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Local Commentaries

Out of my comfort zone

According to trustworthy information found on the internet, the white matter in your brain is called myelin and it helps improve the performance of all sorts of tasks. The more you practice a new skill, the denser the myelin becomes. Learning a new skill helps you learn things faster over ...

Sometimes more wild than scenic

The move by Allegheny Outfitters from its canoe and kayak rental site near the Glade Bridge down to the shore of the Allegheny River near downtown Warren appears auspicious for the business since the new site is more convenient to patrons and is roomier with parking handy. It is also ...

Another Conewango visitor

A few weeks ago, as I was trimming weeds around my yard, a neighbor called from her patio to alert me that she had seen a large snake in the yard. She described it as a water snake. Not a surprise, I suppose, living along Conewango Creek. That neighbor also said she saw something resembling a ...

How did we ever survive?

It seems that the government is constantly passing laws to protect us! What are they protecting us from? Mostly it seems as if they are protecting us from being stupid. There I said it. It seems like we are not capable of making simple decisions that must be made in life. They have ...

Brian Ferry at the bat

Diethrick Park in Jamestown isn’t a cornfield in Iowa, but it’s my Field of Dreams. On Sunday, I played my first game of baseball in essentially 30 years. It was amazing. I doubt you’ll see any of us on TV any time soon. We’re not threatening to bust down the doors of the major ...

Summer vacation

As a child, summer vacation meant no classrooms and often, no walls. The world was like a blank book, open to a page where you could write that day’s adventure as you lived it. I remember bike rides down to the creek, bike convoys down to the tennis courts, or magical lands created around the ...

A long weekend with Henry

I’d only heard of the young, super-hot Henry last year so I was delighted to be asked to spend last weekend with him. No, I wasn’t robbing the cradle. Henry is, in fact, the newest, nicest hotel in Buffalo where I just attended a writers’ conference. The Hotel Henry is billed as an ...

The Boulder and the Beautiful

So, I meet this guy who’s talking about “bouldering.” I knew it’s an upscale version of the rock climbing we all did as kids. It’s a lot more technical and accomplished climbers do amazing things on vertical and even over-hanging rocks. But this guy was talking about “indoor ...

Wild and scenic Allegheny

Warren is fortunate in having the Allegheny River serenely flowing through its midst. And a full 87 miles of the middle portion of this river from the dam south are part of the National Wild and Scenic River System — the seven miles from the Kinzua Dam to the Glade Bridge, the 48 miles from ...

Going to summer camp

Going to summer camp was a good experience. My friends went to camp long before I did. Some of them went to Girl Scout camp while others went to Camp in the Woods, a primitive camp where they slept in tents. My mother did not choose either of these options for my camping experience. I was ...

Tweeting is the new honking

We've all been there. You're waiting patiently at a stop light when someone lets out a toot or two. Maybe you're the honker, maybe you're the honkee, but chances are pretty good depending on how long you've been driving that you've either been one or the other. Whether or not anyone would ...

Who’s to judge?

I want you to think of someone from your past, who could still be a part of your life today but doesn't necessarily have to be. This person could be someone from your childhood, middle school years, high school years, college years, but someone from a while ago. How would you describe ...

Pastor Jeff and Pastor Hill

Pastor Jeff had a great sermon the other day. it was about the classic "turn the other cheek" passage from Luke's gospel, plus forgiveness, and community. Later in the day, I checked the Turner Classic Movie channel and there it was, one of my very favorites, "The Music Man." That's the story ...

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 was ...

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 ...