Try as I might, I still can’t get enthused to any great degree to weigh in on the news of the day. In recompense, I know our esteemed family of readers will appreciate the news feed from World Net Daily which now appears in the right sidebar.

What I can do, in the spirit of the holiday season, is offer some memorabilia of personal history, which in contradistinction to the ubiquitous news environment should help bring the blogosphere a little closer to what most of us believe it is really about in the first place; namely, endless prattling on about one’s own life. When I first started blogging many years ago, a wise mentor told me I’d do best to write about things on which I had a uniquely informed perspective. My life, it turns out, is aces in that category. I recently needed to do some organizing of mountains of family photos, so the time seems ideal to branch out in that direction.

Joe, Dad and Grandpa, 1967
Here is me with my late dad and late grandfather, Christmas 1967. I still own that hat.Coyote Enterprises
This is me sitting in a sprint car at A.J. Foyt’s “Coyote Enterprises” headquarters in the early 1970s. My dad was a PR executive with Purolator – which was a major sponsor of Foyt’s racing team – and I spent several summers at the Coyote shop in Houston.

Key West 1979
About 8 years later, this is in Key West after my 1979 high school graduation. The familiar beard and anomie had even then begun to take shape.

Wedding in Rome
Fast forward about 18 years to my best friend’s wedding south of Rome, held at an amazing venue – an ancient Christian church built onto a pre-Christian Roman temple. It was a pretty spectacular experience which all who attended will no doubt remember forever. A fantastic family and friends get-together.

More of this incredible history below the fold.

Going backward in time – which, when you get to be my age, is the only direction that really makes any sense …

High School Reunion 1999
Here is me and the current “missus” – who at the time had barely reached the age of consent – at my 20-year high school reunion on the Alexandria waterfront. It was a crazy, carefree time in the late 1990s, back when the world was so much simpler and American lifestyles still roundly bohemian.

David Pearson
David Pearson, my favorite driver growing up, was the best in NASCAR for a number of years in the 1970s – this is a photo my dad took at one of the many races we attended during that period.

Wood Brothers 21 Car
Me with David Pearson’s Purolator Mercury. The Wood Brothers were one of the dominant racing teams for almost 15 years, before all the dang MIT guys moved in in the late 1970s and screwed everything up.

Joe First Communion
First communion, 1967. My mom was about the same age as my oldest daughter is now. That is hard to get your head around, believe me. If we had a time machine to put them next to each other in the same outfits they could pass as twins. Whew. I received a white missal, and I believe that day represented the height of my personal religiosity. I’ve had some clever moments since then, but the whole “purity” aspect really took a nosedive soon thereafter.

Joe First Love
Okay, my first love, circa 1965, was a cousin – but a second cousin, so everything turned out to be square with the local authorities, although I will admit strings were pulled and favors called in to allow this situation to move forward. This was the only photo taken that day, because when you have an accordian in one hand, a babe in the other, and a pair of six-shooters on your belt, you’re not exactly begging the paparazzi over for lunch. But in spite of the heavy handed tactics, don’t kid yourself: I could curl their toes then just like I curl them now.

Joe Sleeping
Bedtime photo, 1964. I choreographed this one. I had established a reasonably fierce public image during the “terrible twos” phase and needed some softening for PR purposes. This was contrived to convey “peaceful” yet “savvy” lest anyone get the notion of a weak side.

I’m sure there will be more writing about the news soon, but I do have a lot more pictures to sort through.