- Rockford, Illinois, USA
- February 05
- I'm a regular middle aged guy, living in a regular middle class neighborhood, in a regular middle-sized community in the middle of America. I am an expatriate Texan transplanted to the Midwest, and wondering how I got here, and where I'm headed.
MY RECENT POSTS
- Goodbye to an Author: John
Graves, 1920 - 2013
August 01, 2013 11:30AM
- The Weather, or What a
Difference a Year Makes!
July 17, 2013 11:25AM
- Pretend Patriot Liars
July 15, 2013 12:19PM
- The Declaration, and
Jefferson's First Draft
July 04, 2013 11:25AM
- Unknown Heroes: A Story for
Black History Month
February 03, 2013 11:06AM
MY RECENT COMMENTS
- “Haven't been here in a
while, but happy to come
May 17, 2014 09:04PM
- “I've been skipping class
so long I barely recognize
place, but it's good to
March 06, 2014 10:40PM
- “I want that foil
December 20, 2013 07:31PM
- “Mary, thanks for your
first rate observations and
September 27, 2013 06:24PM
- “Sheila, this is your
week to find my old posts!
stopping by and
September 27, 2013 05:57PM
Several years ago, during an Open Salon gathering in Chicago, I was asked by Chicago Guy which writers have influenced me the most. It took me just a nanosecond to respond: John Graves. If you come from outside Texas, there is a decent chance you have not… Read full post »
This time last year the Midwest was in the midst of one of the worst summer droughts in memory. In fact, a year ago this week Open Salon featured a post of mine on the cover page that showed photos of the drought's devastation.
The drought's impact has been felt… Read full post »
Compared to many of my friends, I am pretty apolitical on Facebook. Occasionally, something will get my gander and I’ll use Facebook as a venting medium. Those instances, however, are rare. Having friends on both sides of the political spectrum, I am also prone to overlook tho… Read full post »
This is a repost of an essay I wrote several years ago when I was much more of an active presence on Open Salon. To those readers who may have seen this before, my apologies for being redundant. Happy Fourth of July!
“We… Read full post »
“He took me by the hand, as if I had been an old friend. He told us we were too late for the morning cars to New York, and must wait until the evening, or the next morning. He invited me to go home with him, assuring me that his wife… Read full post »
It has been 50 years. Half a century, and yet she remains the quentessential symbol of beauty and glamour.
He was from a very large family, much larger than what we are accustomed to in the 21st century. He was among the youngest of the male children. His father was a farmer, just like nearly everyone else in this young, burgeoning nation. As one of the youngest of the family,… Read full post »
It’s beginning to be a big story in the national news, but it’s been the subject of conversation in Illinois for most of the summer. This state, and the entire Midwest Corn Belt, is under a severe drought. Its impact will be felt soon, not only in the United States, but… Read full post »
This is the second post describing a small museum near the
Illinois-Wisconsin border. The first post discussed the
museum's display of Kennedy memorabilia. You can find that
Heading west… Read full post »
So I visited one of those little roadside museums this week. You know, the ones you see advertised on the big billboards along the interstate. The ad will say something like:
Harry Houdini’s Magical Museum of the Macabre
Experience the Mysteries of the Universe… Read full post »
By the early 1770’s, the winds of revolution were beginning to sweep across the east coast of Britain’s American colonies. Like many of her compatriots in Boston, Phillis Wheatley, a young woman of extremely modest means, was caught in the current. Phillis never attended schoo… Read full post »
Since my son was monopolizing the TV this morning, I decided to check cnn.com to find out whether or not the Supreme Court would strike down the Affordable Healthcare Act, or Obamacare. Frankly, I have never been particularly enthusiastic about this new law, which seems to have been so diluted… Read full post »
My dad wasn’t cool. Other kids in the neighborhood had cool dads, but not me. My dad wasn’t cool at all.
Other dads did neat stuff. I grew up where autumn and early winter meant two things – football and hunting. My dad did neither. Oh, he… Read full post »
On this date 95 years ago, America set aside its isolationist heritage and, for better or worse, became a full-fledged member of the international oecumene. It was on April 2, 1917, that President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a formal declaration of war agains… Read full post »
My wife grew up in an old, industrial town in Northern Illinois. The Rock River forms the northern border of the town, and along its banks stretch several miles of steel mills and machine tool manufacturers. Several bridges span the river, and serve as indispensible transportation routes… Read full post »
I posted this essay last year for Black History Month, and it quickly disappeared into OS oblivion. The theme of this year's Black History Month is "Black Women in America: Culture and History." Given this theme, I thought it appropriate to repost this essay. My apologies to a… Read full post »
The week before Christmas was met with both good news and bad news for me. I'll start with the good news, with a little background.
As many of my regular readers know, I lost my job just before Christmas of 2008. I had been in the telecommunications industry for nearly 26… Read full post »
The young Scotsman quickly peddles his bicycle down the narrow country lane toward the small community church. Once there, he rushes inside where the priest has just completed lighting the candles in preparation for vespers. The young man heads immediately to the rop… Read full post »
Christmas Eve. Sitting by the tree next to the fireplace, we told Joey that Santa would be coming down the chimney soon to deliver presents. Totally unanticipated, a look of terror stretched across my son’s small face. Not yet able to articulate his thoughts with nuance, he de… Read full post »
On this date in 1791, the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution, was ratified by the required three-fourths of the original 13 states. Happy 220th Birthday!
As you may recall from your high school history class, the Bill of… Read full post »
The first house I lived in was one block from a brand new Interstate highway. Once when I was about two or three years old, I wandered from our unfenced back yard and started walking along the shoulder of the highway. A neighbor happened to drive by. He picked me up… Read full post »
Newt Gingrich will be the Republican nominee for president. Why? Because Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and the GOP primary/caucus schedule favors a non-Mormon candidate.
White Evangelical Christians are perhaps the strongest, most loyal constituency of the Republican Party. That is Ro… Read full post »
Newt Gingrich converted to Catholicism in 2008, and was received into the Catholic Church the following year. I find it interesting that there is virtually no mention of Gingrich’s religious conversion in the media, nor does it seem to be a major issue among Republican Evangelicals. … Read full post »
Now thank we all our God,
… Read full post »
On November 15, 1781, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, the first governmental framework for the new United States of America. Prior to the Articles of Confederation, there was no written set of laws applicable to all Americans. Each state was complete… Read full post »