Local Commentaries

Hamilton & Burr

You guys. It’s almost here. I’m like Linus in the pumpkin patch, y’all. Halloween is the only day I hold sacred. I spend all year living for the next Halloween. I love everything about it. The weirdest, scariest parts of humanity are celebrated rather than mocked or just blatanly ...

Magic of Halloween

The crisp air of the darkened mornings now whirls around a palette of orange, red, and yellow leaves that are just days away from their descent. The warmth of summer seems like a distant memory, while the anticipation of the first snowfall is building. We are immersed in the aroma of apple ...

#MeToo: Proud of speaking out

Through the years, as each prominent person has been exposed as an adulterer or a sexual provocateur, I wind up reliving many of those horrendous instances – the despicable, shameful memories of a young girl, a teenager, a young woman. And they don’t go away. Ever. Bill Clinton’s ...

Don’t make ‘em like they used to

They don’t make ’em like they used to. In many cases, that is entirely accurate and the new versions — of anything electronic in particular — are way better. So, the good old days weren’t always good. But sometimes I come across something that makes me wonder how badly we can ...

Pie in the sky

I went to an annual meeting of the Audubon Community Nature Center recently. It included a “farm-to-table” – type dinner using as many local products as possible. It was excellent. A highlight was dessert; PIE! Pie is my favorite dessert. Grandma Lester made great ones. Even as a kid, ...

A feast for the eyes

It has been a long time coming this year, but it is here now. The hillsides are filled with color. If the sun is out the colors are vibrant, but if it is cloudy they are somewhat subdued. I think the peak leave peeping season is several weeks beyond the normal. I remember going to Vermont ...

It’s not scary

I went to Dryden, N.Y. last weekend to see the My Little Pony movie with Shanell and her kids. And my kids. I mean, obviously. I wouldn’t go see My Little Pony without my kids. Of course. She told herself. Anyway, Dryden is this weird little town that was a perfect place to ...

My own family

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years writing about other people’s families. From the French and Indian War in colonial times up to the Vietnam conflict, I’ve written more stories than I can count about people’s experiences and about the experiences of past ...

The ups and downs of life

My day began with driving rain and intense fog as I traveled to a meeting out of town. Actually, I was thankful for the rain because it made having to spend my day indoors a little less deadly. We listened to people tell about their faith journey, then talk on a bible passage that they ...

Grandma gets the gimmes

One of the benefits of the little house in Grand Valley is the children's books we found there. William became a huge fan of the Berenstain Bears just as his mother had been 30 years before. I really enjoyed reading those familiar stories out loud once again. Every book has a lesson to ...

How we roll

Gigantic rock formations are cool. Bad planning is much less cool. Spending time with the people who are important to us is very cool. Of the impressive rock formations in the county, I have visited Rimrock and Jakes Rocks many times, Bakers Rocks once, and Gardners Rocks probably once, ...

A fall treat

According to the National Board of Popcorn Growers fall is the season when popcorn is enjoyed the most. In spite of the fact that the National Day of Popcorn is in January, the fall is the season for making popcorn. The National Board has a website that is based in Chicago. On that site there ...

‘Tiny drunks’ dressed up for Halloween

Shanell wrote to me earlier this year, to ask me if I’d ever heard of James Breakwell. I was pretty sure I hadn’t. Then Shanell asked me hadn’t I ever seen those funny conversations with kids that get posted on Twitter. And I told her, unapologetically, that I had no idea what the ...

Take me to your leader

I am not a robotics expert. I use computers to type words, look up information, and play games. That’s about it. So, when the multi-hundred-thousand-dollar explosive ordnance disposal robot is around, I’m worried about crashing it. I didn’t. The helpful U.S. Army sergeants who ...

Dealing with the alternative

My computer dictionary defines an alternator as “A device that generates alternating current, especially in a car.” What they leave out in the definition is that the alternator works, like most machines, when it is in the mood. Mine got moody last week . . . in fact, severely depressed. ...

Center of the universe

It seems seeing negativity in the world around us has become just as common as taking a breath. But is that a reflection of society changing or is it more so that we are not looking in the right places for happiness. Granted it is becoming more and more difficult to keep focused on anything ...

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. Keep up Keeping the minutes at a public meeting is an important task. It can also be challenging. Being a part of the meeting while ...

An autumn to remember

The beautiful weather of September and October have made an autumn to remember. The calendar tells us it is time to put away the lawn furniture but we listen to the weather forecast and we give it another week. While some of my containers have been composted, others look wonderful, with ...

Squirrel guns

Several years ago on this outdoors page I argued with myself over the perfect squirrel rifle. After using .22 rimfire rifles for decades, out came a couple of new .17 caliber rimfire cartridges, the .17 HMR and the significantly shorter .17 Mach 2. I bought one of each, both with heavy barrels. ...

Autumnal recrudescence

Bluebirds murmur as they investigate the nest box, their solemn songs melodic in the morning fog. A White-throated Sparrow joins in from the edge of the pasture, clear and crystal. Faintly a Ruffed Grouse drums, and the peepers call with gusto from the pond. Dandelions appear scattered on the ...