Essays 2017-05-19T20:27:29+00:00

The following articles were originally published in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript.

My Lifelong Learners and the Continuing Experiment

  “The Constitution is an experiment, just as all life is an experiment.” Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes I’ve been teaching an adult education constitutional law course at Keene State this fall. When I signed up to do this, I wondered whether anyone would take the course. I needn’t have [...]

My Candide and Making Gardens Grow

I never heard the name Barbara Cook until I was a senior in college. The girl I was dating told me about the woman who played the role of Cunegonde in her favorite musical, “Candide.” I’d never heard of that either, but in 1972 I saw the play in [...]

My Old Friend and the Time It Is

Time it was And what a time it was Simon & Garfunkel, “Old Friends” I will always remember the day, midway through first grade, when a new kid moved to Claremont and entered Miss Dyer’s classroom at the Way School. Her name was Linda, and she sat across the [...]

Plausibility, the Press, and Sarah Palin

When it comes to filing lawsuits, it used to be that lawyers could write a complaint saying little more than “he done me wrong” and worry about the details later. “Sure,” the lawyer could tell the client. “We’ll throw something at the wall and see what sticks.” No more. [...]

My Neighbor Kahlil and the Stolen Urn

The name Kahlil Gibran may be familiar to many of you. He was born in Bsharri, Lebanon, but he lived for many of his 43 years in Boston’s South End, home at that time to a large Syrian-Lebanese-American community. His 1923 book “The Prophet” has been translated into more [...]

My Anniversary Trip and Henry David Thoreau

Another married year went by, and the Pianist and I went to New York at the end of June. We visited the Morgan Library on Madison Avenue where we saw an exhibit entitled “This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal.” Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, [...]

My Trip to Sicily and the Boss’s Son

When we arrived in Palermo, Sicily, a few weeks ago, our trip leader told us we were going to spend time with an interesting person to discuss a “controversial” subject. Somehow I hadn't figured on meeting Angelo Provenzano, whose father Bernardo used to be the Mafia’s capo di tutt'i [...]

My Father’s Health and Monthly Awareness

May is “Mental Health Awareness Month.” It is also “National High Blood Pressure Month.” and this column is about physical health. I’ve noticed that the older you get, the more you think about that subject. When I was young, my father often said, “It’s no fun to be sick.” [...]

My Mitochondria and the Swedish Proposal

I live in New Hampshire but have an office in Boston and go there regularly. On one recent visit, I noticed people exercising on fitness machines just outside my building. I wasn’t dressed for a workout, but it got me to thinking about the workplace and employee well-being.  I've never written [...]

My Crystal Ball and our National Pastime

I wondered, what with the goings-on in the world, As a new administration its flag unfurled; Would the President issue an order ordaining That this year there would be no spring training? As rumors abounded, I awaited the day, When pitchers and catchers arrived to play; What relief I felt, [...]