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Sunday, June 20, 2021
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  • Off-seasons greetings from John
    Tuesday, June 15, 2021 4:00 AM
    Get a lot of stuff for Christmas? I did, and it makes me wonder where it all comes from, and how it all gets here. Oh yeah, Santa and his elves figure that out for us, every year. Right? Although that’s true, we have to admire all the planning that goes into moving our holiday goodies to market.
    Now that the holiday season is behind us, who besides Santa is thinking of next Christmas? Thankfully, lots of people are.
    0 comment(s)
  • Re-loading the gun control discussion
    Tuesday, June 8, 2021 4:00 AM
    One of the things that I particularly enjoy about writing a weekly column is the opportunity to write about pretty much any subject. This autonomy is the result of a curious mind, a trusting editor, and the fact that I’m really an expert about so little.
    Indeed that is one of the tricks of what I do. I pick a subject –– sometimes frivolous, sometimes serious –– ask a few “what if” questions, and then leave it to you to draw your own conclusions. In short, every time you read my column, the expert analysis I’m seeking is yours!
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  • Shaking the ants off
    Tuesday, June 1, 2021 4:00 AM
    When I was little, a lot of people thought I was weird. Isn’t it nice to know that some things never change?
    In this case, they thought I was weird, because I loved cemeteries.
    I was never frightened by cemeteries, like some kids were.
    0 comment(s)
  • Them’s sure is fightin’ words
    Tuesday, May 25, 2021 4:00 AM
    I would like to turn now to a delicate matter.
    Frankly, I don’t think these kinds of issues should be discussed in a public forum. What people want behind closed doors is their own business. However, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me to discuss this with you, I’m hoping that by bringing the subject into the light, we can help people get along.
    0 comment(s)
  • Getting the scoop on masks
    Tuesday, May 18, 2021 4:00 AM
    Friday night, my friends and I were thrown out of an ice cream shop. Told to “vam-mousse”. Made to hit the Rocky Road.
    The young lady dishing out the orders from behind the glass case wasn’t particularly nice about it either. I could sense growing anger watching her eyes glare white hot behind her masked face, when I asked her to repeat her command.
    0 comment(s)
  • Next stop . . . the dreaded Hon Zone
    Tuesday, May 11, 2021 4:00 AM
    Growing up, I loved watching Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone –– a staple of Friday night television, when the parents were out, and we kids were stuck at home with great-aunt Brunhilda (not her real name, but more of a description) as our babysitter. When Brunie would nod off, we’d run to the grainy black-and-white, and tune in to see who could be creeped out the most.
    0 comment(s)
  • On FDR, Thoreau, and fear
    Tuesday, May 4, 2021 4:00 AM
    So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is . . .
    I’d better stop there. I wouldn’t want you to think that I’m trying to claim that line for myself. Not that I could. When Franklin D. Roosevelt uttered that iconic phrase on March 4, 1933 at his first inauguration, it immediately entered the shrine of the most famous American political speeches of all time.
    0 comment(s)
  • It’s all a band of bothers
    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 4:00 AM
    Here’s a shout out to one of the most downtrodden people I know. Forget Black Lives Matter. Forget the Alphabet Community (e.g. LGBTIQQ+). I’m thinking of people commonly among the most oppressed castes in our society.
    Obviously, I’m talking about middle school band members.
    Seldom does any child come to middle school band by means of their own persuasion. In most cases, a well-meaning parent decides that exposing their child to the emotional expression of music will somehow benefit their pre-teen later in life.
    0 comment(s)
  • Covering lots of ground
    Tuesday, April 20, 2021 4:00 AM
    When I accepted the responsibility of writing a weekly column, I knew there would be weeks like this. Sometimes, I just can’t think of anything to write. I was tempted to add the word “worthwhile” to the last sentence, but I have to be honest with myself. Much of what I write isn’t really worthwhile.
    Nevertheless, you –– my patient readers –– seem to be entertained, and that’s good enough for me.
    0 comment(s)
  • Great garage almighty!
    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 4:00 AM
    Several of you asked me to update you on the status of my garage rehabilitation project. I am humbled to report that work on the structure continues. In time-held traditions of the Boston Chunnel and road work on the Dan Ryan Expressway, the great garage project approaches its second summer.
    A professional crew could easily rehab six or seven garages in this time, but I have elevated this one to a personal challenge.
    0 comment(s)
  • A life cut short; a walk too long
    Tuesday, April 6, 2021 4:00 AM
    Necessity is the mother of invention, they say. I’ve come to believe, however, that necessity is an imposter. The real mother of invention is boredom. At least it’s a foster mother. Boredom fosters ideas.
    If not ideas, desperation.
    2 comment(s)
  • Deers, and other pluralities
    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 4:00 AM
    My friend was cutting my hair the other day when the subject turned to her precocious young son, who was sitting on the daybed at the back of the salon. He was capably entertaining himself with a couple of Matchbox cars and three hair brushes, worn well past their usefulness.
    0 comment(s)
  • Nine days . . . nine years . . . a whole lifetime
    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 4:00 AM
    Little Lexi was born into this world at a substantial six pounds, eight ounces. She was like any newborn. Every adventure of a lifetime waited just ahead of her.
    Lexi’s adventure, however, lasted only nine days.
    Like all young couples, Donn and Tracey gushed with the excitement of becoming first-time parents. They had fallen happily into the cliché of new parenthood. The nursery was already painted pink, even though Donn hated the color. Somehow, pink didn’t seem so nauseating in Lexi’s room.
    0 comment(s)
  • He’s jumping (. . . or trying) to new habits
    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 4:00 AM
    White Bread, Muffins, Pumpernickel, Rye
    Apples, Peaches, Sweet Potato Pie
    Johnny and Janey sitting in a …
    0 comment(s)
  • Adhering to The Eight Commandments
    Tuesday, March 9, 2021 4:00 AM
    When I was 8 years old, I enjoyed Sunday School. There were lots of reasons. None the least of which was that we were dismissed from regular church, right before Pastor Leif Erickson began his sermon.
    Yes, Leif Erickson was his real name. I don’t think it had anything to do with him being a pastor. I just think that anytime someone with the last name Erickson has a male child, the first name they think of is Leif. In all of my years, I’ve met several Leif Erickson’s, but nary a single Leif Smith.
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
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