G.K. Chesterton in 1000 Words

I once knew a woman who met Chesterton. It was a brief meeting in the 1920s when she was a girl of about ten or so. Her older sister invited her to go into London to hear the great man speak. Afterwards, her sister asked my friend, What did...

What I Saw at the High School Speech Meet

Here in northwest Indiana, I agreed to be a judge for a recent regional speech meet, partly because our middle daughter was a contestant herself and partly because I love all sorts of spoken word events—debates, extemporaneous speeches, poe...

Of “That Great Furnace, the Heart of Dickens”

A perennial question in this season: which version of Dickens’ Christmas Carol to watch? Somehow I can’t seem to muster much interest in any of them but one. After viewing the 1951 version with Alastair Sim, I have never wanted to sully my ...

“You Ever Get Back There Any More?”

Down on the Square (as we East Texas natives refer to the downtown in Henderson, pop. 11,000), I make a visit to the backroom of the Strong-Hurt Pharmacy, site for many years of the Coffee Club, a place where mostly older gents congregate a...

The Closing of the Republican Mind (A Séance)

Lucky me, to be invited to try the beta version of Google’s newest and coolest app — Séance! After a quick download and install, I wasted no time in launching my first “collaboration,” picking three figures from the spirit world: Abe Lincol...

Paradise at Ground Zero

What I’m not expecting to hear is anyone asking how it was that about 25,000 people in the towers aided each other in an orderly evacuation, without which the casualty count would have been much higher than 2,603.

Cabrini Dreams

“You go two blocks one way, you're in public housing. You go two blocks the other way, you're at Banana Republic."