In the Eye of the Storm a Year Later

By Gary Smith Life September 1990 “There are significant moments in the life of a human,” a significant man in Charleston, S.C., once told me. “Moments in our lives when we need to act right. It’s crucial that we recognize them when they come, that we gather the...

The Most Hated Lawyer in America

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair March 1992 It’s a quiet Sunday morning in the nearly deserted Greenwich Village town house of attorney William Kunstler. In the stillness, the answering machine clicks on and there’s a quiet woman’s voice speaking, calmly, patiently...

The Ballad of Willie Nelson

By Ron Rosenbaum Vanity Fair November 1991 The night before I left for South Texas to join Willie Nelson as he went back on the road again to sing for the I.R.S., I had dinner with a woman from L.A. who’d known him. She told me a fascinating story about Willie Nelson,...

The Father, The Director, and the Holy Terror

By Brad Darrach Life September 1990 Fifty-three. For the average successful American male, it’s definitely not the prime of life. Your body has launched a paunch, your children are taller than you are, you’re dabbling furtively in your wile’s wrinkle cream and...

A Place to Heal

By Marilyn Johnson Life June, 1995 Justin Simpson is six years old and playing with a long plastic bat when two strangers pull up to the curb in front of his grandparents’ house. He scowls. Who are these guys? It’s the photographer and his assistant. They get out of...

Jeff Bridges: Class Act

By Fred Schruers Us Weekly April, 1998 The scene is billed on today’s call sheet as “Wal­ter threatens Smokey at gunpoint.” On paper, it doesn’t feature Jeff Bridges. In fact, coming early in Joel and Ethan Coen’s seventh feature, The Big Lebowski, the sequence...

In the Bloom of Life

By Marilyn Johnson Life April, 1995 If you take her out of history and plant her in the wilderness, it’s easy to see the person she is. During a dry spell in 1984, she was driving around the Texas hill country with a friend, hunting for fields of wildflowers in bloom....

A Hollow Venue

By Steve Oney New York July 29, 1996 The most telling news to come out of Atlanta during the days leading up to the opening ceremonies of the centennial Olympic Games had nothing to do with the erection of a 165-foot-tall statue of a Coca-Cola bottle—in a city of...

Kim Philby and the Age of Paranoia

By Ron Rosenbaum The New York Times Magazine July 10, 1994 The Heart of the Matter The presence of the Philby papers in London was still a closely guarded secret when I stumbled on them through an inadvertent slip by Graham Greene’s nephew. I’d found him, the nephew,...

The Devil in Long Island

By Ron Rosenbaum The New York Times Magazine August 22, 1993 “He wondered every once in a while what life would be like without a second story and how it was people managed to get along in ranch-style or split-level houses without running amok once a year or so.” ...

Boy, 8

By Marilyn Johnson Life June 1, 1992 I didn’t want to be part of anything when I was a teenager, especially my family. There were seven of us, and they pressed in on me. So I buried my head in books. My reading irritated my parents; books were a narcotic I used right...

Sympathy for the Devil

By Lawrence Wright Rolling Stone September 5, 1991 Is the Devil real? This certainly looks like the Evil One himself getting out of a black Jaguar and coming through the glass doors of a restaurant with a blonde on his arm. It’s an interesting proposition and one...