Category Archives: Portland

Why Red Sox Nation should stand and cheer Derek Jeter

  Sometime next Sunday afternoon, as the shadows cloak Fenway Park, future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees mainstay at shortstop for the last 20 years, will come to the plate for his final professional at bat. When that happens, I hope for the sake of all who bleed Boston red that every […]

Is September northern New England’s January?

Over the recent Labor Day weekend a friend of mine suggested the holiday should mark northern New England’s New Year. Given the changes in everything from our environs to our personal habits – especially in rural areas and smaller towns – this idea merits serious consideration. Unlike mud season that separates winter and spring, and […]

Melting watches can be the cruelest friends

A few years ago, after consoling a friend over the death of her husband, Salvador Dali began to haunt me. Having expressed surprise over the recent illness and passing, I exclaimed: “I didn’t realize he’d been so sick; why, I just saw him a few months ago!” Actually, I hadn’t. Make that well over a year. And spoken […]

Teachers matter: How Mr. Miskell changed the world

One afternoon almost 40 years ago, my ninth grade geometry teacher, Mr. Miskell, stood in front of a chalkboard, paused, and then proceeded to change the world – making it a better place for me, forever. This time of year, around Labor Day, with local schools gearing up for fall, my thoughts always turn to him, […]

Caring for an elderly parent: life’s grand irony

In the spring of 2013, I was wheeling my mother Catherine to a doctor’s appointment. As we entered the waiting room, a dutiful daughter around my age pushed her mother’s wheelchair out. The two silver setters glanced at each other knowingly, and Mom offered up the following assessment: “We used to push them around in their baby […]

150 years: How the Civil War enabled later global conflicts

What does one sloppy skirmish have to do with a global war eight decades later? More importantly, why should we care? Thanks to the heroic exploits of Gen. Joshua Chamberlain, and others, Maine enjoys one of the proudest traditions of the Civil War. Still, up here in New England – where revolutionary unrest and fervor […]

Personal blogging is not journalism

I really enjoy reading personal Web logs, or blogs as they are universally known, and I take in several on regular basis. They can be entertaining, informative, and educational. But rarely can they be called journalism. I’m not talking about blogs written by journalists at the behest of their news outlets, or those of subject matter experts or professional commentators […]

Four ways to traffic oblivion

Even though my son Jason once turned getting his driver’s license into an odyssey, the one thing at which he excelled was knowledge of traffic rules. So I always smiled when we reached a four-way stop and he asked: “Dad, why do so many people go at the wrong time?” That was an astute observation for someone who […]

Where have you gone, Mayberry?

Sometimes, when you’re flicking channels, you just have to stop and watch for awhile. That’s what happened to me this week while surfing through news reports. From children at the border with Mexico, to corpses being dragged around Gaza, I saw the momentary black-and-white blur of Andy Griffith’s retro coif. It made me pause. So I sat […]

What E.E. Cummings teaches us about love and death

Earlier this summer, after riding my bike along the Greenbelt in South Portland, I pit stopped at Bug Light Park to take a break and watch the waves and kite flyers. There, at a nearby bench, a young man serenaded a beautiful redhead from an open book. The girl sat with one hand over her mouth, hiding a smile, […]