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I still remember the first time that I rode to Chicago on the South Shore Railroad by myself. It was 1982, my senior year in high school, and I was going downtown to be inducted into the military at the old MEP Center on Michigan Avenue.
I don’t watch a lot of television. My family can attest that to me at least, most of what passes for entertainment is pretty low brow.
When I was a history teacher, many years ago, I used to ask my students trick questions. Really, they were thought provokers.
When I was a young, idealistic writer for the Purdue University Calumet Chronicle, I wrote a great deal about two subjects - the U.S. Steel strike of 1986 and the sad condition of the Borman Expressway.
“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
In honor of the start of Women’s History Month and my own dear Mom, in retirement in the warm climes of Arizona, I present to you the lessons she taught me over the years.
When next this column appears in print, it will be Women’s History Month, so I thought what the heck, close enough.
As a rule, I generally remain pretty quiet when I am on the train. I sit in the same seat with my right leg on the aisle side to alleviate cramping. There, I read my book and take a short nap. It is a nice little routine if I can pull it off three times a week.
Over the last several months I have taken up the art of letter writing. Rather, I have found someone willing to read my letters, rambling though they may be.
Last year, I wrote a column about the escalating number of deaths on Illinois highways. Every day, it seemed, the numbers kept climbing on the macabre overhead signs along the Dan Ryan Expressway.
Super Bowl XLVIII. . . I am sure looking forward to a much shorter title.
Many students and teachers likely marked the end of the 100th day of school without acknowledging its significance. After all, we are in the depths of winter and the boredom of the whole routine has probably affected our good judgment. Don’t be so quick to discount the meaning, though.
It has been a while since I wrote about Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The reason is pretty simple; there isn’t much that I can say about an American icon that hasn’t already been said.
Our modern lives consist of numbers and their accessories. For every passion, there is a set of associated data, whether that passion be the arts or sciences.
Before looking forward to 2014, I want to take a moment to thank some people who made last week much easier for the rest of us. We’ll start with the snow plow drivers who, while their families were snug in their homes, went out in the deep freeze to plow our streets Christmas Day.
Whenever we get this close to Christmas Day, I always think of my Aunt Judy. Oh, I think of her at other times of the year, too, but at this time of the year she was at her most focused.
More than 10 years ago, I was in the hospital for the Fourth of July holiday and for more than a month. I mention this because I was reminded of it as the holidays approach.
Among my little notes, I have nuggets of something that is a great quote, wonderful ideas and things I have to do. I am an inveterate note writer. I keep them in my pockets and surrounding my computer monitor. What bothers me right now is that somewhere in that stack is a Christmas shopping list.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are all about tradition. The first is a more secular holiday that is all about hearth and home, while the latter is a celebration of home and things above our poor power to comprehend. We take our traditions and habits seriously and moving the needle takes a great …
How is your shopping list coming along? I’m sorry, I meant, how are your preparations for Thanksgiving coming along? I am easily confused at this advanced age; I thought we took one holiday at a time.
For the last week or so I have been bugging my wife about a book that I am reading. Barb usually finds a way to shift the conversation, a skill honed during 20+ years of marriage.
It is hard to imagine that 100 years ago a U.S. celebration of Veterans Day would have been considered an idea in some warped person’s imagination.
I have been holding two presumably opposite concepts in my head for the last week.
A friend asked me a few years ago where I picked up my political and social views. I told him that was easy, I generally changed the radio station or TV channel when someone started to give his or her opinion.
All around us, we have the newest technology either at our fingertips or close enough to be able to access it. There is the computer, the handheld electronic device, smart phones and other gadgets that would have been hard to imagine a mere 20 years ago. A touch of the button or a key strok…
In my office I have a calendar, a collage really, of Norman Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post and Life magazine covers. As we approach his 119th birthday with a new biography coming out this year, we would do well to look at those paintings as snapshots of a world, in many cases nearly 100 years old.
About a week ago, I had the honor of attending the annual Lake County Taste of Care at Avalon Manor in Hobart, with proceeds to benefit Honor Flight Northwest Indiana.
Right in the middle of our commemoration of the Civil War and the bicentennial of The War of 1812, we find ourselves thinking of still another conflict, one largely lost to history.
Communities are made up of different kinds of neighborhoods. There are some neighborhoods that have a population that comes and goes pretty frequently. While that might not be a bad thing, depending on your needs and your situation, most of us prefer to live in an environment that is familia…
“The pen is mightier than the sword.”
They say that golf is a perfectly nice walk interrupted by that confounded little ball. To that, I add a host of other disruptive activities, most of which I am not really very good at.
Approaching Griffith’s Central Park on a beautiful Friday evening a week ago, I was pleasantly surprised at how much was going on in the park. The playgrounds were full of children, grandparents chasing after them and parents catching a couple minutes of rest.
After so many years out of school, I still remember scenes from grade school.
Back in the early 1950s, faced with debilitating allergies and in need of a place to breathe free during the summer months, my grandfather bought a piece of land along the Lake Superior shoreline and built a modest cabin. At about 750 square feet, it would never qualify as a villa, more like…
Griffith, Highland, Munster and Lake Central students go back to school this week, as do scores of other teachers and administrators who are preparing for the opening of their schools the following week. As a former teacher, I recall facing the start of another school year with as much trepi…
“The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the fir…
What makes you notice a community? What makes you stop and get out of the car or climb off the bicycle?
I marked it on my calendar, June 19, the day the yard looked perfect. It won’t get any better than this.
“There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who believe there are two kinds of people in this world and those who are smart enough to know better.”
The long Fourth of July holiday weekend is coming to a close. With so much more of the summer to enjoy, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight a few things that we can do in this great weather.
This week marks a great anniversary for scholars and history buffs alike. On this day 150 years ago, two great armies were lumbering toward each other in the hills and valleys of southeastern Pennsylvania. From July 1 to 3, 1865, the mighty Army of Northern Virginia would meet the northern A…
Did you feel that drastic change on Friday? You know, at exactly 12:04 a.m.
Over the last few months I have traveled a great deal in the Chicago metropolitan area for work. Driving on the highways, I am struck by the sheer volume of traffic and, even more interestingly, the various warnings that are posted on the highways.
If you are like me, Father’s Day would be best started after I have had the chance to read the newspaper, have a nice leisurely breakfast and enjoy some quiet time.
"My hands were steady; My eyes were clear and bright; My walk had purpose; My steps were quick and light; And I held firmly; To what I felt was right; Like a rock."
"In Flanders fields the poppies blow; Between the crosses, row on row; That mark our place; and in the sky; The larks, still bravely singing, fly; Scarce heard amid the guns below."
There was a palpable buzz in the air as the crowd waving flags on the sidelines anticipated the coming procession. Upwards of 85 veterans of World War II, men and women from the Pacific and European theaters, escorted by honor guards, would be coming down the main concourse any minute. .
Moms everywhere are waking up to open this newspaper and take their minds off of the day ahead . Many will have their own Mother’s Day to celebrate, but also a celebration of their own mother’s work.
Barb, my wife, left a section of the newspaper open on the dining room table the other day. The top headline didn’t interest me, and she had to literally open the paper up along the fold. There, staring me in the face, was another sign of my age, a link to the past.
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