By John M. Glionna, Desert Companion Magazine, September, 2021

One night not long ago, artist Jack Malotte was awakened by the sound of a woman’s laughter.

At age 67, the Native American elder has for decades inhabited a remote reservation redoubt amid central Nevada’s vast Great Basin. Other than the…


A journalist moves to the small town of McDermitt, on the Oregon-Nevada line, to learn about why the high school football team never wins, and about the townsfolk who cheer them on, no matter what.

One in a series.

The roosters are still crowing as Lorraine fires up yellow school…


A writer moves to a small Western town to figure out its inhabitants and learn why its high school football team never wins.

One in a series.

This is the story of Crazy Frank, yesterday’s Bulldog.

He’s bushy-bearded and wild-eyed, running on pure adrenaline.

On a warm late-August afternoon, he…


A journalist moves to a small town to write about life and a high school football team that never wins.

One in a series.

All night and into the morning, I hear the rumble of passing traffic along U.S. …


What happens when a big-city writer moves to a tiny Western town, renting a house without wifi and with sketchy cellular service, to learn more about why people live there and why the high school football team never wins?

First in a series.

There’s an isolated border town out on…


I spotted the for-sale listing on the Internet, a temptress of a house with fairy-tale ocean views in a far-away Oregon beach town I knew absolutely nothing about.

And for a price — just over $1 million — that in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live part-time, would…


Watching Life Ripen

We were sitting at an outdoor wooden table, along a rural road called Limerick Lane, sampling various vintages deep inside the bountiful heart of California wine country.

The Sonoma County afternoon was warm and we had planted ourselves in the shade of a towering olive tree as the proprietor hovered…


My Friend Languishes in a Chinese Prison

In a dark way, we all expected the news. And yet when it came, it still made his friends and family flinch, and shake our heads at the calculated evil of the international gamesmanship waged by the Chinese government.

It made us pray…


Not Seeing Eye to Eye

The other day, I sat in the exam chair at my eye doctor’s office in San Francisco.

I like my optician, Herbert Wong. He’s whip-smart and chatty and we always break shit down during my annual visits, everything from housing prices to liberal politics.

Until I spotted something that cast…


In the classroom, David Bazelon was the Man in Black, but we hipster college writers called him The Baz.

A few decades back, at the State University of New York at Buffalo, I took a creative writing class with Bazelon, a Manhattan corporate lawyer-turned social critic who’d been lionized as…

John Michael Glionna

Former Big City Journalist turned Sojourner

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store