The Rockford Files

A Highly Personal History

We’re about 50 miles east of Toledo, cruising along the Ohio Turnpike on our way to Cleveland for the wedding of longtime Chronicles contributor Tom Piatak.  Satisfied from a lunch of cabbage rolls, paprikas dumplings, and Hungarian sausage at the original Tony Packo’s, I have Amy’s MacBook open on my lap and Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. album shuffling on the iPod.  “Dancing in the Dark” isn’t helping me shake the feeling that I should quit browsing news items in NetNewsWire, avoiding the writing I intended to do.  (“I get up in the evening, and I ain’t got nothing to say / I come home in the morning, go to bed feeling the same way.”)

The Rockford Register Star’s newsfeed provides only headlines, so I’m running through it quickly and inattentively.  As I move on to the next item, the words of the previous headline finally register: “Local author, historian Lundin dies.”

Startled, I read Amy the headline, then pull out the cellphone to call the office.  When Aaron answers, I ask him if he’s heard the news.  “I don’t have internet access out here on the turnpike, so I’ve only seen the headline.  What happened?”

He hasn’t heard, so he pulls up the Register Star’s website.  The story is under a different...

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