A Morning Glimpse At Humanity

After pouring your cup of coffee, you sit, get comfortable, and take a look at your surroundings.

On the right is the motel’s check-in counter. Straight ahead is a long hall off which are all the rooms on the ground floor. At the left is the complimentary breakfast buffet that brought you here a few minutes ago.

Two women, one older, the other appearing to be her adult daughter, are preparing to bake a waffle. The younger one spills some of the batter, first on the table, then a few drops on the floor. The older one’s eyes say “Why … Read the rest “A Morning Glimpse At Humanity”

Old Gold Goes To Sofa Heaven

As a sofa, I knew my life would eventually come to an end. Nothing lasts forever, not even furniture. Still, I never expected it to come so suddenly with screaming winds, blinding rain, and unprecedented angry surges from the sea.

Before I explain that sad part of my life, I must tell you my good life began when I was bought by an older couple. For many years, they owned a house in a quiet neighborhood in western New York. Then in 1968, they built a new home in Cape Coral, Florida, in which to spend their retirement years. I … Read the rest “Old Gold Goes To Sofa Heaven”

When Something Became Nothing

That morning in Iowa was beautiful — a bright and warm sun, the temperature just right, I and my car on a lonesome yet interesting highway. On the radio, the music ended and local news began.

Immediately disturbing was the lead story about an overnight fire which destroyed a convent in the eastern part of the state. The relatively small complex dating back to the 1890s consisted of a chapel to which was attached two small wings, one serving as a dormitory, the other housing the offices, a library, and some workrooms.

During the night, something had caused a spark … Read the rest “When Something Became Nothing”

In The Quiet Of An Evening

Imagine this: You’re out in the country, driving across a rolling and open landscape that could be anywhere. This evening, however, you are somewhere on the western side of Mid-America, the vastness draped between the Rocky Mountains to the west and the Appalachians to the east.

It’s evening, the sun poised to dip below the horizon. It’s such an impressive sight that as you approach the top of a long hill, you pull off on the side of the gravel road, turn off the engine, get out, and lean against the front fender, hands relaxed in jean pockets, and legs … Read the rest “In The Quiet Of An Evening”

Your Hidden Treasure

No matter how small or seemingly insignificant, everything that has happened to you, every incident and experience, has been tucked away.

Imagine that as each incident unfolds, all the information is packed in a box that’s covered with a lid and placed on a shelf in a large warehouse. There’s no index, no accounting of what’s in each box or on what shelf it will be found. That’s because retrieval will occur automatically.

First to be stored will be the events of your earliest years as a child, then your education, followed by the beginning of your working years. Next … Read the rest “Your Hidden Treasure”

A Lifetime Of Shaping

The lonely and windswept road winds through low lying mountains in northern Scotland. In the distance and across a rocky field are the remains of what once was a castle. It’s easy to imagine banquets and dancing in sharp contrast with swords and shields, idealism and realism clashing with short lived victories. So much began here, traditions, stories, art, all reflecting history and heritage of tribes and dynasties, each attempting to dominate a landscape surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. Despite the rocks and other natural roughness, there’s a timeless quality here, a storybook … Read the rest “A Lifetime Of Shaping”

An Apprentice Goes To Sea

It was straight up 6 A.M. when my phone rang. On the other end was Morris Gordon, Director of Communications, Western Electric, in New York.

I was in Coral Gables, Florida, relaxing for a couple of days before attending my fourth annual Conference of Communication Arts held on the University of Miami campus, a magical gathering of some of the world’s best photographers, art directors, and editors. The event, intimate in size compared to most such meetings, was created and conducted by Morris and Wilson Hicks, former Executive Editor of Life Magazine.

Morris asked if I would like to … Read the rest “An Apprentice Goes To Sea”

Four Morsels For Logical Minds

Of all the columns I’ve written for this website, the one on the art of doing nothing has drawn the most responses. Also interesting is that since then, that subject has been mentioned in at least three national publications.

Indeed, the May issue of Town & Country, the magazine written for and read by many of our nation’s wealthy and socially prominent, devoted two pages to the subject.

The irony lies in the reality that as we are either being urged or forced to cram yet more into the eternally rigid 24-hour day, we feel increasingly inclined to give … Read the rest “Four Morsels For Logical Minds”

Judith’s Short Life

The township school served two small rural communities with a population mix of relatives, friends, and acquaintances, so all of us kids knew each other.

Judith didn’t look like any of the rest of us. That’s because she was born with a rare form of congenital heart disease that caused her to have an overly thin to frail body covered with skin tinged with shades of blue and purple. Also associated with the disease was a lack of physical stamina that kept her from being involved in anything too strenuous.

Her parents were disappointed that she, their only child, had … Read the rest “Judith’s Short Life”

Properly Crediting The Credible

It happened one day during my military training. Some of us were taking a “smoke break” when the talk drifted into the pity party vein. That is, we were comparing our plight with others supposedly much better off.

That led to one of the guys mentioning somebody he knew who “had it made.” Another one followed with a similar story. Then a third one chimed in about a friend who had been getting all the breaks.

About that time, a sergeant who’d been leaning against a tree while slowly smoking a cigarette, eased over to our circle. “Guys,” he said, … Read the rest “Properly Crediting The Credible”