Smokestacks

When I was a boy Dad told me that clouds came from smokestacks. That’s why it always rained in South Newburg. I thought, why not? The factories made all sorts of things. Those smokestacks had to do something, not just stand there with their noses in the sky. So whenever we drove downtown I watched…

Seven Good Books

February is GIVE A SHOUT OUT TO GOOD BOOKS MONTH. Here are 7 of my favorite titles to write home about. A few of them are sprinkled with nostalgia, but that’s just fine with me. There’s nothing wrong with nostalgia. Thirty years from now we might look back on today with fondness. Once a Runner…

Dad And The Magical Elixir

Dad kept a bottle of booze in the pantry when we were growing up. He never drank from it. It was for medicinal purposes. If he smashed his thumb and it turned into a mangled lump he could pour the booze on it to relieve the swelling. He smashed a lot of thumbs back then.…

Duane Kuiper*

40 years ago a major league career began in Cleveland. I originally published this story on this website in March, 2013. As a kid growing up in Cleveland in the 1970s I dreamed of two things happening. One, the Cleveland Indians would make it to the World Series. And two, my favorite player would make the highlight…

Michelina’s Prayer Corner

I sat down with our daughter, Michelina, last week to learn about the shrine she erected in our basement. Michelina, who will turn 9 in a few months, attends parish school religion. Shortly before Ash Wednesday she set up a prayer corner in preparation for Easter. Ash Wednesday, the official start of Lent, kicks off…

Rosalie And The Four-Leaf Clover

We were at Forest Hill a few autumns ago when our daughter, Rosalie, reached down and plucked a four-leaf clover from the earth. It was truly a ‘being-in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time’ moment. One usually needs to comb through 10,000 clovers to find a four-leafed one. That according to Wikipedia! While I contemplated the implications of Rosalie finding a…