‘Little brother’ comes home sooner than anyone planned

Editor?s note: Dale Suderman, a Marion County native who made his home in Chicago, wrote a popular column called View From Afar in the Free Press from 2001 until April 2008, when he suffered a severe stroke. With our encouragement, Dale?s sister wrote this essay on the seasons of their close relationship.


Down on the farm, Vietnam style

?Can I visit a farm in Vietnam?? I asked my friend Greg Farris when we were planning our overlapping trips to Vietnam.

?No problem. My wife Chau is planning to visit her relatives who are farmers and you can come along.? Greg was also a GI in Vietnam in the 1960s. He married a Vietnamese co-worker and they have lived in California for decades.

Why Vietnam is vacation location

So why am I in Vietnam for a three-week vacation? I was there two years ago and had a fantastic time. Forty years ago I was there and had an interesting time. But how do I justify or rationalize this third trip?

Historians can upset our world view

Historians are dangerous and subversive. While often soft-spoken and
mild mannered they quietly undermine our conventional wisdom.

often do we hear folks say, ?But this is the way we have always done
it? and ?This is what we have always believed?? Sometimes we are taken
down the opposite road, ?Here is a wonderful new idea or insight that
will change everything.?

Napping may be key to our future

?I?m going home early to take a nap,? I tell my co-workers every Friday in the early afternoon. They laugh and debate if this is a further sign of my approaching dotage or an extreme prolongation of my childhood.

Theories conflict about path of I-135

Is Interstate 35 the highway to heaven or the highway to hell? Folks on the American lunatic fringe agree about one thing. The 1,500-mile road from Laredo, Texas, to Duluth, Minn., has near cosmic significance. But the whack-jobs are in radical disagreement about the meaning of the four-lanes of asphalt.

Worship as the ultimate political act

The campaign ads for the Iowa presidential primary on Jan. 4 are warring for TV space with the Christmas ads from Sears and Wal-Mart. Voters and shoppers are targeted by politicians and merchants competing to offer them ultimate satisfaction and world peace.