Local Commentaries

Back in the saddle again

There are no more cowboys in our lives. No, I’m not talking about the Dallas football team. Real cowboys, the he-men of my childhood, have gone the way of buggy whips and Burma Shave signs. When I was a kid, Gene Autry, the Singing Cowboy, was one of my heroes. I don’t know why he ...

Graduation

This day and age there are graduates from everything from nursery school to college. Recently I saw a post for a kindergarten graduate. Now I know this same little boy graduated from preschool as well. What does he have to look forward to? In my day we had elementary school graduation, ...

Kindness is a superpower

May was Mental Health Month. Hopefully, that does not mean that we don’t pay attention to mental health in the other months, but May was designated as the month to draw awareness to the importance of mental health. I am a strong advocate for breaking the divide between physical health ...

The story of the Lifesaver

One thing I remember about Christmases long ago was the gift of a book of Lifesavers. I think you got ten rolls in the little book, but I am not positive of that. I recently found some information about Lifesavers that I received from the company years ago after I had done a piece about the ...

Day of Days

“Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force: You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.” — Gen. Dwight ...

When fake news hits home

My most significant D-Day story has nothing to do with battles, or strategy or tactics. I was born in England on Sept. 14, 1944, three months after D-Day. If you do the math, my mother, Joan, was six months pregnant with me while staying with her parents in Rushden, England while my father, ...

Theme vacationing: Ancient American culture

When I was very young, it was instilled in me to see the country. Ray Bimber, the man who more than anyone else was my mentor, crossed the United States a few times before the only roads for long stretches were ruts from the old wagon trains. There were no motels or convenience stores, so they ...

A powerful event

The annual Roll Call at the Memorial Day Ceremony in Warren is a powerful event. This year, the names of 126 men and women who gave up the familiar and comfortable to serve our country in times of war and peace, and died over the past year, were read. Typically, I do not recognize many of ...

Good Ol’ Doc ABC

“Doc ABC saved my life!” “Doc ABC is a quack, he almost killed me.” “I’ve been dealing with DEF Auto Dealer for decades, they’re the best.” “Those bums at DEF Auto sold me a lemon and wouldn’t do anything to fix it.” “We had the best meal at GHI Cafe.” “We ...

A powerful event

The annual Roll Call at the Memorial Day Ceremony in Warren is a powerful event. This year, the names of 126 men and women who gave up the familiar and comfortable to serve our country in times of war and peace, and died over the past year, were read. Typically, I do not recognize many of ...

June bride

I never thought much about being a June bride, but today is the day. It is June 1 and I am marrying my best friend. For a long time now Don and I have said we were just friends, but friendship turned to love. I cannot explain how it happened; it just did. We opted for a very quiet ceremony ...

‘The fawn is still there’

A recalcitrant offspring can prove to be a problem for even a mother doe. This was proven to me in a little drama that was played out on a lawn area that rises from the bank of the Allegheny River just north of our cabin in Althom, which fronts the river. I had just stepped out of our cabin ...

Dinner with Alex & James

I don’t actually invite them to join us for mealtime. They just show up at our later-than-usual dinner hour. Well, in their defense, they don’t know that we eat in front of their Jeopardy game every weeknight. I’ve been watching Alex Trebek on Jeopardy for 35 years. We record the ...

How to choose a skilled nursing facility

Although many different levels and settings exist today to meet the care needs of our aging population, skilled nursing facilities may be the best known, for both good and bad reasons. People go to nursing homes for different purposes, including if they’re sick, hurt, had surgery and need to ...

Life is a journey

Life is a journey. For people who have experienced the loss of a loved one or a pet, there is no familiar road map to guide us along the path of bereavement. The journey can be lonely, painful, overwhelming, and discouraging. There is no clear way to navigate “the waves of painful grief.” ...

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day that has to be shared with young people today in order for them to fully appreciate it. Several years ago, I did the address at the Fentonville Cemetery. I went prepared to talk to the young people as well as the rest of the people who came. I was delighted that there ...

Color = emotion

Have you ever realized that certain colors evoke certain emotions? For instance, the color pink reminds me that I am a cancer survivor. On Mother's Day, we watched a baseball game with all of the players wearing some pink in honor of their mothers. I had no idea they did that. I knew about ...

Train your brain

May is Mental Health Month. Mental health is just as important as physical health. People generally know what to do for physical health; exercise, eat healthy and drink lots of water. Do you know what to do for your mental health? Food, water and exercise fuel your physical health and ...

A much-improved environment

I have spent most of a rather long lifetime in Northwestern Pennsylvania or nearby, and during these years the environmental changes I have witnessed in the area have been quite profound. Almost as profound has been what the area has avoided in the form of environmental degradation due to the ...

The springtime invasion

For the second time in the fourteen years I’ve lived in this house, we have a mouse. I saw him a few weeks ago – in one fleeting dash behind the den sofa. Finian, our year-old Maine Coon feline, has yet to prove himself a hunter. He’s more of a playground instructor . . . “c’ ...