Finding Common Ground

Jeffrey Spitzer-Resnick — Last March, my wife and I decided to move into our vacation home in Central Wisconsin to stay safe from the pandemic. Our home is located in the Town of Jackson (unknown population as it is unincorporated), 5 miles from Oxford, where about 600 people live, in Adams County, where about 17,000 people reside in a large, sparsely populated area. Our closest … Continue reading Finding Common Ground

Preserving Memories

Jeffrey Spitzer-Resnick — A few weeks ago I spent the weekend visiting my family in the Detroit area where I grew up. As my parents’ memories fade, it was important for me to see them so I could have a better understanding of how much they can remember, and on a sadder note, what they have more difficulty remembering. In all likelihood, their ability to … Continue reading Preserving Memories

Rural Chainsaw Repair

Jeffrey Spitzer-Resnick — There are many things that divide city life and rural life: digital access and politics are often discussed in the media, but access to  repair and services in rural America is also vastly different than in our cities. When we need something repaired in the city that we cannot fix ourselves, we either call someone to come to our homes or we … Continue reading Rural Chainsaw Repair

Finding Nebuchadnezzar in Poland

DeWitt Clinton — All of us are hungry as dogs, though it’s not even noon, but our guide in green shoes wants us to stop at this grocery store, pick up some cheeses and breads so we won’t have to waste any time, so we can spend more time at Treblinka where we will wander around thousands of stones, each one a village which was … Continue reading Finding Nebuchadnezzar in Poland

Picking Up a Prisoner at Dachau

Warren R. Johnson — Though it is not a particularly well-known fact, the “bunker” of the former concentration camp at Dachau was used after World War II as an American stockade. Until 1970, soldiers either awaiting trial or sentenced to less than a year’s confinement were imprisoned there. The “bunker,” a series of cells, is directly behind the former administration building that is now the … Continue reading Picking Up a Prisoner at Dachau

Elegant Old Men

Warren R. Johnson — When our son Michael was very young, he had a very old friend. Everyone called his old friend Baba Levi. Not mister, not sir, but Baba. Baba is Persian for father, or even grandfather. He was so old that he remembered driving trucks from Baghdad to Tehran, before the First World War when trucks on the main roads joining the two … Continue reading Elegant Old Men

The Ear is Quicker than the Eye: A Hospital Story

Warren R. Johnson — Having lived in Germany for many years, I’ve had the opportunity to get acquainted with hospitals from Landstuhl, the military’s largest hospital outside the United States, to Bad Aibling, where there never was a military hospital, only a civilian one. To outsiders, hospitals are almost always odd places. Patients themselves only get used to them because hospitals run on schedule. In the hospital … Continue reading The Ear is Quicker than the Eye: A Hospital Story

The Sheriff of the Park

Les Guliasi — Point Isabel is the largest off-leash dog park in the country. The two sections of the 53 acre park are divided by Hoffman channel and connected by a wooden bridge that once served as a train crossing. Located on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay, a stone’s throw north of Berkeley, California, the park has sweeping views of the San … Continue reading The Sheriff of the Park

Witnessing the End of a Family Farm: Twenty-Five Ways to Say Goodbye

Richard Quinney — I am a witness to the ending of a family farm in Wisconsin. This is the farm that was started in 1868 by my great-grandparents and farmed by the generations that followed. My brother and I inherited the farm and tried to keep its 160 acres as a working farm, even as we moved to other places and pursued other ways of … Continue reading Witnessing the End of a Family Farm: Twenty-Five Ways to Say Goodbye

Saphire is Not a Dog

Jeff Berger — Saphire is my collie. For 33 years I have owned collies. Or to be more precise, collies have owned me. My collies have owned a house with a large backyard, hardwood floors and leather furniture. My collies have owned Subarus with leather seats in which I chauffeur them around. Saphire forces me to walk around the neighborhood at least twice a day. … Continue reading Saphire is Not a Dog

My Mom, Baseball, and Me

Mark Richardson — I came to baseball, or baseball came to me, as a very young boy. My dad was never much of a baseball fan, at least until he was in his 60s and he discovered the entertainment that was Harry Caray’s broadcasting, but my mom was an avid Chicago Cubs fan all her life.  Her grandpa (my Great-grandpa Cashore), her dad (my Grandpa … Continue reading My Mom, Baseball, and Me

The Summer of Becoming Quasimodo

Bill Powell — My wife and I recently discussed Pearl Buck’s classic novel The Good Earth and tried to recollect whether, and when, we might have read it as children. We are both “bookish” people and have been so since childhood. We also discussed our early reading habits, subject preferences, and how they have evolved and continue to this day. I mentioned that during one … Continue reading The Summer of Becoming Quasimodo

Dining with the Colonel – No. 39

Charles Cottle — Snow was falling and I was tired. I was returning home to Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin after a day of teaching at the university. It was 5:30 in the afternoon in the middle of winter, so it had already been dark for about an hour. As I pulled into town, I started thinking about food. I was in no mood to start cooking … Continue reading Dining with the Colonel – No. 39

Twenty-five Selfies in the Raphael Room

David Gillespie — It was Monday, June 20. This year. Celebrating a milestone wedding anniversary, we were in Rome. This would be a day for touring the Vatican under the care of a local guide. As we walked through the public area of the Papal Apartments on our way to the Sistine Chapel, the guide told us that we were about to go into the … Continue reading Twenty-five Selfies in the Raphael Room