The problem with kids today

The guy was on a roll. If you had given him a microphone and a spotlight he would have looked like he was in the middle of a stand-up comedy routine at a nightclub in Los Angeles or New York City. In reality, he was holding court with a couple of his work friends in …

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In Memoriam: Happy on the inside

The DJ had the music turned up so loud that I couldn’t hear my college fraternity brother talk. We filled up our cups with more beer and went upstairs to the second-floor landing to watch out over the rest of the party-goers. While still loud, I could hear a little better what my friend was …

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Fly Eagles Fly

When I was young, I was spoiled. When I was seven-years-old in 1975, I sat down to watch my first National Football League game on TV and my team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, won it all. Just like that. The Steelers beat my brother’s favorite team, the Minnesota Vikings, by a score of 16-6 to win …

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Giving Father Time the heave-ho

My wife recently celebrated a big milestone birthday. Leading up to the big day, I noticed that she was feeling a bit self-aware about the milestone. The usual stuff, everyone complains about getting older: She woke up one day worrying that the pain in her knee had gotten worse because she was a year older. …

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Goodbyes are the hardest

When I was a young boy, my mom would gently wake me before my two brothers. It would still be pitch black outside, but since I was the youngest, I had to get up first to get a shower and get ready for school. I never wanted to get up. It was always a struggle, …

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A grateful heart 

Several stores where I live seemed to start earlier this year with the Christmas decorations. I felt like they were ready for Christmas in August. When I turn on the television, I hit every Christmas show on the air. (My wife and her love of sappy Christmas romances on the Hallmark Channel could have something …

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Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin to the rescue

In a matter of a couple of blocks, we ran into a life-sized Woody and Buzz from "Toy Story," twin zombies with blood dripping down their clothes, maniacal-looking clowns similar to the one featured in the movie "It," and a woman straight out of The Handmaid’s Tale, the TV show envisioning a totalitarian future state. …

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Starting over after tragedy

I turned on the television last week to see a story on a husband and wife clearing away mud and debris caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. They told the reporter they were still without power and lacked the basic essentials. The husband tried to keep a brave face and said much of the …

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You can take the boy out of the country, but . . .

I shake my head some days. I grew up in a rural farming community where small, simple church steeples outnumbered taverns and watering holes and you had to drive 30 minutes to get to the nearest grocery store.  Each small village had a post office and maybe a gas station. When I was young, I …

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Living in a viral age: Hello Germany

When I was a kid, I would take out a piece of composition paper from one of my school notebooks and fold it into an airplane. I would be especially careful to keep the folds crisp, like I had steamed them with a hot iron. I would repeat this process, making a hangar-full of planes, …

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