Local Commentaries

So what if he had a red nose

Rudolph. Okay. So, I detest the gooey crooning of Christmas carols as much as any surly, poorly-adjusted adult with an ACEs score of four or better. They drive me squirrel turds. Not only are they the worst kind of earworm to catch because they are nearly indestructible once they’ve taken ...

Looking for Santa

Today I go through the times that my family spent looking for Santa. When you are small the idea of Santa is a big deal. I remember well when I found out Santa was not real. I was crushed. A girl friend who had older siblings told me about Santa on the way to our dance class. I remember ...

Soaring over Struthers

It was definitely not what I planned to do last Tuesday. But when the foreman of the roofing crew said it would be a good day to go up, I thought it might be my last chance. Yup, up. Up above the roof — the Struthers Library Theatre’s roof. Well, it did seem like a good idea at the ...

Afterthoughts

An occasional collection of vignettes from events and public meetings in Warren County that never make it into news stories because...well, you’ll see. Belting it out When a proud basketball coach spoke about his team at a recent school board meeting, he let the board know about their ...

Be safe out there

I like to hike on Sundays, but on this first Sunday of December, I will not hike. I stare out the kitchen window while my second cup of coffee drips through. It is a cloudless day with the subtle brightness of late fall. Lanky shadows, disproportionately long, crisscross the lawn. A diligent ...

‘As long as you’re happy…’

“As long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters.” That is a supportive, nice statement that we have all probably said or heard at least a few times in our lives. But is it what we really needed to hear, or just what we wanted to? On the surface, “As long as you’re happy, ...

Some digging…

The old adage is “You learn something new every day.” That’s abundantly true in my job. On Monday, I was neck-deep in the city’s downtown strategic plan. Tuesday brought the intricacies of Forest Service procedures regarding Tracy Ridge. Thursday brought new historical knowledge ...

Santa’s making me nervous

Santa. Man, this guy. I know that I cannot be the only single mom grimacing just a little at the idea of lying to her children about an obese 500-year-old man breaking into our home in the middle of the night with presents for them, but only on the condition that they have been “good,” ...

Thanksgiving (and Christmas)

Bill and Margie were looking at a quiet sort of Thanksgiving in Alaska. Their beloved trio of grandsons have moved from the far north to the American southwest with their parents. The boys had an especially close relationship with their grandparents (and vice versa), but a job opportunity ...

Hunting for the price of the sport

I have a confession to make. I’ve lived in Warren County (for the most part) since 1995. And I’ve never shot a deer. I was born and, until I was 10, lived in a suburban area in Northeast Ohio. Neither of my parents came from hunting families so the phenomenon has always been a bit ...

Sharing Christmas with others

The best part of Christmas is the ability to share it with others. Sharing has long been a part of my history. When I was young I shared Christmas in song. I belonged to the choir and we always had a concert. The music of Christmas is so special. Some of the songs date back nearly two ...

The question of a second whitetail rut

This week in a waiting room I saw a magazine article which brought to question a second rut. My first thought was, what a foolish question. And how perfectly matched to the minds of deer hunters, such fools we be. The simple answer is, each year whitetails rut once. After applying deer ...

Sea of orange

There are many things that make Pennsylvania unique, especially this time of the year. We have the opportunity to experience the best of the fall foliage and crisp November air that seamlessly leads into holiday cheer and hopefully a white Christmas. However, there are a couple of weeks between ...

The insanity of Black Friday

I did not go Black Friday shopping. I have never gone Black Friday shopping. Well, okay. There was that one time. But that’s the reason I don’t go Black Friday shopping anymore. Also, I don’t have any money. Which kind of makes the task of fighting a horde of stressed out moms for ...

Cards and Letters

We kiddingly called my mother the “President of Packrats International.” I have learned in the year since Mom died that many of my friends with relatives from the depression era also recognize the symptoms . . . she was not alone in her proclivity to pack-rattedness. It wasn’t that ...

One-time rights

People often ask me where I get ideas for my columns. I tell them I read a lot. I also listen when I am out and about. Ideas come from many sources. I keep a list of possible columns. I must admit that sometimes the kernel of an idea that I jotted down does not translate into a ...

Rest in peace, Louis

Louis, Louis. Your career’s gonna die. Because that apology ya wrote? It had me fooled. Really, it did. For about 36 hours. Because I wanted, so badly, to still be a fan of yours. Louis, your ability to write, your agility with the craft of creative nonfiction and the skill of your humor, ...

Bovine excrement detectors

William has a lot of interests. His latest fascination is Big Foot. He reads about them, he watches videos about them. When he is at the camp, any strange noise is attributed to a possible Big Foot. He walks the woods with his BB gun, hoping to catch sight of his elusive prey. One of my ...

The American Dream!

Just what is the American Dream these days? I heard a young man on television talk about fulfilling the American dream. He spoke of a father who gave up everything to come to America so that his son could experience the American dream. To that young man the American dream meant learning ...