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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.
We have a ritual each night of going over homework and any long-range assignments that my sons may have forgotten or “misplaced.” Math and English is followed closely by science and history lessons. We go Some nights, these study sessions stretch into a few hours.
Do you find that you have become a little jaded when you come across testimonials on websites or in magazines about the value of such and such product or the opportunity to take part in some good cause? There is the smiling face and a quote that is meant to encapsulate the mission in the wor…
“I feel there's gonna be a change, but we're the ones gonna do it, not the government. With us there's a saying, ‘La esperenza muera ultima. Hope dies last.’ You can't lose hope. If you lose hope, you lose everything.”
Commemorations and historical exhibits are often full of ironies and coincidences, both real and imagined. "The Civil War" exhibit opened Friday by the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority is just such a case.
I may have mentioned before that long ago I taught history in the Lake Central and Griffith school systems. I only think about it every other day now, rather than once a day when summer rolls around.
Thirty years have passed since I sat in a high school classroom, at least as a student. Since then, of course, I continue adding to my vast store of knowledge.
The signs are all there.
Parents, myself included, will often complain about the distractions that fill their children’s lives, including Xbox, Wii, texting, the internet and television. All are a sort of electronic escape.
I have written extensively about the work of Tom Clark’s students at Lake Central High School and the Gold Star Memorial project. They were in the national spotlight with a segment on the CBS Evening News recently, and the feedback has been positive.
As we close the celebration of Black History Month and head into Women’s History Month, it is notable that historic preservation is back in the news.
Twenty-three years ago, during my teacher training days, I was assigned to Lake Central High School to sit in on a class taught by an experienced teacher, Tom Clark. I was to observe the way that he interacted with his students and his methodologies.
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
When I was in college, I had an ongoing argument with a friend about music. We weren’t debating Springsteen vs. Led Zeppelin, but rather the meaning of music, but by the way, I was for the Springsteen while he was for Zeppelin.
“There is no way that this winter is ever going to end as long as this groundhog keeps seeing his shadow. I don't see any other way out. He's got to be stopped. And I have to stop him.”
With another U.S. presidential inauguration gala in the works for tomorrow, we take stock of where we are, with a hopeful eye to the future.
I was driving to work in downtown Chicago in 1992 when a report came over the radio. In effect, the radio announcer was warning commuters to avoid the area around Clark and Jackson, if my memory serves me correctly.
Now that the holiday festivities are over and the last of the Christmas decorations have been tucked away, we can get back to our daily lives. No Christmas shopping to worry about and no lights to hang up outdoors.
When Columbus sailed the ocean blue more than five centuries ago, he couldn’t have imagined what was on the other side of that horizon. Neither could he have imagined the energy, innovation and destruction that he would unleash in different measures.
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