Local Commentaries

Her speech’s significance

On Sunday, January 9, Oprah Winfrey accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 75th Golden Globes. In her acceptance speech she reminisced back to when Sidney Poitier won best actor at the Academy Awards in 1964. She said, “I had never seen a black man being celebrated like that. I tried ...

The best Christmas ever

Time flies but interestingly enough, the holidays seem to last a lot longer now that the kids are grown. There was Christmas eve at church. Brianna and William came home to spend the night. There was Christmas morning. Mike came in to join us for breakfast and gift opening. Then there was ...

This is boat decision season

What kind of boat will you be using when the next open water fishing season rolls around? Winter is the time when anglers do some serious boat shopping. The January through March outdoor sports shows and boat shows are great places to see a wide variety of the newest fishing boats. You ...

A puzzle

I think of life as a puzzle. Each step in your life is one piece. We do not know how many pieces there will be when our life is complete, but we add pieces daily. Years ago, we had a minister who came to church with a box of puzzle pieces. We were instructed to each take one. When it came ...

Non-toxic

It was a cold Sunday morning and a three-day men’s retreat was wrapping up. As we left the worship service we had designed the night before, we lined up according to age. I was about in the middle of the line. We formed a circle and said a final prayer. We then turned and faced outward ...

As if nothing at all had happened

I’ve been trying to think of topics to start the new year with. It hasn’t been going well. I was working nights on Friday, and needed to run to one of the district magistrate’s offices to pick up a couple of affidavits. It was a bit of a wait. I’d been leaning against the window, ...

C-c-c-cold

Well, so much for global warming. As I write this it’s 3 degrees with wind chill at 15 below. And tomorrow it’s forecast to be downright cold. We are not going to be oceanfront property anytime in the near future. Actually climate change is the more accurate name for the 2018 ice age ...

A little bit more ‘still’

I’m going to try to slow things down a bit. I’ll try for more than a bit, but even a “bit” will work. This may come off as some type of New Year’s resolution; I suppose it’s as good a time as any. Family. Children. Myself. Maybe it starts with myself. A good friend ...

Resolutions are dumb

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. At my age, I am well aware of the fact that my bad habits are good and entrenched. I also enjoy giving free rein to a certain number of my favorite logical fallacies and cognitive biases, because (a) I just do not have the time to become wiser right ...

Christmas pageants

I never saw a Christmas pageant until I began to attend church regularly when I was 30. The first couple of them, my role was getting my kid(s) to the rehearsal. After a couple years in a supporting role, I found myself in Michigan and part of the women's group there. I remember the ...

We need peace and harmony

There is a song that we sing at church that really touches my heart. I believe the copyright was first assigned in 1953. Another time of unrest in the world. It was renewed in 1983. The song is "Let There Be Peace on Earth. At this point in history we all need to be seeking peace in our ...

You did OK, Tom

Most people are familiar with the Biblical story about “Doubting Thomas.” He’s the apostle who wouldn’t believe Jesus had risen from the dead unless he saw Him and touched His wounds. It’s tempting to say: “Shame on you, Tom! How dare you doubt the miracle upon which our faith is ...

The year may be new, but you are you

You are strong because you have struggled. You have been overcome and crippled. Held back by causes you could have avoided, and others that were inescapable. You have winced in pain and cried in defeat. You felt shredded. As if life were pulverized into fragments and it took everything you had ...

Die Hard IS a Christmas movie

Like the tragic story of Clark W. Griswold’s bonus check, and a sojourn back to the original "Schweddy Balls" SNL skit, Christmas is not Christmas until you’ve gotten into at least a moderately barbaric “conversation” with at least one person over whether or not “Die Hard” is a ...

It happened one Christmas Eve

I believe I could fish in my sleep. It was at the Kinzua Dam Tailwaters, on the Hemlock side, below the big rocks, between the fallen trees, my favorite place to fish for walleye at what then tended to be a stable outflow. Walleye would hang right about at the ends of the fallen trees. Tied ...

Elvis & Brucie

We had the ‘60s channel on the radio the other day. Songs from my youth…. Some of these specialized stations just play non-stop music with occasional reminders of the station to which you’re tuned. The 60’s station sometimes has a D.J. who has interesting comments about the music. ...

The gift

As we approach Christmas most of us are focused on the gifts we will give and the gifts we will receive. Years ago, I did an exercise with one of my first grade classes about gifts. I told them to imagine that they could only have one gift that year. They were to draw a picture of what they ...

Christmas wants and needs

“All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” was a song from my childhood. I remember having fun trying to sing along while exaggerating the lisps of the gap-toothed kid it was written about. Thinking back it’s probably my first realization that Christmas, especially to a child, is ...

In defense of… the Grinch

If I may, I’d like to speak for just a moment in defense of the Grinch. I know, I know. I know. But given our history together, you guys should not be surprised right now. Just hear me out. I think we need to reframe our understanding of this “nefarious villain” by first ...

Everything about cookies

I had decided this week's column would be about cookies. I was thinking about my cookie cutters to be exact. Then, on Friday I got a call from the hospital to say that I had won one of the baskets. It was the cookie basket. Cookies have long been part of my Christmas celebration. I ...