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About Duo Dickinson

Writing is too easy for us narcissists. There is the delusion that others care, and worse, care about you—unless none of it is about you, because all of life has been given to you. Being more than three-score years old, husband, father, architect, football player, coach and one of those the dreaded “cradle” Episcopalians, what I offer is fraught with the impossibilities of living up to those gifts. So I write about what is irreconcilable other than through God’s love and grace that passes all understanding. And I steal really good phrases. Often.

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Author Archive

    We Are Suddenly Surrounded By Dead Trees

    For many of us in America, “the holidays” means erecting a tree. Usually from life from some woods or its simulation from a box that we assemble. But in any event, almost always, the icon we erect in our living rooms is “really most sincerely dead.” But that tree is evanescently sparkling and alive for this […]

    Aaron Rodgers Failing at Family

    I am not thrilled with the NFL. I also am not wild about Pop Warner/Youth Football, where little kids are yelled at by former failed players who coach them into running into each other before puberty sets in. Big time college ball is also pretty brutally dehumanizing. But I do deeply love football.  I was […]

    Who Are You When You Don’t Win?

    “He says he is winning all the time. Who are you when you don’t win?” – Doris Kearns Goodwin, speaking of President Trump Forget about politics. No trolling, snarking, self-righteousness allowed. Every one of us, in our youth, with every “A” on a paper, and every “D” on a test, felt either validated or outed […]

    The Canon That Crushed Richard Meier

    Architect Richard Meier recently resigned as the leader of the business he created 50 years ago. He created stark white and glass High Modernist Masterpieces for all those years. He was the very model of a Modernist “Starchitect.” He was compelled to leave because he had been accused of disgusting behavior with women. Not unusual […]

    A Message From Jesus

    It had been a long night. Two hundred people in a room, some yelling, half walking out. Two hours of presentation, justification, recrimination. It was perhaps the 200th meeting in 30 years of trying to make things happen, with about a 50% success rate. At the advent of my career as an architect, I knew […]


    It is inevitable: some things sometimes do not work out. Who loves control more than an architect? I have been one of those for 40 years, with 800 things built. But we’ve started over 1,000. We, I, failed over 200 times to build what we were designing. Today, I lost the chance to work with […]

    The Undeserved Vacation: The New Sabbath

    Tis the season… “I am on vacation, away from my office, Email access is remote so I may not respond until my return.” We seem to need vacation.  My father had the month of August off, but we went near nowhere (once a drive to DC to see a friend along the way and see […]

    Bedside and the Lord’s Prayer

    Those who had a chaotic childhood often have vivid memories of going to bed. There was relief from the confusion and fear of an out-of-control parent but also the silent terror that the combustive anger would continue past being tucked in. For my poor mother, this ritual of bedtime meant that she could legitimately absent […]

    The Gift of Profanity 

    Chris Pratt is as cute as a button, and I thought about as deep. He was in Parks and Rec, lead roles in every cheesy commercially killer movie you can think of from Guardians of the Galaxy to Jurassic World. He married a similarly “perfect” starlet, Anna Faris who spoke openly of her devout feminism […]

    Violence & Faith

    LeBron and Curry are crushing the NBA Finals. The never-anything Washington Capitals and never-before Las Vegas Golden Knights are a Dream Fantasy of Stanley Cup legendizing. Even baseball has some sex appeal amid a Yanks/Sox Genetic Superiority Grudge Match. But if you are a sports monogamist like me, and you love football, this is the lamest […]

    …Mistakes Were Made…

    Some of us are so scared of being outed as human that we go to extreme measures to avoid any indication that we make mistakes. Architects, like me, are especially loath to admit error. You could say architects are conditioned to have ‘ego on steroids’ since the job is to manifest complete confidence in the […]

    A Letter of Recommendation

    When you reach a certain age, you begin to get requests to write letters of recommendation. For college applicants, for award seekers, and, in my case, for those seeking to become a Fellow in the AIA. These letters can devolve into a formula: state your bona fides, recount the seeker’s, and give a pithy, defendable, […]