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Uncle Joe's Stories

Falling

February 18, 2019

Yesterday, on my way to the grocery store, I saw the Goodyear blimp high overhead. For me, this means only one thing: Uncle Joe is checking up on me. No doubt he’s wondering why I have been so slow in getting to the stories he entrusted to me. In fact, I have over the past…

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No wall is big enough to keep out reality

February 15, 2019

Have you ever pondered the United States coastline from the sea? I had occasion to do so last week while out on Catalina Island for a few days with my cousins. Over morning coffee, with news of “The Wall” fresh in our minds, our conversation turned to the obvious conundrum this spectacular view presented: If…

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December 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor Day

December 7, 2018

When the USS Redwood arrived at the Navy Yard in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in early December of 1941, it was slated to be fitted out with some additional equipment—sound gear, radar, depth charges—military gear the ship builder in Ohio hadn’t been able to provide, and even some non-military gear—including a washing machine. From Portsmouth its…

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Vroom!

December 5, 2018

Whenever I see the Goodyear Blimp (or any blimp), I believe that my Uncle Joe is sending me a “Hello” from the great beyond. For Uncle Joe, who joined the US Navy for a six-year hitch in 1940, was a “lighter-than-air” sailor from 1943-46. During the last years of World War II he served on…

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Conversation with a seven-year-old old

December 2, 2018

She asked to come along when I offered to drop off the dry cleaning for her mother. It’s a short drive to Patterson Cleaners, a little over a mile—six or seven minutes each way. Who would expect to cover topics ranging from scatological vocabulary to the origin of the species in less than fifteen minutes?…

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Mass Shootings: Are You Enraged Yet? – Part I

November 19, 2018

Can you remember back to March 24, 1998? That was the day two middle school students in Jonesboro, Arkansas, pulled a fire alarm at their school then, using a cache of weapons they had hidden in nearby woods, shot at students and teachers as they fled the building. Four students and a teacher were killed;…

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Two Lists

November 13, 2018

The breath-holding suspense of Election Day (which still continues)  The horror of Borderline, latest of the interminable succession of mass shootings, (which never seem to stop) The strong emotions surrounding Veterans Day’s (which feel particularly upsetting this year) And the California fires so close to home (which, of course, still continue). Mrs. Penfire’s head is…

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The Spanish Steps

November 5, 2018

Sometimes you can’t really sort out the sights (and sites) you’ve seen until you revisit them in memory weeks—or months—later. Such is the case when I ponder our brief encounter with the Spanish Steps. They were on our “not-to-be-missed” list for the city of Rome because they are on everyone’s list. See for yourself: Flip…

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