Local Commentaries

Easters: Long ago to the present

Years ago Easters were different than they are today. Church has always been part of our Easter. First I went to Sunday school, then we all went to church. My mother often sang in the church choir. If she was singing I sat with m grandparents and my Aunt Marnie. I remember than my aunt ...

119 days – and counting

Yup, 119 days left until retirement. But who’s counting? Me. I am. On the one hand, I can’t wait. But the flip side is, I don’t want to go. When I was offered the job as Executive Director at Struthers Library Theatre, I was already past retirement age. Recently widowed at ...

A leader

Recently Cleveland Browns Pro-Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas retired after 11 years in the National Football League. Thomas was not ever a big polarizing figure. He certainly was not the reason the Browns were successful, because let’s face it, they haven’t been since the days of Bernie ...

Make mine milk

What did you picture when you read the title of this piece? My hope is that you pictured a tall glass of "real" milk with maybe some cookies that needed to be washed down. For more than sixty years my family and extended family have been associated with the dairy industry. We produced high ...

Martha Stewart ain’t perfect

Hey, Pinterest mom. I hate you. I’m currently trying to plan my kids’ birthday party. They’re twins, so we have one party for two girls. But each girl gets to pick a theme. This is how I reconcile the party budget (bahahah, I know, right) and my (consistently unimpressive) handicraft ...

Now what?

“We’re going to do A, B, and C and that will get us to D.” Ever been in a situation with a project that started like that? It looks like a good way to go, but it isn’t. Matter of fact, if you’re faced with that kind of framework, run if you can. You see, the person proposing the ...

WTH?

Cara is out of Afghanistan now and has been for a month and a half, and I am very grateful for this. It seems like the situation is devolving rapidly. Terrorist attacks have killed 669 so far in 2018. The number of injured tops 10,000. These are civilians. Women. Children. Citizenry trying ...

‘To be the man, you’ve gotta beat the man’

As Times Observer Managing Editor Jon Sitler says, ”it’s a column.” The Times Observer sponsors a bowling team at the Conewango Club. We do battle with four other teams on the maple and pine bowling lanes that are situated next to the Oak Room in the downstairs of the club. This is ...

‘I just want to feel safe at (school)’

On February 14th, 2018 something that happened rocked this nation as a whole, but hit Florida more than ever. Nikolas Cruz entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and began shooting at innocent people. In 6 minutes, he shot and killed 17 young adults. On February 15th, 2018, I walked ...

I think these are positive things

If you’re one of those people who tells my editor that you think my writing is upsettingly prickly and dour... just give me five more minutes. I do not do drugs, or drink nearly enough to give me the level of escape from reality I need. Because I have children. And a job I want to ...

Blessings

“Chaplain Dave” was a buddy way back when we were in grade school 60-some years ago. Our paths still cross once in a while. He’s committed to bringing a spiritual spark to folks in nursing homes. It’s a rare day when he isn’t at one or more of them. He walks up and down the halls ...

Spring on the farm

As the farmers prepare their land to plant their crops the rest of us anxiously await the time for harvest. That is all we really think about. We just prepare for the food that is produced. We do not think much about the production of that food. No two years are alike. Farmers are the ...

Another too-short weekend

I don’t see my grandchildren very much. They live over 500 miles away in historic Lexington, Massachusetts, a place I try to visit as often as possible . . . which is not often enough. For example, every year I fly to Boston at the end of January for the Princess of Boston’s birthday. ...

March People

The other day I had a thought, like: March is the purgatory of months. In March, I always find myself staring at puddles for too long, and eating more cheese than I should. My socks are never dry. If it were a song, it would be of the folk variety. With lyrics about dead Christmas trees, and ...

When it’s on, it’s on

“If you’re going to spew, spew into this.” The line from “Wayne’s World,” spoken by Garth Algar as he unfolds a paper Dixie cup from the breast pocket of his delightfully 90’s flannel, is a regular cliche in my house. For the past week we’ve been battling an odd virus. It ...

A quiet day

The other night when I woke up I noticed that the electric was out. When I got up in the morning it was still out. I stayed in bed until it was light because I knew it was going to be cold once again. This time I hit the dial on the gas fireplace and the fire roared to life. At least I ...

We all thank you

Open Letter to Women I never thought it would be so difficult to write a column celebrating International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, until I sat for several hours staring at a blank screen, trying desperately to put words to what I believe women experience every day of their ...

School shootings

William understands that there are school shootings. It's unavoidable. They receive a lot of media attention, and rightfully so. We do not want him to be afraid to go to school so the temptation is simply to minimize discussion on these things but today I realized how wrong I was. We got ...

‘FREEDOOOOOOM!’

“Please don’t roll around on that cat. She is fragile.” I’ve written about things I apparently say — now that I’ve become a parent —before. But it’s worth revisiting because, I’ve discovered, there is always something surprising coming out of my mouth now that I have two ...

Fishing you don’t want to miss

Once winter breaks, some great fishing immediately follows. Like a lot of the best fishing, weather conditions are not always great. But it is warmer than winter, even though a good ice fishing season did make this winter seem mild. Even if you were not ready to stop ice fishing, and I was ...