The stories of Philadelphia writer Chris Gibbons often convey the harrowing experiences of America's war veterans, the thrilling wonders of space exploration, and his poignant memories of growing up during the turbulent decades of the 1960's and 1970's. In this collection of 78 of his published essays across a broad range of topics, Gibbons reveals the meaning behind his search for "American Pie" singer and songwriter Don McLean, the hidden "scars of war" that haunted his father and his neighbors, the tragedy that would forever change his family, and the terrible toll that World War I inflicted upon the alumni of a legendary Philadelphia high school. Uplifting stories abound as well, as Gibbons conveys the excitement of the Apollo moon missions, Buddy Holly's and Rod Serling's continuing influence across the generations, the far-reaching impact of a skilled teacher, the thrilling robotic exploration of the solar system, and his vivid memories of the sports heroes of his youth. A new Afterword for each essay provides interesting context, subsequent updates, or noteworthy e-mails that Gibbons received in response to them. As you read the stories within this compilation, be prepared to traverse the battlefields of America's wars, rocket across the solar system, and travel back in time to experience the heartache, joy, and triumph often encountered on the journey of life.