The Barbershop

Old Tracks Toward New Connections

A new walking trail brings economic benefits, but its more enticing, though less measurable, value lies in the deeper, more appreciable sense of place that the rail trail should cultivate.

The Politics of Golf Carts

A polemic against golf carts might double as one against libertarian economics.

Bring Me My Bow of Burning Gold: Micturition and Its Discontents

Why have we persisted in peeing outdoors well after the advent of outhouses and toilets?

And To All A Good Night

Too soon the mistletoe will be a garland.

It’s a Wonderful Film

It wasn’t enough for George to stay in Bedford Falls and do the right thing; he needed to choose which values to embrace and which to reject.

Pancakes with My Father

My father cried the day his stroke began, as he lay in the emergency ward, watching himself lose his speech and his strength. He cried the day after the stroke receded when my mother and I came to see him, as he looked at us looking at the wreckage.

Happy 60th, Bill Kauffman

". . . among the keenest minds in contemporary American letters." ---Allan Carlson

The Local Barber

I recently visited a barber in my Virginian hometown whom I had not patronized in more than a year (I’d taken to getting my...

Last Rites for Local Parishes: On the Decline of Catholic Chicago

A church that prides itself on its universality—its catholicity—has served as a seedbed for hundreds of parishes divided along ethnic lines.

The Temptation of Minimalism and Excess: A Simple Home in an...

In the discussion of minimalism, I want to suggest it’s less about what’s in your home than what your home is used for. It’s not what you don’t have in your home, but the people you do. It’s not the values you say you believe, but your disposition towards your neighbor and to things.