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

My Father’s Widgets and Imagining a World Without

Sometime around 1912, my father and his brothers started a company in Claremont and named it “The Claremont Waste Manufacturing Company.” People in town called it the “shoddy mill,” a place where they turned rags into flock. When I was young, I asked my father, “Is flock useful?” “It’s [...]

My Football Days and the Taste of Reality

According to Super Bowl half-time star Justin Timberlake, his two-year-old son, Silas, “will never play football.” He’s not alone. Among American parents, nearly fifty percent feel the same way. I’ll admit that I never encouraged my sons to play football, and they didn’t. But in the Claremont of my [...]

My Bad Habit and the Bedside Jug

I know from experience that New Year’s resolutions are easy to make. I also know they're easy to break. I can only think of one that I made and kept. On January 1, 1975, a mere eleven years after the Surgeon General announced that smoking was bad for your [...]

My Pianist and Each New Day

I met the Pianist in Boston in 1984, and I noticed right away that she was taller than me. One day I mentioned that undeniable fact, and she said, “You’re not short, you’re medium.” That made me feel somewhat better. Early on, I realized that musicians and lawyers are [...]

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, [...]