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A day in the life of a South Shore Line commuter

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.

April 13, 2014 12:00 am

Record Store Day takes music lovers back to the days of LPs and 45s

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.

April 06, 2014 12:00 am

“Saving Lincoln” is a well-told story worth venturing out to see

When I was a history teacher, many years ago, I used to ask my students trick questions. Really, they were thought provokers.

March 30, 2014 12:00 am

Steel yourself for the return of the Road Warrior

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.

March 23, 2014 12:00 am

Two heartwarming local stories outshine chilling one from sunshine state

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

March 16, 2014 12:00 am

Encourage children to read and they'll never lack for adventure

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

March 09, 2014 12:00 am

Now, as always, Mom knows best and is happy to share

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.

March 02, 2014 12:00 am

We are all influenced by the voices and deeds of remarkable women

When next this column appears in print, it will be Women’s History Month, so I thought what the heck, close enough.

February 23, 2014 12:00 am

You can't remain anonymous once you've been U.S. president

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.

February 16, 2014 12:00 am

From Iron Mountain to Atlanta, we all have snow to write about

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.

February 09, 2014 12:00 am

Statistics are just numbers until one of them touches your heart

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.

February 02, 2014 12:00 am

Super Bowl important to some for the game, others for commercials

Super Bowl XLVIII. . . I am sure looking forward to a much shorter title.

January 26, 2014 12:00 am

Celebrate the changes 100 days after the start of the school year

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.

January 19, 2014 12:00 am

It wasn't his words, but his actions that defined Martin Luther King Jr.

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.

January 12, 2014 12:00 am Related

A life is measured not by numbers, but by the values left to us

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.

January 05, 2014 12:00 am Related

Thanks to those who serve others on Christmas, and welcome 2014

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.

December 29, 2013 12:00 am Related

Christmas memories of Aunt Judy, gift wrapping and Santa jingling

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.

December 22, 2013 12:00 am Related

The kindness of a candle lights the way 10 years later

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.

December 15, 2013 12:00 am Related

I could get everything written on my notes done...if only I could find them

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.

December 08, 2013 12:00 am Related

Traditions help preserve sanity during hectic holiday season

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 …

December 01, 2013 12:00 am Related

It's time to give thanks for the people who populate this column

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.

November 24, 2013 12:00 am Related

Tomorrow people look ahead and persevere despite hard times

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.

November 17, 2013 12:00 am Related

One hundred years of conflict created an unbreakable bond

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.

November 10, 2013 12:00 am Related

Resiliency helps us cope with academic pressures and loss

I have been holding two presumably opposite concepts in my head for the last week.

November 03, 2013 12:00 am

Strong workforce and volunteerism will help NWI, and Detroit, thrive

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.

October 27, 2013 12:00 am

Thanks, Thomas Edison, for lighting up our world

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…

October 20, 2013 12:00 am

Whether people or nature, it's still a world full of wonder

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.

October 13, 2013 12:00 am

Bikers line up to honor soldiers and veterans

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.

October 06, 2013 12:00 am

Gold Star Mothers deserve a salute for the care they provide

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.

September 29, 2013 12:00 am

Good neighbors are a treasure through thick and thin

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…

September 22, 2013 12:00 am

U.S. Constitution still has lessons to teach after 226 years

“The pen is mightier than the sword.”

September 15, 2013 12:00 am

Family strolls are now all about collecting insects and leaves

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.

September 08, 2013 12:00 am

Griffith's Central Market is the place to be on Fridays

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.

September 01, 2013 12:00 am

Human interaction is the key to becoming a memorable teacher

After so many years out of school, I still remember scenes from grade school.

August 25, 2013 12:00 am

Everyone benefits from good stewardship and a can-do attitude

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…

August 18, 2013 12:00 am

It's that time of year for new classes and new teachers

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…

August 11, 2013 12:00 am

August represents the pinnacle and descent of summer

“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…

August 04, 2013 12:00 am

Stop by and take a stroll among the bicycles in Griffith

What makes you notice a community? What makes you stop and get out of the car or climb off the bicycle?

July 28, 2013 12:00 am

Summer is a time for recreation, relaxation and readihg

I marked it on my calendar, June 19, the day the yard looked perfect. It won’t get any better than this.

July 21, 2013 12:00 am

In a world of creators and maintainers, I follow the rules

“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.”

July 14, 2013 12:00 am

Get out the bikes and head for a family adventure this summer

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.

July 07, 2013 12:00 am

Battle of Gettysburg anniversary kicks off week of U.S. celebrations

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…

June 30, 2013 12:00 am

Summer heats up just as the days start to get shorter

Did you feel that drastic change on Friday? You know, at exactly 12:04 a.m.

June 23, 2013 12:00 am

Traffic fatalities offer reason to pause - just not on the highway

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.

June 09, 2013 12:00 am

Fatherhood is about homework, yard work and milk shakes

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.

June 09, 2013 12:00 am

Graduates head out into the world, just like we did in 1983

"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."

June 02, 2013 12:00 am

They served with courage and deserve our heartfelt thanks

"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."

May 26, 2013 12:00 am

Honor Flights send veterans on the trip of a lifetime

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. .

May 19, 2013 12:00 am

Today's the day for celebrating Moms of all ages

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.

May 12, 2013 12:00 am

Demolition recalls roadside motels and batting cage home runs

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.

May 05, 2013 12:00 am
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