There are some writers I like to call “ Chuck Yeagers.” If you’re not aware, Yeager was one of the greatest aviators in American history, the man who broke the “sound barrier” one sunlit day in 1947 over California’s Mojave Desert. His X-1 aircraft, christened on its side “Glamorous Glennis” in honor of his wife, was lifted to 25,000 feet and then released through the bomb bay of a B-29, soaring to 40,000 feet and exceeding 662 mph.

The feat was seismic, literally, but akin with military secretiveness, it was kept more or less under wraps. Yeager, however, kept testing…


- Blaise Pascal

I have made a new friend. His name is Sven. We play chess together. Lately, almost every evening.

Sven is an excellent player, although he says he is at the intermediate level. Which must make me more than a bit below. You see, I’ve never beaten Sven. I haven’t even come close.

Sven is odd in some ways. He always wears the same outfit (sweater with high collar), and he never changes his facial expression during a match. He’s steely that way, but not menacing, as he is always smiling. …


Who do you need?
Who do you love?
When you come undone

Duran Duran

I was visiting friends I haven’t seen in over a year — or since the covid lockdown last March. I have been doing this more and more, reconnecting with close friends and loved ones after this long stretch of social distancing and non-seeing. It comes with a price, at least for me. I have developed over this time the habit of being afraid of people, of being inwardly focused, of conversely hating the isolation while clinging to it like a life raft. I have more than…


As often goes when I am having lunch with my friend Moshe Ratson, a marriage and family therapist and executive life coach based in New York City, we start, after a bit of catching up, “talking shop.”

You see, in addition to being a writer of this column, I make my daily bread as a director of a mental health counseling and training center in the Big Apple. This is where Moshe and I met. …


What makes these five fictional characters so special?

Jill Dearman is a writer’s writer, whose prose and nonfiction are fierce in their connectivity and fresh in innovation. She’s the real deal. And so searching for an idea for a new column, and considering the audience of astute and nuanced readers that abound among The Good Men Project, I asked Jill to name five male characters from novels who stand out in her mind — characters who in their own right, fictional may they be, are the real deal.

Here’s her list and reasoning:

1. T.S. Garp. ( The World According…


One of my best friends and housemates from my college days was, like me, an avid hoopster. He loved to play basketball, was a free spirit, and had a motto that one should never go anywhere without bringing along your sneaks in case you come upon a court and a game.

I’m sort of the same way these days about fishing. And so it is that come May I usually have in the back of my jeep a reel and rod and a tackle box….just …


To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.

- Thich Nhat Hanh

In the early 90’s, there was a rather seedy-looking bar near my office in mid-town New York City called “Billy’s Topless.” It was what it was (it’s now a bank), a throwback to a different time and place in our culture. …


It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.

~ Seneca

My father was always looking for his wallet, or worried he had lost it. Most times, he had given it to my mother to hold and had forgotten, or had left it in his car, or in a jacket pocket or so on. But it always turned up, and, really, I never remember my father ever actually losing his wallet.

Now, I have it. The last wallet he owned. It sits in my bedside cabinet. Because of his attachment to…


Silence is a source of Great Strength.

~Lao Tzu

My wedding to my wife, Mr. Pei’s daughter, was held in Wainscott, a beautiful hamlet by the Atlantic Ocean. Wainscott is part of the Hamptons, but while having much the same power to allure and be home to celebrity and wealth, it has retained, or at least I believe, a grounded sense of self. In this regard, Wainscott, if I gave it more human characters, is gentle, tough, resilient, humble, generous, and altogether charming.


Silence is a source of Great Strength. ~Lao Tzu

My wedding to my wife, Mr. Pei’s daughter, was held in Wainscott, a beautiful hamlet by the Atlantic Ocean. Wainscott is part of the Hamptons, but while having much the same power to allure and be home to celebrity and wealth, it has retained, or at least I believe, a grounded sense of self. In this regard, Wainscott, if I gave it more human characters, is gentle, tough, resilient, humble, generous, and altogether charming.

So why wouldn’t I want to get married in Wainscott? In addition to my stated love of…

John McCaffrey

John McCaffrey is a writer and a director at a nonprofit mental health treatment and training center in NYC. jamccaffrey.com

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