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A Night of Ultimate Sacrifice at the Plum Farm

Uncle Sam’s call became more of a challenge during the Vietnam War. Frederick Richard “Rick” Ohler’s name is just one of about 58,000, mostly men and barely old enough to be treated as adults had they avoided military service. They are all dead. Rick, at 24, was one of the older soldiers in the 519th MI Battalion and, like many of us, he was an intelligence analyst. Our compound was in a rather rural place known as [...]

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By |2021-08-11T16:55:52+00:00August 11, 2021|Bravery, Sacrifice, Uncategorized, Vietnam, War|

So Near and Yet So Far in Conquering COVID

Cavemen unite! Who needs science and history? We were almost there, moving quite smoothly toward wholesale vaccinations leading to herd immunity, and then, once again, partisan politics reared its ugly head over an issue that shouldn’t have been political at all. It should have been about saving lives and getting back to normal, having learned lessons that may avert hundreds of thousands more from dying if another pandemic sweeps over our land. Now that the masks are [...]

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By |2021-07-28T19:15:06+00:00July 28, 2021|Conspiracies, COVID-19, Treason, Uncategorized, Vaccinations|

Why No News Isn’t Necessarily Good News

Casualty list of America’s daily and weekly newspapers grows. What’s the news across the nation? According to one highly informed source, the country is becoming an “expanding news desert.” It’s hard to believe when you can access breaking news any time of day, whether via cable news channels or internet websites. Not only can you get your news, but you can choose your kind of news, customized to fit your personal needs, beliefs and desires. And, as [...]

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A Man of Letters Fools Around with Acronyms

Digging up a growing glossary of acronyms. We are flooded with a sea of acronyms, which are essentially language shortcuts. They may be organizations or expressions that we know pretty well and are usually comprised of the first letters of most of the key words used, often excluding the definite (“the”) and indefinite (“a” and “an”) articles that tie them together. That’s why most of us say or write NASA and not National Aeronautics and Space Administration. [...]

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By |2021-02-24T19:58:03+00:00February 24, 2021|Acronyms, Names, Uncategorized, Vocabulary, Words|

Wildcats and Panthers and Wolves, Oh My!

“I told you we shouldn’t be out here after dark!” We seem to have entered a weird time of make-believe where stuff is made up by people who I’m not going to mention, because they wish things hadn’t turned out the way they did. That’s the way it is today. If we don’t like the way things are, we just pretend they aren’t and move on believing what we want to believe. I mean who would have [...]

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By |2020-12-30T18:57:09+00:00December 30, 2020|2020, COVID-19, History, Mortality, Public Health, Uncategorized|

“Is It All Right If We Sing Some Christmas Carols?”

 Even a rockin’ Santa can fuel Christmas spirit during this  holiday season of the pandemic. The snow was starting to pile up last Wednesday evening — a prelude to the storm that was to dump almost two feet of snow at our particular location and at least another foot elsewhere within our rural county. A large SUV pulled up in the driveway and we could hear the excited voices of children and the trampling of footsteps on [...]

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By |2020-12-23T15:12:38+00:00December 23, 2020|Carols, Christmas, Music, Uncategorized|

Boomer Slogans and Catch Phrases Live on

Boomers killed America’s love affair with smoking before it killed more of us. Skill Note: Most of  following was written in July of 2015 as a newspaper column several years after retiring from 39 years as a reporter and editor for three different newspapers. Aside from several edits, addendums and asides, it remains the same. I know the range of age for retired people grows wider and wider with each passing year. For starters, people retire a [...]

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The Lesser of Two Evils and the Allure of Power

Good and evil are in the mind of the beholder. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? — Matthew 16:26. I know I’m on thin ice here, because we’ve all been warned that conversations about religion or politics never seem to end pleasantly. When you combine the two, it could be argued that you are doubling the potential of unpleasantness. This isn’t exactly a conversation, because you don’t [...]

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By |2020-08-21T18:55:02+00:00August 21, 2020|Uncategorized|

Pants, Masks and Coughing Freedom Fighters

America’s pandemic war zone: grocery stores. Adult content warning: There is explicit content in this article, generally avoided in mixed company describing an act best conducted behind closed doors, that may be offensive to some readers.  If you require more specificity before venturing into the following text, the offending word mentioned multiple times is comprised of four letters and starts with the letter “f.”   I was watching one of those “Talk Back” programs on a local TV [...]

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By |2020-07-08T17:57:27+00:00July 8, 2020|Coughing, COVID-19, Essential Workers, Masks, Mortality, Pandemics, Uncategorized|

…and Now for a Few Hundred Words about Words

Words may be long, short, misleading, instructive, inspiring or denigrating. It’s time to take a break from current events for something that makes a little more sense. I will revisit a topic I’ve written more about over the years than anything else. I am referring, of course, to the fascinating English language. I don’t know where I’d be without it, even though I have abused, mistreated and even abandoned it on occasion. And yet I still love [...]

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By |2020-05-27T17:52:38+00:00May 27, 2020|English, Euphemisms, Language, Uncategorized, Vocabulary, Words|
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