Life Lines

 

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” – John Lennon, “Beautiful Boy” 1980

I recently glanced at the calendar and discovered that somehow, I got old.

I don’t mind birthdays. As a matter of fact, having them is quite preferable to not having them. It’s just that most folks, regardless of our age, never feel old. We may be old, look old, and act old, but inside, we don’t think of ourselves as aged.

In my head, I’m still ...

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Are We There Yet?

Lying on the deck behind the backseat and staring upward through the rear glass of a Buick gave a kid the perfect view of the sky and clouds. A cloud could look like a bear one moment, and a crocodile the next.

Family road trips of the 1960s and 70s obviously did not have safety at the forefront, but boy, were the car rides memorable.

No family I knew had enough money to ride in airplanes to their destination. So we, and ...

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Funny Has Fallen

Comedians aren’t what they used to be.

This became quite obvious when my wife and I recently sat down to watch a 1969 episode of “The Dick Cavett Show.” A local channel is airing the program, which originally was on ABC’s late night schedule in the 60s and 70s, but you also can watch it on YouTube.

The guest on this particular broadcast was Groucho Marx.

During his career, which spanned over seven decades and ended just prior to his death in 1977 ...

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Write on Time

Writing a book takes way more work than I ever imagined.

But now, in addition to skydiving, working on the radio, and marrying a beautiful woman, I can check, “Wrote A Book” off my bucket list.

What makes one decide to publish a book? During the last several months as I spent days, nights and weekends working on taking my first stab at this, I asked myself the same question.

My friend Steve, who writes for a living, recently made the comment that ...

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The Heat Is On

After a recent meeting, a coworker mentioned that she and her family had bought a new home. Actually, it was new to them, but it was built in 1963 in what was then and is still now one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods.

What seemed like a typical workplace side conversation took a very positive turn when she mentioned that the appliances were all original. And they still worked.

No doubt, I’m a sucker for vintage anything, but I’ve always been ...

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Ohm Improvement

I remember when VCRs came out. It seemed that no one over the age of 27 knew how to stop the clock from flashing 12:00.

It was such a simple fix that I never understood why the adults couldn’t figure it out. Even after I showed them how to fix the clock, they still couldn’t grasp it.

The same was true for programming the thing to record Columbo, The Andy Griffith Show, or any of the other programs that grownups couldn’t live ...

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A Magazine Issue

I have a hard time getting rid of magazines.

I know that I could remove my name and address and donate them to a library or a hospital, but I just know that one day I’ll want to dig one back out to reread something.

Even though I’ve never done that.

My piles of Mother Earth News, Countryside & Small Stock Journal, Smithsonian, Cooks Country, and Guns & Ammo, are growing ever larger.

But magazines are dwindling in number, and many of the best ...

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My Hobby Lobby

I think everyone should have a hobby.

I believe this simply because it’s so interesting what each of us finds fascinating.

For some, movies are a hobby. There’s a subset of movie lovers who are obsessed with Star Wars.

Pick 10 people on the street and ask them what they think of Star Wars, and you’ll likely get nine different answers.

A couple of them will be fanatics and have seen every movie at least three times each. One or two others will be ...

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Our Political Path

Political shootings. People happy about political shootings. People outraged about political shootings.

Political violence. People happy about political violence. People outraged about political violence.

What has happened to us?

I was taught to avoid discussing religion and politics. But today, I’m going to address both.

As a country, we are reaching a point of fracture. I believe that our behavior and words will determine the direction our children will inherit.

Not so many years ago, someone portraying a decapitated president or threatening to burn down ...

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Toying With Kids

There was a simple toy I used to love. It featured a bald man with big eyes and a red nose, who was shielded behind a plastic case. There was a red-handled stick, or ‘wand’ as it was called on the package, that had a magnet on one end.

Inside the plastic case were metal shavings. If I placed the toy flat, I could use the magnetic wand to drag the shavings over the man’s face, giving him hair on his ...

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