Being a movie critic at the San Francisco Chronicle gave me greater visibility and a wider readership than I’d ever known. But it wasn’t my favorite gig. The work that compels and fulfills me most is the writing of profiles: the opportunity to explore and understand another person’s life, without bias or agenda; to shine a light and let them speak.
Patricia Doyle O’Connor. At 57, Wade O’Connor changed his gender, trading his badass, motorcycle-racing past for womanhood.
October 17, 2016, East Bay Monthly:
John Kapellas. Afflicted with acute photosensitivity and unable to go outdoors, a San Francisco man adapts by discovering ways to stay spiritually and mentally engaged.
August 7, 2013, San Francisco Chronicle:
Evelyn Deane: A Marin family law attorney remembers her raucous, spirited roots as a jazz saxophonist in a traveling all-girl band.
June 25, 2011, San Francisco Chronicle:
Poet Thom Gunn: Reserved but raw, modest but gaudy, Thom Gunn covered an enormous amount of ground in his exquisite work and his raucous life.
Part One, April 25, 2005, San Francisco Chronicle:
Part Two, April 26, 2005, San Francisco Chronicle:
Maxon Crumb. Haunted by childhood trauma, the gifted brother of artist R. Crumb lives an ascetic life, meditating and conducting yogic rituals in a Skid Row hotel room.
October 3, 2006, San Francisco Chronicle:
Howard Dully. At age 12, he underwent a lobotomy at the insistence of his stepmother. Forty five years later, San Jose bus driver Howard Dully still bears the weight of that reckless, debilitating experiment.
September 25, 2007, San Francisco Chronicle:
Millie Kalish. Raised on an Iowa farm during the Depression, Millie Kalish publishes a brilliant, vivid memoir of her childhood and becomes a best-selling author at 85.
March 7, 2008, San Francisco Chronicle:
Cheryl Cohen Greene. In Berkeley, surrogate sex partner Cheryl Cohen Greene has been helping men with sexual intimacy and dysfunction problems for 40 years. Her story inspired the movie “The Sessions” with Helen Hunt.
January 10, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle:
Joe Harris. Part father confessor, psychiatrist and baby-sitter, the San Francisco Opera's Joe Harris recalls 44 years as dresser to the world’s greatest tenors and baritones.
July 2, 2004, San Francisco Chronicle:
Edward Jackson. Tap-tap-tap-a-ratta-tap! On the corner of Powell and Market in San Francisco, a human laboratory of junkies and street artists, panhandlers and tourists, a coiled-tight, lightweight tap dancer works his butt off for random tips.
July 20, 2004, San Francisco Chronicle:
Brian Wilson. Candid, innocent and painfully shy, the Beach Boys founder and songwriter has spent his life scraping his knees on the rough surfaces of existence, trying to find a semblance of peace in his scattered head.
August 26, 1995, San Francisco Chronicle:
Jim LeBrecht. Born with spina bifida and unable to walk, LeBrecht harnessed his considerable verbal gifts, charm and hustle, and created Berkeley Sound Artists.
July 29, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle: