For the past year or so, my brother Tom and I have been working on a book titled Stupid Things Papa Did When He Was Younger. He's written many personal essays (he called them stories), but the ones I chose to focus on as his editor were the funny ones. They were the memories I wanted him to re-inhabit and to re-live as we went through many rounds of rearranging and editing while he battled cancer.

Writing was completely immersive for Tom. It was his escape. His memory for detail was absolutely incredible, and writing about his experiences transported him to other places and times—away from the pain and physical limitations caused by his illness. Bringing some of his stories together in book form book was among the things that kept him putting one foot in front of the other over the past year. The book was published to Kindle hours before he took his last breath, and he knew that his goal had been reached.


This is a happy book! It's a funny book! Most of the stories are the ones Tom told his son Michael at bedtime as he was growing up. Many involved teenage logic so faulty and consequences so disastrous that Michael later asked, "How did you ever get old enough to breed?"

If you knew Tom, you will feel his presence as you read this book.

If you didn't know him, you'll understand why those of us who did know him grieve his loss.

How you can help

This is the Kindle beta that Tom and I intended to send out for feedback. You don't need a Kindle to read it. You can install the Kindle app on your tablet, computer, or phone and enjoy it that way, too.


  • Download the book for free by February 3. 
  • Read it by February 14. 
  • Leave a review on Amazon by February 14.
  • Let me know via the contact form on this website when (not if) you find errors by February 14.

I will incorporate your edits into the print version and publish it as quickly as possible.

Did YOU do stupid things when you were younger?

Please share your #stupidthingsstory with us in the comments.