Local Commentaries

A little history

A friend lent me a book that his daughter found when she was cleaning at his house. It has some history of Warren County as well as some of Pine Grove Township. I read the text and viewed the many maps and photographs. It was a great read. The book was the "Atlas of Warren County ...

Ouch!

I remember getting paddled in grade school. One day when I was in fifth or sixth grade (it was a long time ago…) we had just finished lunch. The regular schedule included a recess period right after that. But on this one day, for some reason, the teacher had a math class when it should have ...

A moment

For me, the smallest things can summon the most powerful memories. I know that I'm not alone in this. As I get older, my list of 'triggers' gets longer and longer. It seems like something is always reminding me of something else, something that happened way back when. (And yes, it bothers the ...

A boy, his dog and a pond

The sun is shining, the air is warm, and the skies are blue. Spring weather is finally here. We have only been waiting for it since March. It is safe to say that most northwestern Pennsylvania residents are more than happy to not be scraping ice off of their windshields, starting their cars 15 ...

Follow the directions

Everybody dies. You. Me. Crazy Hazel down the street, with the forest of ceramic lawn mushrooms and the pride of feral cats she appears to be holding prisoner. Like, what kind of a relationship do you even have with those poor beasts anyhow, Hazel? It’s concerning. I’m concerned. ...

Neighborhood nature

I recently visited several of Utah’s National Parks — Capital Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce and Zion. I know I will not do them justice in the few words here. In short, they were extraordinary in their grandeur and their uniqueness, especially compared to the eastern habitats that I’m ...

Two special people

In the first four months of 2018 we have lost two beautiful, special people who exerted a great influence on all of us. Here I write my heartfelt tribute to Barbara Bush and Billy Graham. I was saddened to hear of the passing of Barbara Bush. Although she was ninety-two it is not easy to ...

I can do this all day

I will forewarn, this is a nerd-themed column. But I can assure you that I toned down my super powered excitement to every day citizen levels so that I do not lose readers. That being said, let the adventure begin. I have been a superhero/comic book junky for as long as I can remember. ...

Nothing but a pleasant time

A post on social media has had me thinking for a week or so. A friend asked for input from anyone in their mid-thirties or above on a question regarding a social interaction that I find myself experiencing more and more as I age. “How far do you go in continuing to make the first contact ...

My… ‘Between Dirt & Sky’

I am flying to San Francisco see the musical, Between Dirt & Sky. Traveling over 2,500 miles to see a show may seem excessive... until you understand that Between Dirt & Sky is a musical I have written with my writing partner and friend, Lisa Quoresimo. While interviewing at San Jose ...

Wedgies and wedges

Ever get a wedgie? For those unfamiliar with the adolescent practice, a wedgie is performed by thugs who grab the waistband of your underwear and yank it upward to create the wedging effect. On Seinfeld, we were introduced to the “atomic” wedgie, a new concept to me, in which so much ...

Spring has sprung

I just read about a garden that had Bachelor Buttons growing. That reminded me of my great-grandfather. The garden beside his home had those and they were so pretty. I tried to grow some once, but they never took. Temperatures have been on the yoyo pattern during this early spring. ...

The merry prankster

William loves humor. Unfortunately, he's just not very good at it. He has a ready store of jokes. Some are funny (and usually old enough that I remember telling them in my own childhood). For instance: “Knock knock!” “Who's there?” “Little old lady.” ...

Internal dialogue

I had a recent discussion with someone who experienced a loved one taking their own life. The conversation itself did not dive too deep into the circumstances surrounding why, or the emotional roller coaster leading up to the tragedy, but what it did do was leave a lasting impression on me. The ...

I love Friday the 13th

Yesterday was Friday the 13th. I really kind of love the heck out of everything that is supposed to be unlucky. If I have to choose a number for anything, or am told I can choose any of a set of numbered things, I will choose 13. Or, if they go high enough, I’ll totally take number 666. ...

The shot

Prior to 2008, I had never really attempted anything remotely close to photography, outside of a couple of classes in high school, that I may or may not have taken because it was better than whatever the alternative would have been. Nevertheless, my time at the Times Observer has forced me to ...

High school fashion

Yesterday I received an update for a reunion that will be held for my high school class this fall. Memories flowed as I read what was planned. Although I have seen my classmates since graduation I still picture them just as they used to be. I grew up in the 60s so the fashion from that ...

Dream on

I was having lunch with a friend the other day when another friend approached our table. She said: “I have to tell you about a dream I had! We were having lunch with Viv and Bob in this beautiful garden!” Viv and Bob were my in-laws and they died several years ago. This woman and her ...

You’re from where?

I’ve noticed that when young people introduce themselves it’s by their first names only. I’m always waiting to hear their last name. If I ask them the reaction seems like “Why do you want to know?” I guess I want to know because that’s how we grew up, learning who people were by ...

Good luck, job seekers

Hey, wanna know what turns me into a twitchy, neurotic pile of unnnnnnngh? Sure you do! You’re disturbingly interested in me. We all know it. It’s fine. It seems like every person who’s ever interviewed anyone, for any job, in the history of ever, asks the same six to eight questions, ...