Thanksgiving then and now

Thanksgiving grocery shopping, like all my mother’s grocery expeditions, was driven by a battle plan that George Patton would have admired. She scanned the Alliance Review Persky’s Market, Kroger, and A&P ads for the best deals. On Saturday morning, my siblings and I tagged along into battle as her foot soldiers with hopes of sugary treats finding their way into the shopping cart. Thanksgiving in…

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Elections and politics

1968 was a tumultuous year in American history with race relations and civil unrest front and center. It was a presidential election year with Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon in a bitter fight for the presidency. I was a 14-year-old and unable to vote. I was a proud Republican in a strongly Republican family. Richard Nixon won that election. I celebrated the win….

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Ideological identity, faith, and the election

I have struggled with my Christianity for several years. I was a lifelong churchgoer heavily involved in the Church and advocacy for LGBT Lutherans in the Church. Bad experiences turned me away after 50+ years in the pews. The Reader’s Digest version is that Christians do not behave Christlike. I may struggle with Christians, but I am very faithful and believe in the tenets of…

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10.15.05

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. About 655,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Today is the 15th anniversary of my triple coronary bypass surgery. I suffered a mild…

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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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Still coming out after all these years

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Early Pride transformed from parades into month-long celebrations with corporate sponsorship and an endless display of rainbow merchandise. LGBTQ+ pride was born in the early 70s in the wake of the Stonewall riots from which the LGBTQ+ rights movement was born. I came across a tweet earlier this year that describes a good bit of my life experiences as a gay…

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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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