant Pot didn’t deliver that kind of pot. It didn’t even deliver instant. But it is a pot. You can bake a potato in 10 minutes! That is, if you don’t...

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The Thief

As Number Five of six kids, I didn't get a lot of new stuff. I felt like a superhero when Mom put new blue patches on my worn purple jeans, like the Six Million Dollar Man with his arm re-attached.So it was a big deal when Dad took me to pick out a new bicycle. My...

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Take a Load Off

Thanksgiving gluttony skidded right past Christmas indulgence and T-boned into New Year’s revelry. Cookies and cocktails everywhere every day. I can’t say no to them. That’d be rude. So here am I, as wide as I am tall, psyching myself up for another annual New Year...

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Fads Gone Bad

As Food & Spirits magazine celebrates its 10th year of persnicketiness and gluttony, I offer my congratulations to Erik the Publisher. In his honor I’ve come up with a top ten list of food fads from the last ten years that are now as popular as Bart Simpson...

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Pie in the Sky

“Tang: breakfast of astronauts!” cried the TV ad. Nope. Tang was never any part of their breakfast. Most astronauts couldn’t stand the stuff. Buzz Aldrin once said bluntly, “Tang sucks.” Tang was concocted by Dr. William A. Mitchell—for General Foods, not NASA. In the...

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Tasting Ghosts

Mary Avery grew up on a prehistoric dome of salt in the middle of the Louisiana marsh in the early 1800s.  It was huge: six miles around and with caves 50,000 feet deep. It belonged to her parents, so naturally she wasted no time escaping it. As a young woman Mary was...

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