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The man who saved Christmas

The annual complaints about Christmas are almost always the same.  It’s too commercialized, it’s too much money, it’s too glitzy and it’s just too much.  I don’t agree with this, I am a big fan of Christmas, and I would remind these 21st century Scrooges that there was a time, not so long ago, when Christmas was hardly celebrated at all.  The warmth, cheer, and magic so many of us associate with the holiday, had faded away years before.

Read more: The man who saved Christmas

The unsung Thanksgiving hero

He gets the passing mention in the Thanksgiving Day story as he is often credited with helping the Pilgrims survive their early winters in the harsh New England climate.  But that doesn’t begin to do justice to the story of Squanto.  Historians, given some latitude for the lack of records, believe that Tisquantum, better known to our history as Squanto, was born between 1585 and 1592.  History offers the Squanto story as that of a good natured Indian who humbly helped the Pilgrims in their early days in America.  That’s true, as far as it goes, but there is a lot more to the tale of Squanto than most people realize.

Read more: The unsung Thanksgiving hero

Kennedy’s words still inspire

Most of the people reading this column, or for that matter, most who might watch a TV program or a remembrance about the anniversary of John Kennedy’s assassination 50 years ago, don’t remember the former President or his tragic death.

Read more: Kennedy’s words still inspire

Why was the election so close?

The TV ads are gone, the robo-calls have stopped, the morning mail is lighter without all the fliers, and slowly the signs on our roads are starting to disappear. Election 2013 is over. There were elections for everything from the Board of Supervisors to the House of Delegates. They each had their twists and surprises, but the contest that got the most attention was the race for Governor. These things never go quite the way the pundits predict and this year was no exception.  

Read more: Why was the election so close?

In the tradition of Cincinnatus

I am always surprised how many lessons which we hold dear have their beginnings in the ancient world. There are more than we realize.

On Veterans Day we celebrate what many people refer to as the citizen soldier. This is the average person who, when the need arises, puts down the tools of his or her civilian trade or profession, and takes up the tools of war.

Read more: In the tradition of Cincinnatus

Humans and the need for speed

Several years ago I was in traffic court, as a witness, and was listening to the judge as he decided the cases ahead of us. Most were routine.  However, there was one that got my attention. A young man was charged with riding a motorcycle, at 100 miles an hour, through a residential area.  He hadn’t come with an attorney and the judge told him he had better get one because it wasn’t unusual for him to give jail time in cases like this. Borrowing a line from the Tom Cruise movie, Top Gun, the “need for speed,” had gotten the better of him.

Read more: Humans and the need for speed

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