Fighting for Civility


This space is normally relegated to discussing Green Stamps, cashing in pop bottles found on the side of the road, or other memories from my youth.

All of the topics addressed here are presented for a couple of reasons. One, in my opinion, Americans are the most nostalgic bunch on the planet. Two, talking about shared experiences brings a respite from today’s stressors.

A common thread in the stories I tell (and I didn’t think about it until I sat down to ...

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Pots Unknown

You’ve seen them. You may even own one. But, if you do, odds are you’re not using it for its intended purpose. I’m talking about cast iron wash pots. Also referred to as gypsy pots.

Many people call all of the large cast iron pots “gypsy pots,” but that’s like calling all soda pops a “Coke.” There is such a thing as a gypsy pot, but it’s different from a wash pot. Although, either can be used for just about anything.

If ...

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The Beet Goes On

When I was a kid, I wasn’t a huge fan of most vegetables, but one that I absolutely loved was beets. My dad’s mom used to grow and can them.

Not that canning vegetables was unusual. Most of my family had a garden, and what couldn’t be eaten was canned. This included corn, okra, tomatoes, and lots of other veggies.

But, my grandmother was the only one in the family that I recall who grew and canned beets. Or, as some of ...

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Father Time

My earliest memories of him are his smiling face and his laugh.

And his singing. As he would hold me tightly and pat my back, the resonance of his baritone voice in my ears and against my chest gave me what every child needs – attention and the assurance of unquestionable love.

I believe that he sang to me, and later to my younger sister, for many reasons. He enjoyed singing, but I also believe that singing was how he connected with ...

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Taking Turns


The night was hot and humid.

We were the first class, in as far back as anyone could remember, to have to graduate in the gym. 

I say, “have to,” because in those days, the gym was not air-conditioned.

It was raining. Hard. So, the gym it would be.

We stood in our purple caps and gowns, and we sweated. And sweated.

The guest who was invited to give our class commencement address was oblivious to everything but the sound of his own voice.

So, ...

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