December 29, 2011The first New Year's Eve I remember was 1959.
I was 13, the only child of a widowed and fragile mother, at the turn of a new decade.
We were at the home of a neighbor, a home I dreamed of living in one day. There was a fireplace in the living room and a breezeway between the house and the garage where we played ping pong. On the second floor was the bedroom where I slept when my mother was away. I remember reading a science fiction novel there, bright sunlight streaming through the grove of trees just beyond the window.
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January 20, 2011Although I enjoy almost all sports, I don't typically use this column to talk about those things.
An editorial should be about important national topics such as our more than $14 trillion national debt, increasing health care costs and the use of politics by some to make excuses or try to explain why an insane man shot people at an Arizona grocery store.
An editorial typically should be an opinion about a local issue such as the rescue and fire services disagreement between Geneva Township and the Lake Geneva Fire Department or whether the Walworth County District Attorney's Office should have filed charges against Lake Geneva city staff for mismanagement.
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When it comes down to it, image countsDecember 22, 2011Am I the only person who thinks Rick Perry’s John Wayne imitation is pretty transparent?Sure, everyone wants a John Wayne as president. Strong. Decisive. Straight-shooting.But Perry has taken it to cartoonish extremes. The big shoulders. The high collars (how does he get his head to appear as though it’s on the top of a statue?). The third-person posturing — “In a Rick Perry presidency ...”
Local hero appearance on CNN specialDecember 15, 2011My heart racing, my hands shaking and the feeling in my stomach were definitely the signs.It’s been a long time since I felt those types of emotions — usually only when I have had to speak in front of tons of people or many years ago before a big high school or college basketball game or tennis match was to be played. But Sunday night, watching the live “CNN Heroes” show, I was definitely nervous. No, I was not there in person, nor was I the person who was being recognized or who would have to speak in front of millions of people.
Christmas is a season for helping those in needDecember 08, 2011In the past many weeks, I have been amazed at the generosity of our community.They’ve donated food for the local pantries, one held a free Thanksgiving Day meal, while others are loading boxes and trees at various locations with coats, hats and mittens and collecting more money and food for the local pantries. As we approach the Christmas holiday, it seems as though the giving spirit has only just begun.
Why are all those people in line, in the cold?December 01, 2011Not every single week there is a topic that I want to write about in the whole column. Some topics would require too much rambling. However, they are pertinent for a few inches of copy.In advance, I am sorry Sports Illustrated for stealing one of your note column titles. Here are some “Things I think, I think?”
Thankful for a job that’s more than a paycheckNovember 24, 2011In a few months I will celebrate my third anniversary at the Regional News.When I first heard about the job opening I was collecting Social Security and working part-time at the library. I hesitated. I had just retired from the newspaper rat race after almost 40 years and I wasn’t sure I wanted to get back in. In fact, when I interviewed I was asked why I wanted the job. I heard myself answer: “I don’t know if I do.”Now, as I close in on three years, I’m thankful my bosses-to-be didn’t listen and hired me anyway.
Those helping needy every day are inspirationalNovember 17, 2011I know it’s a week early, but I can’t help feeling warm and fuzzy inside during these days leading up to Thanksgiving. For the past several days, I have spoken with a number of people from First Evangelical Lutheran Church, who are putting on a free Thanksgiving Day meal for those in need or alone during the holidays. These are giving people who are sacrificing their time with family to help others. What better definition of Thanksgiving is there?
Remembering those who served on Veterans DayNovember 10, 2011Each year, on Nov. 11, we honor those who have donned the uniform and have served in battle throughout our history.Veterans Day is Friday and it is my hope everyone takes a moment to remember the sacrifices so many have given to protect the United States as well as help others in countries all over the globe become free themselves as we are.Normally, this is a day that tends to be forgotten by many. It is listed on calendars, but many don’t think about it much past that.
Where, when, how exactly can you pack heat?November 03, 2011Wisconsin’s new concealed carry law, Act 35, which allows residents to carry concealed weapons with a permit, officially went into effect Tuesday.But it appears as though many questions remain. Some are saying the law “is loaded” with rules while others say the law has “broad new freedoms.” Many of the questions regarding the implementation are answered in a 56-page document I found on the Wisconsin Towns website. There is plenty of other information all over the Internet. Whether this is a good law will be determined in the future.
Bank robbery, CNN crews all in a week’s workOctober 27, 2011What a few days it was at the Regional News last week.Last Monday, the excitement started in the afternoon when a man and his dog walked into the office and told us PNC Bank, less than a block from the Regional News office, had just been robbed.He said, “Do you want a good story?”
Sixty years later, we remember what they didOctober 20, 2011I glanced out the window of our bus. There was a lone soldier standing as stiff as a stick, saluting. He couldn’t have been much past 20.That lone soldier was standing outside one of two buses full of World War II veterans at the D.C. airport. I was a Chaper One for one of those veterans on something called Honor Flight. Honor Flight is an organization which honors veterans by sending them to Washington to see the patriotic sites. The World War II memorial. The Iwo Jima statue. The guards changing at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. But it’s more than a sightseeing trip. It was a whirlwind journey meant to honor the last of the World War II veterans, to say thanks. For many of them it was the first time they saw the memorial built in their name. For too many it will be the last time.