Friday, December 2, 2016
     

Under My Hat

Saturday, July 9, 2016

I’m not sure why I wanted to find the site of the fatal campfire poisoning.

But maybe it’s part of natural human behavior.

Certainly the enormity of the tragedy is compelling.

And I guess there’s something inside of us that makes us want to explore such things.

Curiosity is normal. We just want to do whatever we can to understand something not understandable.

On two occasions I hiked to the approximate location where eight men gathered for a casual, private picnic and unknowingly drank a toxic cocktail.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

You’re in a room full of people and someone tells a joke. Everyone laughs at the punch line. You don’t think the joke is funny at all, so what do you do?

You laugh anyway. You don’t want to be the only one who doesn’t laugh. They would think something is wrong with you.

You watch a play. Act one is over. You see people smile. You hear loud applause. You think the play stinks, so what do you do? You clap anyway.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Soft-spoken Marie Hill grew up in the tiny hamlet of Reynolds where she attended a primitive country school.

She told me what it was like and offered common-sense words of advice, something she learned early in life.

“There are good and bad in all people,” she said.

Years ago, I interviewed her in depth about her experience attending a one-room schoolhouse.

“We had several grades all in one room,” she explained. “They were grouped in sections.”

Saturday, April 23, 2016

We did it. We bit the bullet and we did it.

After years of careful financial planning, waiting for everyone to be completely potty trained, and implementing a training regimen to make sure everyone was up for days and days of walking and waiting in line, we sucked it up and did the family vacation to Disney World.

Let me start by saying that I am grateful that we were able to do this as a family. Spending an entire week together, getting away from work and responsibilities, being able to give the kids a few extra treats, I know we are beyond lucky to be able to do this.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Easter brought a few surprises. Easter always seems to bring surprises.

And no wonder. Easter is a holiday predicated on surprise.

For believers, the Resurrection instills Christians with the biggest surprise of all. Many rejoice at the surprise of an empty tomb and promise of everlasting life.

Another Easter surprise is that the holiday grew from pagan roots.

Ancient Saxons in Northern Europe honored goddess Oestre at the time of the spring equinox, honoring sunrise, springtime, fertility and, essentially, the renewal of life.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

I struggle with trying to give my children an appropriate amount of independence on a daily basis. Based on news stories about parents who are arrested for letting their 9-year-olds play in a public park unsupervised and helicopter parents who are taking on their kids’ college professors over grades, I’m not alone.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Once again, it looks like Cheerios is in hot water instead of cold milk.

A class-action lawsuit against General Mills was filed in U.S. District Court a few weeks ago, alleging the company used “deceptive, unfair and false advertising” to sell gluten-free Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios.

Turns out, it might actually be true. About 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios were recalled after investigators discovered more than 20 parts per million of gluten in violation of an FDA standard.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

I waited long for this day. One and one-half years.

Yet it's a day nobody would want.

Here I am standing close to him, nearly within arm's reach.

But a district attorney is positioned between us and five sheriff deputies just a step away.

Convicted killer Anthony Heath is tall and lanky, round-shouldered with poor posture.

I'm surprised to see he's wearing a purple shirt, street clothes. His hands are shackled to his belt.

I glare at him. He looks back at me with vacuous eyes.

There's nothing there.

Saturday, July 25, 2015
DONALD R. SERFASS/TIMES NEWS John Bova, son of a lost miner, kneels to gain leverage as he heaves coal from one bin to another during Lansford No. 9 Mine's coal shoveling competition.

America was built on coal.

When you look at the skyscrapers of New York, think coal.

Coal fired the furnaces to forge steel that built the towering buildings and great bridges.

Coal gave us everything: railroads, jobs, industry, canned food, trolleys, roller coasters. You name it.

Coal was easy and cheap.

But mining was dangerous. It provided various ways to die: cave-ins, explosions, suffocation.

And so coal carries a tremendous legacy, especially for mining descendants.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

I'm not the biggest movie fan, but I made sure I was on hand for "Jurassic World" opening-night hoopla.

I was first in line for a ticket. It had to be that way.

Otherwise I would've growled more than a sick stegosaurus.

But keep in mind I didn't want just any ticket. I wanted the best.

"Jurassic World" can be enjoyed a few different ways.

I wanted the top version, what they call 3-D.

Of course, 3-D isn't new.

We had it back in the 1950s and '60s.