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Opinions

Roll-ups for breakfast

Walkin'

Watching Mom make roll-ups was a study in motion and efficiency. With two pans on a medium-hot fire, she’d ladle the batter, swirl it in the pan, flip it in a wink and serve them to the nearby kitchen table.
In a half hour, she could turn out dozens of the breakfast treats. She had to, I could eat a half-dozen myself, and Dad and my siblings weren’t far behind. Plus there could be extended family and/or friends bellied up to the kitchen table.

News deja vu

Food For Thought

With all the things going on in this world of ours, I can’t believe that our news-gatherers find it necessary to report the same events several times in a day– sometimes even several times during one half-hour newscast. I turn on the evening news which reports a half-hour of local, national and world news, followed by a half-hour of national and world news from one of the big networks, and then another half-hour from the local station. During those 90 minutes, I am told about the “biggest” stories a minimum of three times, but often, eight or nine times.

A sense of secret

Children seem to have an inborn sense of secretiveness that leads to all sorts of misunderstandings and misbegotten adventures. I’m not sure where it comes from, perhaps it is the “self” attempting to define itself, to draw the lines between itself and the rest of the world. There are simply things children keep to themselves and protect jealously from their parents, siblings and best friends. It’s that little knob of reality known as “me” as opposed to everything and everybody else that is “not me.”

Tradeoffs

Walkin'

Before starting our bicycling trip alongthe Danube, we took a side trip from Vienna to Salzburg.
Tim, a classmate of Sabra’s from junior high school, settled there with his partner and husband, Heiner.

New stewards for the newspaper

We aren’t just owners of your newspaper.
We’re stewards.
And I’m incredibly excited for a new team– including me and the people you know– taking over that caretaker role.
As you read in a news story this week, Woodward Communications has purchased your local newspaper. My business partner, Stuart Clark, and I have sold West Branch Communications, which includes the West Branch Times, West Liberty Index, Mount Vernon-Lisbon Sun, Marion Times, Solon Economist, North Liberty Leader and Linn News-Letter.

The girls of September

Food For Thought

I’ve always found it odd my three closest friends when I was growing up had birthdays within a few days of each other. Not only that, but two of them shared the same birthday, and the other had her birthday on the same day as my mother’s. This had to be more than mere coincidence and made me half believe in astrology which, logic tells me, is unreliable at best and superstitious nonsense at worst. I am ambivalent, after 80-some years, and may never be sure just what I believe about it.

Bicycling Austria

Walkin'

“Did they show you the devil’s hole?” the young man across the picnic table asked me.
It was the third day of our ride.
It was a bicycling trip we made in August. Sabra’s sister, Lisa, and her husband Allen proposed it and we gladly joined. Who wouldn’t want to spend a couple of weeks visiting Austria and cycling along the Danube River to Vienna? Two friends of Lisa’s, Karen and Julie, also joined to make our group six.

Thinking literally

While I was writing last week’s column about my early days in school, I remembered a little neighbor boy we had while we lived in Iowa City. The youngest of three children, he missed his older siblings when school started each September. As happens with younger children, he had heard a lot about that somewhat mysterious and definitely wondrous place called school, and couldn’t wait for his turn. He had been told repeatedly that he could go to school when he was 5.

Love a parade

Walkin'

So where did we leave off last week?
Oh, that’s right, Frank and I were out on a double date, and we came up short on the bill.
So what did we do?
Frank called his older sister, Sue. Even though she just put her hair up in rollers, she threw on a housecoat and brought us $5. The kindness of strangers and siblings at play.
Fast-forwarding to today, the highlight of their recent visit was attending the Beef Days parade. Frank, as it turns out, loves a parade, and rarely misses a chance to see one or better yet, be in it.

I’m back

Walkin'

It’s been a busy couple of months since I last filed a column at the end of June.
In July, my oldest and dearest friends, Frank and Jan, stopped by for a long weekend.
Frank and I go back to junior high.
In the earliest days of our friendship, we went stag to the Rolling Meadows movie theater and sat, an open seat between us, hoping a couple of lovelies would look over and find us irresistible.
Then, as we matured, we’d take dates to the show instead of hoping they parachuted into the seats next to us.

The end of summer

Having lived in Iowa all my life, I’m not familiar with the policies of other states regarding summer vacation and the beginning of the school year. I know there are places that take into consideration the weather (extreme heat or cold) and holidays (both religious and national) when scheduling the school year. Circumstances have changed dramatically since early pioneer days when schools were strictly local matters, often managed and taught by individuals with no official oversight by local government or even school boards.

A matter of relativity

I’m not talking about Einstein’s theory here, but the third, or maybe the fourth definition, depending on which dictionary you’re using, “Relativity; dependence on a factor that varies according to context.”