Local Commentaries

It’s 0-0

It’s 0-0. We lose. There was a thought-provoking letter to the editor a while back challenging a recent editorial. The writer asked how the Democrats could be accused of being obstructionists when the Republicans have majorities in both houses and could pass any legislation they wanted to. ...

Gardening from scratch

When you grow up in an apartment, gardening isn’t on the top of your hobby list. It never even occurred to me to buy a plant of any kind let alone dig in the dirt – until we bought our first house. As new parents, we had moved out of our last apartment in January and I never looked ...

They’re … ‘killin’ me, Smalls’

“You’re killin’ me, Smalls.” Before it became a product in a sponsored Facebook ad that people overwhelmingly tag me in, I was saying this to my girls. For Ham Porter, it was an utterance born of annoyance. It’s not his best line in the movie. I mean, it’s certainly no “count ...

A teddy bear’s picnic

Recently I spotted a teddy bear at a second-hand facility that I felt was quite old. That got me to thinking about teddy bears. Back in the late 1940s or early 1950s I had an old 78 record called "Teddy Bear's Picnic. I played it on an old Victrola that you had to crank to get the turntable ...

They’re basically tiny drunks

“We don’t lick the car,” is apparently something I say now. Some guy heard me saying it to my kid as he was walking into the Walmart (that’s right, I am over thirty now, so I add unnecessary definite articles to proper nouns), and started laughing. I’m so glad, sir, that this ...

Keeping score

I recently wrote a column that balanced my shock at turning 60 against the shocking realization that some people don’t get to turn 60. In that column, I referred to my 80 year old friend, Jim Morrison. Now Jim is many things: he’s a giant. He’s affable. He’s quite an historian. ...

I want & need Journalism IV

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, there are six different definitions to the word journalism. One of the definitions states that journalism is “an academic study concerned with the collection and editing of news or the management of a news medium.” It is an academic study; a ...

Good to be home

When my wife and I pulled out of her parents’ driveway a little more than five years ago, it was us, our two dogs and a small U-Haul trailer in tow. We assumed, incorrectly it turns out on that snowy February day, if we ever moved back to the area it would be in our retirement years. We ...

Dusk to dark

Nightfall turns everything new. When the dark slowly takes away vision, every sound is magnified. A small animal scurrying through leaves sounds like a bear crashing through the brush. Familiar places turn unfamiliar when they disappear from view. There are many terms for that time of day. ...

6th mom sense

“Dude, I know that the ghost did not stick a poop emoji sticker to my car door.” Actual mom words. No, really. This is the defense I get when my daughter, hereafter referred to as the defendant, was clearly caught in the commission of the crime of sticking stickers to my car’s ...

Some fascinating properties of rhubarb

When I looked up rhubarb on the Internet I found some fascinating information that I had never read before. We have always used the rhubarb that grew around here. My grandmother used to get rhubarb from her mother’s garden. It grew among the tulips that she planted there. We got our ...

Night owls

Our family is full of night creatures. No, we’re not vampires. There is a distinct difference between being a night creature and being a “creature of the night.” We just never have seemed to turn in early. Our circadian clocks got set to midnight somewhere in the growing-up ...

These words I’ve said to my five-year-olds

“I’ll give you a dollar to walk on my back.” These are actual words I’ve said to my five-year-olds. Well. They were four at the time. They’ve only been five for about two weeks. But I’m going to say it again soon, so. I’m good. We’re good. It’s all good. This ...

End of an era

The middle of last month ended an era in our small community. A large steel bridge is coming down to be replaced by a new more streamlined model. Work is underway but the main structure still remains at this point. The bridge is about eighty years old and is badly in need of shoring up at ...

Sixty

Little known fact about me: I have a collection of clocks, electric and keywound. I love keywound clocks and their cheerful ticking, and the way that they announce the new hour. Some chime. Some gong. One cuckoos and plays music. Another little known fact: the more keywound clocks you have ...

The Un-alive

What’s this fascination with zombies all about? Some historians suggest it all started in Africa and was brought to Haiti by slaves. Zombie-ism may have even been a metaphor for slavery. The concept has to do with a death and partial return to the living probably without a soul. William ...

It’s more about the trails now

Last Saturday while driving past the parking lot at the Morrison Trail, the parking lot was full and vehicles were parked along the driveway. Some probably hiked to the Morrison Campground. Some probably were camped along the trail. Maybe most were just hiking for the day. Those are the new ...

‘A veteran out front’

Jim Swick came into the office in the afternoon. I’d just gotten in for a night shift and I made the third reporter in the newsroom when he came. I saw Michelle come back and tell Brian something. I’d avoided her gaze, not out of rudeness, but because I was trying to get a column in that ...

… As he crawled out of sight

I don’t see many turtles at my house. This weekend, when my wife called out that she saw a turtle in the yard, I was curious and surprised. I walked over and there it was. All I saw was a shell about four inches long and not quite that wide. The turtle had pulled itself inside and sat ...

Her own brand of maternal affection

Joan Crawford. The woman is probably most remembered for one thing, which I’d argue probably ought not be her legacy, and forgotten for the thing that I personally find most fascinating about her. Homegirl, them eyebrows, though. Wowza. That being said, I need to officially disclaim ...