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Columnist for a Day

The secret of Gold Hill is a secret

Gold Hill always seems to be in the news for the wrong reasons. As someone who has lived here off and on for the last 20 years, let me tell you why what you thi...

Why is the Grim Reaper so grim?

I work with death on a daily basis and over the years have come to know him quite well. In an average week, I visit about 12 dying folks, more than 300 termin...

It was a long war for Skipper too

Skipper, our fine purebred springer spaniel, had gained a few points with mother as the result of aiding father in the acquisition of some tasty pheasant dinner...

Thank you for your service

As my posting at the Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Ontario was coming to an end, I patiently waited for my new orders to arrive. Until then, it was business a...

I learned to like Halloween

During my childhood years in Montreal, I grew up hating Halloween. Why? Please allow me to explain. My brother Kevan was not my favorite sibling; far from it. ...

I shall wear purple

In editing my collection of books during the pandemic, I came across “When I am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple.” I checked the copyright date: 1987. I remembe...

Exploring the canyons of my hometown

Anywhere from my house was downhill. Usually when we planned a bike ride, it was a necessity to pack a lunch, because we would be gone the whole day. And you kn...

A valley full of superheroes

I was riding the school bus to first grade in 1988, and I distinctly remember looking north toward the black wall of smoke. I grew up 60 miles south of the west...

What to grab first when fleeing a fire

First, try to gather your wits. Don’t let them leave you — leading you to deny that smoke in the air could turn your dwelling to ash. You can’t grab anything if...

Mom was always up to something

We called it goop — the stuff that accumulates on the bottom of the bar after the soap sits too long. There wasn’t that much since we bathed every day, but it s...

The saga of the traveling credenza

It all began May 13, when I spotted the perfect antique credenza offered for $400 by Quaboag Valley Antiques on Etsy. A real concern should have been that the c...

It’s all in a day’s work

The last weekend of July was one for the books. As my wife, Kerry, was finishing up on some yard work, a sudden gust of wind began assaulting our shade sails ...

What my cat taught me

Cats know far more than we may want to think. They don't just lie around all day, believe me. The wheels are always in motion in their small heads. The first th...

Lessons from the streets of Dunsmuir

This was written with endearment to my childhood memories of Dunsmuir, California, with my Dunsmuiresque sense of humor and my Dunsmuir educational bliss. So an...

I hope Wingo had a happy life

In the early 1960s, I was in the military and stationed in South Carolina. I played on a military basketball team. I was the only white guy and the only officer...

'Alexa, what’s my Plan B?’

Because our friend Bob uses two hiking poles to help with his balance, we call him Sticks. While having a coffee with Sticks and a few other friends, a siren c...

A story I have been writing for years

Old friends are so comfortable, warm and delicious. Even though many months or even years may pass, sparkling smiles and welcoming eyes greet you with open arms...