Local Commentaries

Ferry at the Fair: WTO reporter among judges in photo contest

There are many things that make a photo good or bad. I might be able to explain some of those things better than the average person, but, whether they know why or not, most people have a pretty good handle on which photos are good and which are not. People can get a little too caught up in ...

Looking back

View From Hickory Heights Recently when my daughter, my granddaughter, and I were at an antique shop my daughter told her daughter that is the way she grew up. She was right. When our children were young we often took a Sunday ride that took us to some antique store. One Sunday we would ...

Allegheny story

As a seasonal resident along the Allegheny River for over 40 years, first as a cabin renter, then as the owner of a RV, and now as a cabin owner, I’ve taken innumerable canoe and kayak trips on the river. Inevitably, there have been a number of trying times during these excursions. Some ...

Late Summer Neighbors

Our new neighbor moved in just last month. I didn’t read about the real estate transaction in the newspaper because she did not purchase her small home. She’s a squatter. We don’t take kindly to squatters in this neighborhood. I did feel a little sorry for her because she must have ...

Good advice

I think you’d like “Edsie”. He’s a buddy from college days; I’ve known him for more than 50 years. We still get together from time to time. He was a high school teacher for about 35 years. He was married for about 25 before losing his beloved wife to cancer. He finished raising ...

The little rabbit

Once, there was a little rabbit who had soft pink ears, bright red eyes, and a short, fluffy tail. Insomuch as features in line with stereotypical species-related body expectations is a legitimate criteria for a working definition of the subjective measure of “cute,” he was, indeed, such a ...

Behind the 8-ball

A “fun fact” showed up on Facebook describing how racecar drivers can lose 10 pounds during a single race. It’s all about the heat, exertion, sweating, maybe spontaneous, fear-induced discharges…. Anyway, it brought back my experiences with races. It was when I was a rookie ...

‘Thank you all for believing in me’

Earlier in my junior school year, I was nominated for The Washington Journalism & Media Conference. It was a very competitive process to be accepted. I had to have a good academic standing; with a minimum 3.5 GPA, a demonstrated interest in journalism; and a willingness to represent my ...

How cars have changed

When I was growing up there were just a few car manufacturers. Each car brand was distinctive so you could pick all of them out. I remember in the years that I traveled with Grandma and Grandpa and my mother I counted types of cars to pass the time as we drove along. Now there are so many ...

Politics

Once upon a time, a man came to talk to Tim about work. I didn't much care for him so I kept busy in the other room. Tim talked with him about the kind of work he could do. I listened as the man talked about what a hard worker he was. “A very hard worker, unlike some”...and before you knew ...

Where the autonomous ego is

The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another, his mother called him “wild thing,” and Max said, “I’ll eat you up.” So his mother, exhausted after 11 full hours at work, making dinner, pleading with Max to eat dinner, cleaning up Max’s uneaten dinner, ...

A trip to Pittsburgh

Let me preface this with a disclaimer as to the names of the places visited. I did my best to research and get things right, but if there is s discrepancy please just stay with me. When country folks go to the big city it is always an adventure. The roads we drive at home do not always have ...

Going nowhere

Sometimes nowhere is a pretty cool place to go. That reminds me of Cool Hand Luke; remember that great movie from 1967? Paul Newman is Luke and he ends up in prison working on a chain gang. His crime, cutting the tops off parking meters. There’s this great scene where the guys are ...

The volunteer picnic

To quote an old dickens of a guy: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Let’s start with the best scenario: Nine years ago I decided that simply saying thank you to our theatre volunteers wasn’t enough for all the jobs they perform. We needed to show them some ...

The very hungry mother (Diabeetus of the Soul)

In the light of the fridge, a frustrated stay-at-home mom sat on a stepstool at 9 p.m., trying to figure out what she could consume that would do away with the gnawing sense of failure and ennui that had begun to pervade every moment of her life. Then, pop! She looked at the top of the fridge ...

Scentsibility

Tim and I like to go to estate sales. Sometimes you go there and you discover room after room of stuff that evidently had sentimental value to the owner but no real worth to anyone else. Other times, well, it’s like striking gold. So we were at a golden estate sale. Room after room of ...

Bravo, right back at ya

I get a lot of feedback about the columns that fill this space. Most of it is positive. Seems just about every one of the columns has a nugget that touches someone in some way. I compliment my cohorts who share this space. They have nuggets, too. It’s great when the public expresses ...

Panama Rocks

During most of my youth, when I was growing up on the south side of Jamestown, my family did not have a car. Our transportation was by bus, bicycle, or on foot, which Dad called “shank’s mare.” So it was a special occasion when, one summer day at age nine, I went with a group of boys from ...

A day of fun

Yesterday my daughter and her two children and I took off for a church service at Chautauqua Institution. For those of you unfamiliar with Chautauqua just let me tell you it is a center for culture, religion, a place of education, and a place for entertainment. It is really a small community ...

The year of the bad attitude black bears

A story about a black bear dragging a camper by the head was in the news this week. Fortunately in this instance, the camper was one of the group leaders. He knew how to deal with the situation and he had the courage to do it. And the other group leaders boldly came to his rescue. The victim ...