Tag Archives: From The Stacks

Is the art of restaurant tipping lost?

H., a waitress at a local eatery (to remain unnamed), approached my table. She checked to see if I needed more water, engaged in our usual chatter, then flashed me the check she had picked up from a party of 12. The food charge was well into three figures; the amount written in the tip […]

Will Mike Bloomberg run for President in 2016?

A few weeks back, around Election Day, I mused on the vilification of third party candidates in national elections as so-called “spoilers.” One prominent example I used was independent Eliot Cutler’s presence in Maine’s gubernatorial race, mostly to highlight the scapegoat quality these candidates inherit regardless of a ballot’s final results. But wait – it gets better. In all the […]

Veterans Day: A salute for Sgt. Potter

On Veterans Day, I’m taking a moment to honor Ricky Potter. Many years ago, when we were both in uniform, I was his boss, and he was my teacher. Sergeant Ricky Potter grew up in the South, born into a black family with no privilege. His muscular frame and impeccable bearing exuded pride. An athlete […]

Two maples, one prayer

The Iroquois considered the maple tree a sacred symbol, and a direct gift from God. For those native Americans, a maple’s wood and sap were valuable resources. They celebrated an annual thanksgiving festival with the rising of the sap to commemorate another year of the tree’s life, and their own as a nation. For the […]

How to kill a job interview

A former college student of mine once e-mailed me about an upcoming job interview, asking what things he should know, questions he may be asked, and how he might respond. His request couldn’t have been timelier; in this economy, employers are looking for any reason not to hire someone. But in my response and subsequent discussions […]

Back to her immigration Odyssey

It’s been a few years, but the image remains vivid: The brunette waitress darted across the restaurant like a gust of wind. Clad in black, she balanced plates and glasses on her tray, called out instructions to the bartender, and grabbed a handful of spare napkins as she passed the server station — all simultaneously. […]

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 […]

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 […]