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Freedom 2020

Independence Day is when Americans celebrate freedom. This is especially important in today’s politically and socially divided society. Freedom was instilled in my youth. It was the day when the red, white, and blue of the American flag was front and center at family picnics and fireworks at Alliance’s Silver Park. The land of the free and let freedom ring are common rallying points for…

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Racism and the language of the unheard

Two young black males entered Jokie’s Café in Alliance, Ohio on a summer night somewhere around 1968. They walked past neighborhood regulars uncomfortable with their presence. They found their way to the payphone near the cafe’s back room where I was playing pool. I  saw my father talking to them. They left the café. The late 1960s was a time of great racial unrest. Large…

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Memorial Day memories

Memorial Day signaled that school days would soon come to an end and the freedom of hot summer days would soon be here. My mother, siblings, and I headed into Alliance to my aunt Gert’s home on North Park Avenue on Memorial Day morning. A block west, marching bands, veterans, service clubs, area businesses, elected officials, and an impressive display of American flags filled North…

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05.04.1970

The Ohio National Guard fired into Kent State University anti-war demonstrators at 12:24 pm on May 4, 1970. Four students were killed. I was a high school sophomore 25 miles away. Kent State was the college of choice for many students in my hometown and high school. The controversies of the shootings would divide Northeast Ohio and the nation for years. The world was in…

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Toms philosophy on bicycle touring

Yesterday I gave a talk on bicycle touring on the Ohio to Erie Trail. Over fifty people came out to Blimp City in Akron on a cold rainy day. The people facing me were diverse but united in enjoying life on a bike. Most were day cyclists exploring their local trails from behind their handlebars. They wanted to know more about bicycle touring and curious…

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A case for a blueprint for life

My world takes on a new focus at midnight on Christmas Day. Overnight, the after-effects of the monthlong orgy of parties and family gatherings become real, very real. My habit of diet and exercise were tossed aside, and good times and good food moved front and center. December 26 is judgment day; a day when my focus returns to health and wellness. My mind turns…

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