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Local Columns

Homemade haircuts

I didn’t have the gumption to see it through, so I gave up on the project. My wife and I have been doing our best to maintain social distancing during this coronavirus situation. This meant forgoing haircuts, which gave me the perfect excuse to accomplish one of my life goals, namely, to ...

Close to home

I’m not much for travel, even in the outdoors. Though it’s the safest way of getting from point A to point B, I sweat profusely while aboard just about any airplane, regardless of whether there’s fishing or hunting on the other side of the trip and often start dreading the flight back ...

Who cares?

There are days when I ask myself: “Who cares?” In a world full of chaos, concerns and the “C” word, does anyone care, and if they do, how do they show it? Loaded questions and I ask them because of the unsettled environment within which we currently exist. I write quite a bit ...

And now for the rest of the story

Every week day morning as I walk down Main Street from the Mainstay Cafe with my morning coffee in hand I’m reminded of the story I never got to write. I’m reminded as I walk past the Wooden Nickel on my way to the Independent office. Painters and other workers have been busy for weeks now ...

Books and Beyond

Many people you know from history are included in the book “Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children,” c 2004. The collector of the letters was Dorie McCullough Lawson, and the foreword is by her father, well-known historian David McCullough. Paula Nemes at the Marshall-Lyon ...

On guard

Spring brings with it the first trips out into a greening countryside. Whether sneaking off to a favorite shore fishing spot or hanging up some trail cameras to catch the first glimpses of a buck caught on a memory card, spring adventures often set anglers and hunters up against flora and fauna ...

There’s time to…

There are times when I think the historical hermits had it right. All of us know what our lives are like today. We are concerned, at times overwhelmed, too many irons in the fire, the kids to attend to, and then there is the drain that comes with physical/mental and the current social ...

The in-between season

We are at that in-between time of year when the furnace runs in the morning and the air conditioning kicks in during the afternoon. We are paying to heat and cool the same air each day. I’m not complaining, though. We have finally thrown off the icy shackles of winter, clearing the way for ...

COVID-19 another bad deal for area farmers

Three months ago I met up with Jeff Chandler and his son, Troy, on their Triple C Feeders farm outside Balaton to write about their beef operation for the Independent’s Ag2 special section that published on March 5. During the Feb. 6 interview, I remembered Jeff talking about outside ...

The point of return

This week marks an important point of return. I don’t know if that’s a real term, but it’s far less ominous than “the point of no return,” which has had its share of dramas, dark songs and thriller type novels written about it. The point of return, however, is that point in time where ...

An old friend

In times such as these we turn to things that are familiar and comforting. We long for things that seem permanent and unchangeable, such as the faces on Mount Rushmore or Cher. I am fortunate to have a familiar face that has been there for me across the decades, through rain and shine, in ...

Warmer stargazing

Evening stargazing has lost its chill, but honestly, also a little of its thrill. The bright winter constellations continue their gradual exit out of the evening sky, not to be seen again in the evening until next autumn. Until about mid-June, the evening sky is in a bit of an intermission ...

50th anniversary of Earth Day

April celebrates the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes. While this year, ...

It’s only going to get better

One never knows what one will hear on a daily walk. I was in the midst of my daily walk and passed an acquaintance on the street. We waved across the way to each other, yelled to each other about what a nice day it was and then, it was said... “It’s only going to get better!” she ...

In the wind

I’ve been on both sides of the wind in many of my outdoor adventures but none more notable than last week, when the well-worn mooring rope on the cleat of my boat broke and my boys and I had the stunning experience of heading down from the parking lot to the launch dock to see the old Lund ...

Little scooper dudes

Some signs of our times: • A farmer friend told me that he just received his economic stimulus payment. “I’m going to use the money to buy hand sanitizer,” he said wryly. He noted that a local microdistillery recently switched from making corn whiskey to producing hand sanitizer. ...

Your late April evening lineup

We have a nearly straight diagonal line of celestial bodies this week in the early evening, low western sky. You don’t need binoculars or telescopes to see them, just your God-given eyes. From the lower left to upper right, you’ll see a parade led by the bright star grand marshal, Sirius, ...

Books and Beyond

Library patron I recently read Freya Manfred’s book of poetry, “Loon in Late November Water,” Red Dragon Fly Press, c 2018. As you know, April is National Poetry Month. Freya’s introduction to the book is a two-page autobiography. She tells her readers about her mother and about ...

What we need

It seems I’ve been doing a lot of two things lately: walking and reading. And, interestingly enough, both activities achieve a similar result: thinking. During this time of social distancing, these activities seem to be publicly safe and sane. Living in a civilized society means we will ...

Books and Beyond

Library patron Noted newscaster Jim Lehrer passed in late January 2020. He wrote many books, most of them mysteries. I had two reasons for reading Lehrer: to honor his memory, and to read a mystery, which I haven’t done for awhile. Then I had a third reason when I saw the title “The ...