"The Giving Garden" (Essay)

For those with absolutely no interest in coaxing green things out of dark dirt and wonder "why do they do it?" as well as those with green thumbs or obsessive orchid disorder.

May 1st is always a bit of a…

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DNA Day?

So today is #DNADay. We live in amazing times. In the 1950s Watson and Crick first described the crazy macro molecule that carries everything about living species wrapped up in a double helix. A few years ago a massive effort…

Lilacs in the Air, or in the Genes?

I've always loved lilacs. We used to have a large lilac bush at our old place on Snickersville Turnpike. I've been known to clip a couple when I've been on the road and stick them in a water bottle to…

"Johnny B. Goode Has Left the Building" (Essay)

Plain and simple, my life might have been a whole lot different without Chuck Berry.

Chuck Berry passed away last month. It is bittersweet for me to acknowledge both the influence of my childhood mentors decades later and the realization…

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"The Magic of Ensembles" (Essay)

A solo artist marvels at the intimate machinations of a large performing arts production, and some special kids who bring it to life.

The stage life of a performing singer/songwriter is usually fairly solitary. There is of course always the…

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Bacon: The Key to Compromise and Cooperation

I think I've found something upon which most of us can agree.

Bacon - just about everybody loves it. The #1 food vegetarians say they miss. The smell of bacon cooking drives us nuts, and drives most every other cogent…

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Uncommon People and the Common Good (Essay)

As we Americans experience another period of societal and cultural upheaval (aka change), a few reflections on the lasting legacy of a few committed individuals who were also determined to change the status quo.

I spent more than a few…

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This Newly Familiar Place (Essay)

Once again reveling in and revisiting the odd rituals that come with the New Year, and reflecting on how strange the journey is turning out to be, now that I've turned a few.

In case you missed it, in the…

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Alright Then, Now What? (Essay)

Attempting to make sense out of a "post-fact" society, and place seemingly absurd moments into historical context.

There were some who predicted that Hell would freeze over if the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. Let's just say that strange…

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The Phantom Ship

We think naturally of the past on Thanksgiving, remembering cherished family elders and traditions from our childhood. My never-ending exploration of my family stories and genealogy dropped an interesting and startling one in my lap this morning. It turns out…

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A Letter to this Land that I Love

I just returned from a silent prayer vigil at the Quaker Meeting in the village. On this night when we seem to be drowning in a virtual sea of violent rage, deceit and conspiracy theories, what I needed was a…

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Meeting Aunt Agnes

How fitting an end to this All Soul's Day, El Dia de Los Muertos. Slowly these last few years I have pieced together my family story near and far, recent and distant. I have connected my grandparents siblings, even my…