Published October 19th, 2012 by

            ‘Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco:  Treat Yourself to the Best’.           Across the western Appalachians, that motto appeared on barns close to well-traveled roads.   One side would get a…

Published December 28th, 2011 by

Bennington, Vermont: Old First Church. 4/3/11 Updated:  Jan. 11, 2012. What do Jack Benny, John D. Rockefeller and Robert Frost have in common? Each achieved greatness in a fiercely competitive…

Published August 22nd, 2011 by

Today is Ray Bradbury’s 91st birthday.  I have admired his writing since I was a  boy – first hearing The Martian Chronicles dramatized on radio, then reading it.  As an…

Published May 28th, 2011 by

           This morning, my indispensable – for many more reasons than one – news feed, The Writer’s Almanac, reported, ‘On this day in 1892, John Muir founded the Sierra…

Published August 21st, 2010 by

          This weekend’s celebration of Ray Bradbury in his hometown brings to mind that other great son of Waukegan, Illinois, Jack Benny.           Benny was already a vaudeville star when…


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