Written by Bob Woelk Tuesday, 10 July 2012 13:52For those of us who ventured in June from the plains of Kansas to the streets of New York City, the four-day trip seemed to place us in an entirely different world.
For me, the Big Apple was nearly as foreign as other major world population centers I have visited. The traffic signs, advertisements and at least some of the words spoken around us were in English, but that fact did not fully balance the constant assault on our senses of normalcy.
From the moment we set foot on our new...
Written by Hillsboro Free Press Tuesday, 12 June 2012 15:56In the June issue of the AARP Bulletin (yes, I am old enough to get this magazine), writer Betsy Towner presents a list of fixtures of everyday life that will “go the way of the gramophone, labeled ‘quaint’ and relegated to museums—if not the trash” in the next 50 years. Some I would be prone to agree with. Others, I am not so sure.
The list is presented in no particular order, but the largest graphic on the page is a postage stamp. “Snail mail,” as Towner and many others label traditional items delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, is allegedly headed the way of the Pony Express.
“As we continue to trend toward electronic correspondence, to survive, the agency will have to scale back mail service,” Towner...
Written by Bob Woelk Tuesday, 08 May 2012 14:55A few random thoughts as spring wanes and summer waxes (for some, perhaps bikini waxes):
As I drove past a billboard in Missouri a week or so ago, I was struck by the fact that at 75 mph on I-70, it would be easy to misread the advertisement. Everyone else in the van was asleep, so I was easily amused. The sign offered martial arts training.
I wondered how things would be different if the commercial was actually for marital arts training. What would constitute the “marital arts”? I wondered. Would they include cleaning up after yourself, balancing a checkbook, both spouses’ knowing how to do laundry and load the dishwasher? How about frantically stashing clutter when the in-laws ring the doorbell?
Then, with several more hours...
Written by Bob Woelk Tuesday, 10 April 2012 15:02My wife Kathy and I spent the better part of spring break in our nation’s capitol. Our daughter has been living there this spring as she finishes a practicum in social work. She will graduate at the end of April from Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia.
Anna has only lived in D.C. since the first of the year, but she is already a competent tour guide. Between her knowledge of the metro (train) system and the use of her GPS, we got around the city quite nicely.
Our plane landed at Ronald Reagan National, the smaller of the two Washington-area airports. As usual, my wife had scouted out a little side trip before we checked into our hotel. Gravelly Point Park was packed with all makes and models of humans when we arrived. In fact...
Written by Bob Woelk Tuesday, 13 March 2012 15:15I had never considered directing the Hillsboro High School spring drama as long as Terry Bebermeyer was in charge of the annual production.
Yes, I had been in charge of a few plays, nearly all comedies. But, they were at the eighth-grade level. More on that in a moment. Mostly, Mr. B is good at directing. He has had a long string of successes, and he always seems to bring out the best in the student actors.
Word came down the line, however, that the master was going to step aside, at least for this year. There didn’t seem to be an immediate clamor to take the reins. I looked around at the talent pool among the students and liked what I saw.
In addition, I thought I might have the perfect play for the group. I stopped by the...
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