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“Oh, Wow.” A Benediction for Ed McClanahan

Immortality might not last forever. But I contend that Ed will—through his words and through the lives of those he touched with his generosity and his grace. All of which leads, to a simple blessing, a benediction. “Oh, wow.”

Columbiana: In Want of Cram

Neither Columbiana nor Sewickley perfectly realize the role of Cram’s ideal walled town, but Sewickley comes much closer. While not perfect, it offers a real-world example of an economically vibrant, urban community.

A Case for the Prairie: Taliesin & the Jerusalem of Weird

I had seen the worst of America: the brittle surface of “good design” shattered by rage, and the reverse snobbery of the rest of America. Still, I wasn’t about to permit myself a trip like this, with such visual and emotional assault, without some kind of further insurance.

Muhammad Ali: Can the Greatest of All Time Speak to Our...

By holding up the life of Muhammad Ali, Ken Burns seems to be asking us pressing questions: can we maintain our principles and move from outspoken and oppositional to loving and virtuous? Will we use our beauty and gifts not to belittle others but to better them?

Vanishing Little Languages

Andrew Figueiredo describes his family connection to Minderico, a language belonging to the Portuguese town of Minde. Localists must join the fight to save endangered languages, if only because they present us with a way to practice stewardship, rebel against the abstractions of technique and global commerce, and save our world’s cultural heritage.

Goodbye, Norm Macdonald

What all these most profound culture-makers have in common is death-mindedness, which gives them the ability to fully pursue their art, because they don’t pay as much mind to the fleeting: the money, the fame, the critical disapproval.

On Talking About the Weather

Nashville, TN. “If you cannot think of anything appropriate to say, you will please restrict your remarks to the weather.” So says Mrs. Dashwood...

Little Diamond

Little Diamond, an island bounded by the crisp waters of Casco Bay, is a rare sanctuary from the madness and modern life. Gregory Reynolds takes readers on a journey through the stages of its beauty.

On the Front Stoop

Here emerges the stoop as neither an architectural adornment nor a fleeting trend, but as a central social locus for the people of New York. It is here where our neighbors’ joy and laughter and special moments come to light, brightening up the city street and making the neighborhood feel whole. 

Dear Mom: A Letter on Time

Learning from Wallace Stegner, Doug Sikkema considers the timeless blessings of his childhood in a letter to his mother.