• There’s Something Shaky about a Pedestal

      A new financial building opened up on a  street in our part of town some time ago. The bold signage says, “The Pinnacle.” That’s an attention-getting name, I thought, but I’ve been wondering since about what a name like that suggests. In the business world, in  careers, wherever people are or whatever they’re doing, they like the idea of being at the top, don’t they, to be lifted up, set  on a pedestal, so to speak? What’s a pedestal,  anyway? It’s an architectural term, designating the base or support on which a statue or column is mounted. One source I consulted gave as an example the Lincoln Statue on…

  • A Wonderful World?

      I remember the song, so popular in my day (oh, yes, ’twas a long time ago). I sang it, reveling in the inimitable voice of Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. The melody is like a sweet lullaby, but the words create the dancing, buoyant  spirit. I see trees of green Red roses too I see them bloom For me and you And I think to myself What a wonderful world The words of the song came back to me  recently, and the realist in me asked,  “Can we seriously talk about or sing about a wonderful world today?”  How could anyone have said  that the world was wonderful in 1967 when…

  • What a Spell!

      It’s the last week of July when I’m writing this post, and a major international event, the Olympics, is underway in Tokyo, Japan, but earlier in the month, there was an event that, in its own way, rivaled the Olympics in its ability to   command national attention.  If you missed the finals  of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee Competition, which was aired on ESPN on July 8, you missed a great show. I hesitate to admit that it was my first time being glued to the TV set to watch a program on ESPN,  a network associated with sporting events, since I, like a some others that I…

  • Freedom Thoughts

    FREEDOM: free . dom/ noun/ the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint/ the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved/ independence, liberty, release, deliverance, self-determination When the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced not long ago that those of us who had received two COVID vaccinations  were free to  cast off our masks, we felt elated–at least, some of us did.  We could now breathe free after more than a year of living with what had become an indispensable  piece of outerwear. Free at last!  With the Independence  Day (Fourth of July)  celebration  here once again, it’s safe  to  say we …

  • In Our Eyes

      Like me,  I’m sure you’re rejoicing that the coronavirus mask requirement is being eased. During our long season of wearing  masks for our protection, I became acutely aware of people’s eyes. When I encountered someone in the street, in the shopping center, or in a parking lot, I watched the eyes  for contact, since I couldn’t see the lips to acknowledge  a possible smile. This was most of the time, but sometimes I was a bit guarded and walked on, not really “seeing” the person. Eye contact is important in communication.  With a look or even an averted glance, we tell others what we’re thinking. Remember the first  rule…

  • Going Places

    As soon as it looked as if the coronavirus had started to loosen its grip on the nation, a lot of  people began to think travel—going places, shedding the isolation. Three months into 2021, the Wall Street Journal asked, “Is Travel Coming Back?” The evidence pointed toward an answer in the affirmative. Among other favorable signs, Delta saw bookings begin to pick up in late February, and airline executives “are optimistic that demand will rebound.” By land, air, or sea, travel is a desirable activity for millions, providing life-changing experiences. People are able  to step out of their cveryday lives and see the world from a new perspective,  explore a…

  • At Curbside

      Historical events usually generate  unique responses, oftentimes  providing a useful solution, designed to fill a need. The lingering COVID-19 pandemic has  given us such a solution: curbside service delivery.  Perhaps, like many others all over the country,  you  showed up at your neighborhood supermarket  one day to find signs saying “Pickup Here.”  At first the operation may have looked a little clumsy–like trial-and-error–but now it has become the going thing, as  retail stores and grocery chains, even restaurants, have all  adopted the new sales strategy, created to fill a  perceived need.  One  outlet has put a  classy spin on its service by calling it  Curbside Concierge. Apparently, it’s possible…

  • Captivated by Poetry

    For a few days in January, the nation got excited about something that had nothing to do with money, sports, fashion, or politics. People were talking about—of all things—a poem. And this made the hearts of English teachers glad. The inauguration of the new president on January 20 had a shining moment when the first Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, dazzled the inauguration attendees and TV viewers with her recitation of her original poem “The Hill We Climb.”  The spontaneous reaction was amazing.  Her dramatic presentation had a lot to do with the way the poem was received, to be sure. Robert Frost read “The Gift Outright” at John F.…

  • Incidents

        The month of February is special, having been set aside with its own name for a special purpose.  It is Black History Month, designed “to celebrate the achievements of Black Americans and the integral role they’ve played in the history of the United States.” That’s the purpose for the month, and seems sensible  and desirable enough. The commemoration was initiated by Carter G. Woodson in 1926 as Black History Week. In 1970 it was officially designated Black History Month. Some people question the need for  a whole month dedicated to celebrating Black achievers; however,  the month is not solely  for the benefit of Black Americans; it serves  the…

  • Journeying in the New Year

      The year 2020 took us up the rough side of the mountain. We traveled over difficult paths and were battered in the way.  The battering came from all directions, most notably from the coronavirus, but there were other stressors.  In my community many are still suffering from the devastation of what has come to be called the  Easter Sunday tornado. We are still sad for those who suffered extensive loss,  but we also celebrate  the ones who have found the courage to start over and are beginning to build again. The new year  presents us an opportunity for a new beginning, not for the purpose of forgetting that we…